Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Here's a story that infuriated me. A teenage boy wears high heels to school, gets taunted by classmates, so the principal's response was to instruct the kid to remove the shoes. According to the teacher and the principal, the shoes were causing a distraction in the classroom.

Really? Because I thought the distraction was the kids who were doing the taunting. The appropriate response to this kind of taunting and bullying is not to reinforce the idea that whatever they're picking on is something to be picked on. You don't agree with the taunters. You punish them. The kid wearing shoes he liked was not the problem. The kids picking on him were. Requiring the taunted kid to remove his shoes does not in any way, shape, or form deal with the problem.

Shame on you, Principal. You blew that teaching moment. Big time.


Tammy Cravit said...

[begin sarcasm] Perfect - the principal's doing a great job of instilling the "blame the victim" mentality in those students. I'm sure a future generation of rape victims will be ever so grateful. [end sarcasm]

On another note, color me surprised the ACLU hasn't jumped into this one yet. Tinker v. Des Moines and its progeny, and all that. (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer)

BellsforStacy said...

This is why more and more schools are going to dress codes. Even simple ones like plain colored t-shirt, jeans, sneakers. And I went to three high schools and not one of them allowed girls to wear heels.

I feel like I'm missing something. I hope that the reaction to this wasn't solely to make the kid take them off but also involved some "talking to" of the bullies. But - from the brief story - I think it was mostly the teacher that was offended? Which is a whole other ball of wax.

I also hope that the boy has a therapist and strong home life. If shoes are what make him feel better, he probably needs someone to talk to.

S said...

I agree that there's a lot missing here, Stacy. I was just so annoyed by the principal's suggestion that the shoes were the distraction rather than other people's reaction to the shoes being the problem.

I get the sense behind dress codes. I just hope, like you said, that we don't just stop at a dress code and forget about addressing the bully types who make dress codes a good idea.

As for the kid feeling better in shoes, I don't think there's anything weird about that. But you all know how I feel about shoes. :) I'm definitely using my pretty shoes to make myself feel better this week. I've already decided that tomorrow's meeting with the orthopedic surgeon requires my favorite Sassy red shoes with the faux diamonds in the soles.

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