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Lake County, FL instituting inartfully drafted student dress code

By J. DeVoy

In a wise response to budget cuts and other crises facing Florida’s public schools, Lake County’s School Board has set the stage to impose a dress code that bans “unnatural” hair colors, “extreme” hair cuts, and the use of makeup that is “disruptive or does not allow direct eye contact.”  I don’t see how makeup precludes eye contact, either, though it maybe disruptive – it would make more sense if that provision applied to hair; maybe Lake County was banning the devilock a few decades too late.

The proposed code also sets rules for dress hemlines, skorts, skirts and shorts, none of which can be more than 2 inches above the knee.  Since students and/or parents are incapable of determining these things on their own, too, the propose policy gives instruction on the proper use of clothing, advising that “clothes shall be worn as designed.”

Mendacious as educators and school administrators often are (or maybe my perceptions are skewed from Catholic education), the new policy is aimed at banning “extreme” styles because they can be “dangerous.”  Maybe the policy cites instances of increased fighting among groups of students identified chiefly by their clothing, or details specific risks of, say, falling down the stairs in saggy pants or with a haircut that obstructs one’s line of sight.  Then again, this is Florida, and I doubt any such stated rationale exists.  But never mind that: Won’t someone think of the children?  We don’t think about the children enough in this ruined hellscape of a country.

The Lake County School Board will have a final vote on the policy August 22 – the day the policy is supposed to take effect.

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