Ballard's Mr. Wynkoop let the students know that administrators had thought about this issue as the weather was getting warmer and let the students know - in advance - what the dress code policy at Ballard is.
Recently we have become aware of an effort to organize a protest of some kind later this week that would include girls wearing overly revealing clothes. To attempt to head this off and/or make our position clear, I spoke with the Student Senate today, took input and answered questions related to this issue. I also wanted to make it clear to our entire community about our justifications, our expectations and the steps we will continue to take when issues arise.
This is precisely the right course of action. Here's our policy, here's why, our expectations and yes, consequences. He spoke of preparing students for life as well as safety issues.
However, he did note that students wanted a clarification of the term from the Student Handbook on
"revealing or disruptive clothing" and provided examples.
I also like that he is NOT going to contact parents unless the situation cannot be remedied by the student (with the school's help).
He also says this:
--> I have heard concerns from some students that this standard is furthering "rape culture" by penalizing young women for the thoughts of young men, but I thoroughly disagree with this interpretation. Being distracted from learning is an involuntary process that students cannot fully stop on their own, where as students are FULLY responsible for their actions.
I can see where he was going with this thought but I'm not sure it was made as clearly as it should have been.
Garfield High School
First, I was looking at Garfield's home page and right there under the principal's contact info is a concerns and complaints page. On it they explain the step-by-step process. Good idea.
Second, I see the Garfield PTSA raffled off a car. A Tesla Model S. Wow, pretty nice.
I also see that the PTSA, using three different grant sources, will be funding a mobile iPad cart with "powersync cart, 17 iPads and wireless airport." Again, great job.
Also, looking at the Garfield student newspaper, The Messenger, they have an op-ed on dress codes. I'm not sure I agree with it but it's one student's take on it. Somewhat amusingly, there is a previous op-ed on the problems with thongs. (Yes, written by a female student. It appears that apparently thongs are not so comfortable. What a surprise. Note to girls; you can find regular underwear that does not have the dreaded VPL. Male readers, don't ask.)
But there is a second Garfield student newspaper, the GHS Truth. It's a very entertaining paper with bon mots like "nothing to throw your panties at" and " folktastic" and calling the prom venue "a mixture between a royal hall and an Ivers (sic)."
I don't know the origins of the newspaper but they seem to be future investigative reporters. One of the more interesting stories in their newspaper (named season 1, episode 7) reveals that the parents of one Garfield student, who had allegedly been hazing students at the foshing event last fall and who was subject to "emergency expulsion", are suing the district. What the reporters at the GHS Truth did is get the court documents and those papers are quite revealing.
From the article:
As well as seeking to overturn the decision they are seeking damages for the “pain, mental anguish and emotional distress” that they claim Cole has experienced as well as his decreased “future earn- ing capacity”, that they claim is a direct result of the negligence and misconduct of the School District.
After reading the court documents, I have to concur with the analysis proved by the GHS Truth.
The parents appear to focus not on the misconduct (of which there seems to be evidence by the accusers) but of how the district handled hearing this case. (How often we see the district dinged for just this kind of thing in the past.) And, it looks like the district may have indeed not followed their own procedures and not only will lose in court, but could lose money. The court date is not until Feb. 23, 2015 (so there's a lot of time to negotiate - my money is on the district backing off).
As well, the reporter, one Erasmus Baxter, states that the court documents seem to indicate that what many seniors had claimed - there was no pressure to participate - was not true at all.
But there was also some humor in those documents. From the analysis:
"...there’s some great lines in there including X's father trying to compare paddling to a fun “birthday spanking”
By the way, please do not attempt to scold me for including the documents. They are, like all court documents (including my own recent court case where the filing documents on the part of the plaintiff are both humorous and ridiculous), public record. Anyone can see them.
As Mr. Baxter says, "The world would be a better place if people didn't just take what the media said as the whole truth. Do your own research."