What school officials in Florida did to Miranda Larkin makes me despair of some adults.
On her third day at a new school, Miranda Larkin had to go to class in red sweatpants and a hideous, oversized neon yellow T-shirt with “DRESS CODE VIOLATION” emblazoned across the chest and down the leg – an ensemble no high-school kid would voluntarily be caught dead in. Especially not a new one.
The 15-year-old moved to Clay County, Fla., from Seattle just eight days before school started and wasn’t familiar with the public school’s dress code, which says skirts can be no more than three inches above the knee. The black skirt she was wearing hovered closer to 4 inches above her knees.
Larkin was walking down the hallway of Oakleaf High School after first period when a teacher pointed at her from across the hall and said “your skirt is too short,” she told USA Today.
She was sent to the nurse’s office and instructed to put on a “dress code violation outfit” that her mother described as a “shame suit,” ABC reported.
Would it have killed the teacher to have privately told the new student what the dress code was so that she could subsequently comply?
This kind of absurd over-reaction is part of the ‘zero tolerance’ madness where adults think that the best way to treat a problem in schools is to create a rule and then throw the book at whoever breaks it without first checking if there are extenuating circumstances.
What is it that makes some school administrators think that shaming or suspending students or even calling the police for minor violations is a good way to teach children to grow up to be responsible adults?
Yes, looking at things on a case-by-case basis and making judgments can be time consuming. But that is how we model adult behavior to children. Any fool can blindly follow rules.