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Dress For Success?

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Yesterday, hundreds of students at Colton High School walked out of classes to protest the school’s dress code policy. Evidently, the youngsters are very upset that school officials will not let boys wear “drooping pants”, and girls are forbidden to showcase their “bare midriffs”. In direct response to the walkout, Colton school officials promptly sent all 3,300 students home later in the morning when the original protesters failed to return to class.

This brings back fond memories for us here at LAist. Our own high school was exponentially more draconian than this: blackwatch plaid skirts for the girls, cut below the knee, and white shirts with blue slacks for the guys. No freelancing allowed. Did we hate our dress code? Unbdoubtedly. Did we complain about such outlandishly conservative limits? You better believe it. Did we walk out of school because of it? Not a chance in hell. Our teachers and parents would have kicked us into the middle of next week. Believe me, non-conformity has always been welcome in all our houses, but a knock-down, drag-out fight over a dress code was a battle that just didn’t seem worth fighting. LAist wonders exactly just what is going on at Colton High. We’re not exactly talking about the 1960’s era Haight here. It’s entirely possible that, as spokesman Michael Townsend keenly observed, “The vast majority walked out because it's a good excuse for them to get out of class. I think a lot of them followed their peers."

To quote the venerable Homer Simpson, "D'Oh!" What an insightful piece of analysis from Mr. Townsend. Of course they wanted to get out of class! Don't they all? And you gave them exactly what they wanted! In fact, you gave the entire school the day off! In so doing, you branded every single protester a hero. No matter how you try to punish them, you've just created hundreds of little William Wallaces running around your campus. The next time they decide to stage a demonstration on campus, it will be much stronger and ten times more vociferous.

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LAist thinks Colton High School needs to get its house in order. And so do the parents of these kids. Clearly, the authority figures in this town aren't very authoritative. What's next? A walk out for easier classes? A rally for fewer final exams? A sick out for less homework?

LAist cautions the students to think about the big picture. While we respect the call to arms and anyone's right to question the rules of conformity, we don't condone it just for the sake of ditching class. You say you want a revolution? Go put on your best drooping pants, show off those bare midriffs and go protest something that really matters. Leave the dress code stuff for the amateurs.

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