All I want for Christmas is my ‘bondage’ pants


(12/4/2005)

by Frances Edstrom

At the same time that the schools are tip-toeing all over the place to be careful not to step on the "Merry Christmas" landmine "” teachers running to Google "Hanukkah," "Kwanzaa," "Hmong New Year" (darn, missed it!), "Cinco de Mayo," (Mayo"isn't that May?) so their room decorations, choir productions, and other projects will provide just the right tone of "Christmas? No, I don't think that's a religious holiday," our kids couldn't care less.

No, they want to wear "bondage" clothing to school. "To heck with free speech and freedom of religion," they say, "where's the part in the Constitution that says we can wear clothing designed in the spirit of those good old American traditions of Bondage, Discipline, and Sado-Masochism?"

(Actually, I made that part up. That's perhaps a little more sophisticated social reference than most of them would make. After all, these are just kids! I'm not sure very many of them know about the Constitution.)

Every time I have had the chance to vote or voice an opinion on whether or not kids should wear uniforms to school, I've been all for it. Just to prevent arguments between students and administration over such things as bondage pants, which are equipped with straps and hooks so that they can be used to shackle a person. Last year it was a T-shirt, or a button or some such thing. What next?

Schools are supposed to teach, not be the local office of the American Civil Liberties Union. Kids are supposed to learn things other than how to download tunes and shop at the mall (although in my business, shopping is a virtue "” it's just that at some time, those kids will have to have gainful employment in order to pay for stuff ).

If schools think that certain dress is not conducive to the business at hand, let them say so. Students, parents and others who claim that this will stifle kids' creative expression might suggest those kids write a poem or a song, paint a picture, sculpt a statue, or finish their homework.

High school students have plenty of personal time to express themselves through their manner of dress. School doesn't take up all their time. Even during school, school doesn't apparently take up all their time.

Of course some good could come out of this current flap. For instance, last year, the girls wearing the buttons that caused all the trouble promised to start a program on women's issues at the high school.

(Oops, this just in. They never did.)

Well, then, some good could still come from this. Think of the "talking points" in the Family Life or Personal Health or How to Care for Your Pets class.

 

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