Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dresses and Dress Codes

It never fails to amaze me as to the things that make the news. Today, a news report came through that several parents from a Catholic high school in Pennsylvania have put together a petition regarding the dress policy for the school prom (Cheri what's the scoop?). The parents are opposed to a new policy the school has instituted which requires photos of the prom dress the student plans to wear be submitted for approval prior to the purchase of tickets to the dance. The parents are complaining that the new policy has come out AFTER non-returnable dresses have been purchased. The school maintains that the dress policy has not changed.

So, why is this news? This bothers me on so many different levels.

There is a reason that the school felt compelled to institute this new policy. Apparently, the girls are wearing dresses that are inappropriate and violate the previous dress policy. Parents know the policy---what? Are they afraid to say "no" to their daughters? To me, this is a just another way for parents to send the message that their darlings should be able to do and wear whatever they want. No wonder there is a blatant disrespect for authority. Too bad if you purchased a non-returnable dress. You had to know the risk.

When Mindy was at St. Cecilia, the nuns would make the girls put on sweaters at the dance or pin the dresses shut as they felt necessary. Of course this caused a lot of drama and tears at the dance. Parents were upset too. I never did get it. Everybody knew the rules. I would never have allowed my girls to "let it all hang out"---even if only one had anything to "hang out!" And that one---fought with me during the dress buying process. How did I solve that problem? I had her dad take her dress shopping. If it passed muster with him, I KNEW it would pass muster with the nuns! Simple solution. I never fought with her over a dress again! The added bonus issue this solved was the cost of dresses! She knew that her dad would never let her do anything too crazy in the price department.

One of the reasons we sent our daughters (and grandchildren) to Catholic schools besides religious principles is because of their conservative views. The world moves way too fast. If we can slow that down just a little, that's okay by us. If you don't want that conservative environment---it's pretty simple: DON'T SEND YOUR KIDS THERE!

Modesty has always been important in Catholic schools. Heck, my high school had PRIVATE dressing rooms and showers in the gym locker room. I had no idea there was any other way. Skirt lengths were closely monitored, but that didn't keep us from rolling them up. We even had to button the top button on our blouses.

When push came to shove, we conformed. It was just easier than getting detention or grounded at home. Back then, if you got in trouble at school, you got in worse trouble at home. That's not how it works these days. I feel sorry for teachers and administration in today's schools. They have to be so careful about everything they do or say.

Catholic schools have always had "rules" that may not have been popular with the mainstream. They are trying to uphold centuries of discipline and beliefs.  Get along or get out.

The dresses of today were not even produced for young girls of yesteryear. Call me old-fashioned---I can live with it.

Some may think these kinds of policies are unfairly targeting girls. Well, I have plenty of friends with boys that have been concerned about how the girls now-a-days "flaunt" it. It's a problem with society in general. Don't even get me started with bikinis!!

Really, is it that big of a deal to dress modestly at school or school functions? Just because I had to button that top button at school didn't mean it ruined my life. For crying out loud---I had much bigger things to worry about as a teenager. Plus, it took the pressure off of "little" girls like me---if you know what I mean.

Off the soapbox now.

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