Monday, August 29, 2011

Middle School Dress Code

Oldest is attending Middle School, and along with the novelty of lockers, bell schedule, A, B, and C schedules, he and his friends all must adhere to a dress code.  Not a strict uniform per se, but limited to only black, gray, or white polo shirts.  No logos allowed or printing allowed.

Us newbie parents were curious about how they would enforce this.  Would we get calls in the middle of the day to pick up our child, or bring in the required clothing?  Bribing the children with ice cream, we settled in and peppered them with questions about their first day.

One amusing insight was that students who failed to wear the "school standard dress" were sent to the office by their first period teacher. They were then relieved of their offending T-shirts (to be taken home in backpacks), and given a bright orange T-shirt with "LOANER" printed in big black letters across the chest.  Our offspring estimated about two dozen students (out of 1000) sporting these "shirts of shame" the first day.  Much fewer thereafter I imagine.

Postscript: the prescribed pants are denim (no holes) or khaki.  Oldest had a number of black and dark blue pants, so I picked up some khakis for him.  I noticed today he was wearing black shorts after school, so I asked if anyone pointed out that dress code infraction to him.  He said no one seemed to notice.  Good thing--if you got called for both shirt and pants, and they had matching orange pants, you could look like a prison escapee!

Of course, in a couple of years, these boys will have the pants hanging down much lower.  I wonder if there will be a "school standard dress code" for underwear too?


  1. My favorite dress-code story comes from my one very enjoyable year teaching high school a decade ago. Our principal, a funny and smart middle-aged woman, explained the fairly conservative restrictions (no short skirts, no spaghetti straps, no plunging necklines) quite succinctly while talking to the kids over the morning announcements: "Let's face it, you don't want to see my body, and I sure don't want to see yours!"


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