Falmouth School Dress Code

Lawerence School Adopts Dress Code

The Lawerence Middle School will now stress conformity over learning after passing an outrageous dress code this week.

The Falmouth School Committee adopted an Innovation School policy last night for the Lawerence Middle School. The policy, which will allow the Lawerence School to adopt some alternative instructional techniques, also forces the children to dress alike.

No credible study has ever linked what someone was wearing to their intellectual prowess. Albert Einstein actually looked like a homeless guy, pretty much 24/7.

Elitism reigns in Falmouth. No one ever calls for a dress code of a tshirt and some jeans, which every kid has and, if they don't, cost the least to purchase. They want the kids to dress like office workers, when- according to most surveys- they are going to end up in blue collar jobs. You also don't have to iron jeans and tshirts, but Elitists don't think of things like that. We won't even mention that more harm has been done to the world by people in suits and ties than has been done by kids in saggy pants.

The town will supposedly help parents as much as they can in purchasing new clothing for their children. Fortunately, Falmouth only has 22% of their students presently classified as low-income, although more than that will be asking for help.

I did a little research, and the cheapest you can outfit a kid- out of Wal Mart in Falmouth (I suppose monthly shopping bus trips to the Wareham Salvation Army store would be out of the question, so I went for the cheapest store in Falmouth)- is in $14 generic/button/collar shirts and $25 slacks (you can get boys slacks for $15, but many 8th graders have long ago outgrown boy's clothing). With taxes, we're up to $40 an outfit.

You can probably beat these prices, especially with a sale somewhere... but we're also shopping in July, school's offseason. I'm sure that you can also get some excellent rates on alpine ski rentals at this time of year as well, but those will also not be involved in the reality of the discussion.

I suppose that kids will need 5 changes of clothes per week (unless Falmouth is also going to assist 20-40% of the population for laundry costs). If the goal is to free kids from worrying about how they are dressed, I can assure the reader that kids will get goofed on for wearing dirty clothes much harder than they will for wearing jeans that aren't fashionable.

So, we're at $200 per kid... assuming that no 6th-8th graders grow during the years they'll spend at Lawerence. Otherwise, you can double that cash figure... or you can grapple with the concept that a policy at least partially based on keeping girls from dressing as sluts will end up with 20-30% of the girls trying to wiggle post-pubescent bodies (many of which will be of that bangin' Cape Verdean mode, player!) into clothes originally bought for a spindly 7th grader.

I won't even mention that the choice of the manner of dress being attacked by this policy howls of racism, as well as class distinction... or the fact that a large % of the low income students are of minority status, and will thus have another wall to climb over as they chase their diploma... or that many of these poor, when faced with the reality of the situation, will be forced to enroll their kids at other schools... or that SPED kids may have trouble keeping clean, and could even be forced (at great cost to the town) from the school system... but, shucks, it looks like I just did mention it.

Where this is heading is that, at some point most likely early in the school year, some 7th grader is going to get all of his outfits dirty, his mother won't be financially able to go to the laundrymat, and a child will be barred from attending the school because of his clothing. If enough of those kids/days pile up, you'll start seeing test scores fall.

But wait... there's more!

Falmouth most likely has a school budget in place. That budget also most likely doesn't have this clothing/laundry expenditure figured into it. So, something has to go. Where school activities are already funded by user fees and parents, they can't whack Sports or Music. The Art teacher is one of the forces behind the dress code, so her job- generally considered to be the least important in any school- is also safe. So, they're going to have to release a real teacher.... and maybe more than one.

So, to implement this dress code, they're going to weaken their ability to teach. More kids will be jammed into one classroom, but at least they'll all be dressed alike. Kids wearing clean shirts will laugh at kids wearing dirty ones, much harder than they used to laugh at kids who weren't wearing $200 jeans.

Falmouth, which isn't locked in at the top of the MCAS score rankings, has now determined that they can afford to release a teacher and jam more kids into their already-underperforming classrooms. They feel that dressing the kids the same will somehow override this. It may do so, once it forces enough lower-income kids into neighboring schools. I'm sure they'll be proud.

Perhaps they will... but it will cost them. Once parents begin to revolt against this policy, they will begin taking kids out of the schools. This is especially true of SPED parents. Falmouth is obliged to pay for those kids to go to school, whether they do it at the Lawerence School or, say, a similar school in a neighboring town.

At that point,  this policy may even destroy the school. What's worse, they will have delivered the killing blow themselves, while chasing dubious educational benefits. They have reached into the deck of chance and pulled out the Ace Of Spades.

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