Unlike almost all private and religious schools that have a dress code, public schools vary widely in their policies. The latest example is what happened to a gay student in Texas who painted his nails and was given an in-school suspension when he refused to remove the nail polish (“Texas high school suspends male teen over painted nails,” New York Daily News, Dec. 5).
I fail to see why the school made an issue of what is such a minor violation. In fact, I wonder if dress codes are worthwhile in the first place in public schools. I stress the latter because parents who opt for private or religious schools knowingly accept the rules as a small price to pay for what they consider a superior education for their children.
Public schools by their very nature serve a far more socioeconomically diverse group of students. As a result, not all parents have the means to buy school uniforms. Moreover, the time it takes to enforce dress codes could be far better used elsewhere.
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