Schools and “alternative” uniform changes

So recently I was browsing through the online articles which my newspaper back home puts up. And one really caught my eye: 

Students win argument to allow wearing of nose studs.

When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you have anything… different? I do: I have two tattoos which some may argue are not very discreet, I have pierced ears and I recently dyed my hair with an ombré. There are several individual reasons for each of these changes that I have made, but none were to thwart authority. Though I understand that in work I should try and keep my tattoos covered by my uniform, my employer has never pushed against this. I work with a colleague who recently went out on her lunch break and returned with two piercings: a belly bar and a bright pink tongue piercing.

Now, if you don’t fancy reading the article I can sum it up pretty easily. Essentially, a group of girls who are currently in sixth form stood up to the management at the school about their rules about piercings. Now, these rules haven’t been changed since before I began high school a decade ago. It’s simple: no piercings are allowed except for a pair of studs in your ears. No hoops, no multiple piercings, no dangly earrings. 

Just one. Pair. Of. Studs.

In all honesty, this never bothered me. But getting a nose stud didn’t become the fashion until I was in year 8 and one of my “rebellious” friend’s came into school flaunting it. But she spent her time in the mobile, which would now be called a nurturing centre for “disadvantaged” students nowadays but we just called it the place were all the naughty kids went. Then a few of the “popular” girls started getting one, and then it drifted into my group of friends. One of the main highlights of the trend was the theory that you were a lesbian if you got a specific side pierced… Now that got people paranoid.

I think it was quite a small thing which the teachers weren’t particularly concerned about until it became a much bigger trend. Probably because I didn’t have one, I don’t remember if anyone got told off for having one. 

But it’s a similar thing with any changes you make to your uniform, and many I don’t agree with:

  1. Stillettos I wore five inch stillettoes throughout high school, and in year nine it suddenly became fashionable to wear dolly/ballerina/flat pumps. I never caught onto the trend and still remember being sent to the head of year’s office for my offence footwear. Apparently they were considered highly dangerous and could be used as a weapon- considering I was 13 and had never been sent to the headteacher’s office, using my shoes as a weapon had never crossed my mind.
  2. Chewing gum Now, I can see the two sides of this story. Chewing gum is unsightly especially if the person refuses to be subtle. However, there are educational theories which prove that everyone learns differently, and kinetic learners enhance their learning ability by being active while they learn. If they can’t walk around the classroom then chewing gum is the most movement they’ll be able to achieve being stationary.
  3. Do your top button up agh! Don’t even get me started! Doing your top button up is never considered cool, and it still drives me nuts when certain friends of mine do it now. It’s choking and restrictive and, you know what, it’s highly likely that that can be used as a weapon when you put a tie on. I understand that it is important to look presentable in the classroom, and it prepared you for employment, but why does it have to be all the way up to the very top and not the second to last? 
  4. Banning nail varnish Sorry, but why is this even relevant in the classroom? OK, chipped nail varnish can look nasty but even the snobs that I know (I love them really!) would die without a regular manicure and fake nails. If school is setting you up for the future then ban bad nail varnish and dirty nails.

Those are the few I can remember since leaving high school but I imagine a few more have come in since I left, are hair extensions banned yet?

In my opinion, if it doesn’t interfere with their work then go for it. Society’s changing at a much quicker pace than these high school policies are changing, and yet they’re more eager to cut out PE lessons in a increasingly obese society or create an even worse menu than let a few with a bit of an alternative dress sense slide?


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