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(The New York Times)   Can a boy wear a skirt to school?   (nytimes.com) divider line 339
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19578 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Nov 2009 at 1:25 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-11-07 10:22:01 PM
Yes.
He'll end up getting the shiat beat out of him mercilessly, but yes.
 
2009-11-07 10:29:26 PM
Stupid NY times makes me register. here's the article:

BY now, most high school dress codes have just about done away with the guesswork.

Girls: no midriff-baring blouses, stiletto heels, miniskirts.

Boys: no sagging pants, muscle shirts.

But do the math.

"Rules" + "teenager" = "challenges."

If the skirt is an acceptable length, can a boy wear it?

Can a girl attend her prom in a tuxedo?

In recent years, a growing number of teenagers have been dressing to articulate - or confound - gender identity and sexual orientation. Certainly they have been confounding school officials, whose responses have ranged from indifference to applause to bans.

Last week, a cross-dressing Houston senior was sent home because his wig violated the school's dress code rule that a boy's hair may not be "longer than the bottom of a regular shirt collar." In October, officials at a high school in Cobb County, Ga., sent home a boy who favored wigs, makeup and skinny jeans. In August, a Mississippi student's senior portrait was barred from her yearbook because she had posed in a tuxedo.

Other schools are more accepting of unconventional gender expression. In September, a freshman girl at Rincon High School in Tucson who identifies as male was nominated for homecoming prince. Last May, a gay male student at a Los Angeles high school was crowned prom queen.

Dress code conflicts often reflect a generational divide, with students coming of age in a culture that is more accepting of ambiguity and difference than that of the adults who make the rules.

"This generation is really challenging the gender norms we grew up with," said Diane Ehrensaft, an Oakland psychologist who writes about gender. "A lot of youths say they won't be bound by boys having to wear this or girls wearing that. For them, gender is a creative playing field." Adults, she added, "become the gender police through dress codes."

Dress is always code, particularly for teenagers eager to telegraph evolving identities. Each year, schools hope to quell disruption by prohibiting the latest styles that signify a gang affiliation, a sexual act or drug use.

But when officials want to discipline a student whose wardrobe expresses sexual orientation or gender variance, they must consider antidiscrimination policies, mental health factors, community standards and classroom distractions.

And safety is a critical concern. In February 2008, Lawrence King, an eighth-grader from Oxnard, Calif., who occasionally wore high-heeled boots and makeup, was shot to death in class by another student.

ALTHOUGH dress code disputes are largely anecdotal, popping up in the news when a lawsuit threat emerges, educators and psychologists say that more schools will have to address them in the near future. There are 4,118 gay-straight alliance clubs in high schools across the country, which raise awareness of such issues. Gender-boundary questions are even bubbling up in elementary schools, with parents seeking to pave the way for their children, in blogs like acceptingdad.com and labelsareforjars.wordpress.com.

At minimum, more students are trying on their curiosity for size. Typically during "Mix 'n' Match Day," at Ramapo High School in Spring Valley, N.Y., students might wear polka dots with stripes, said Diane Schneider, a teacher who is a chairwoman of the Hudson Valley chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. But this year, she said, "about 50 kids came as cross-dressers."

All this is too much for some educators, who say high school should not be a public stage to work out private identity issues. School, they say, is a rigorous academic and social training ground for the world of adults and employment.

"It's hard enough to get kids to concentrate on an algorithm - even without Jimmy sitting there in lipstick and fake eyelashes," said Kay Hymowitz, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Because schools are communal, she wrote in an e-mail message, "self-expression will always have to be at least partially limited, just as it is in the workplace." Principals need leeway in determining how students present themselves, she added. "You can understand why a lot of principals get fed up with these sorts of fights and just decide on school uniforms."

At Wesson Attendance Center, a Mississippi public school, just that sort of fight erupted over senior portraits. Last summer, during her photo session, Ceara Sturgis, 17, dutifully tried on the traditional black drape, the open-necked robe that reveals the collarbone, a hint of bare shoulder.

"It was terrible!" said Ms. Sturgis, an honors student, band president and soccer goalie, who has been openly gay since 10th grade. "If you put a boy in a drape, that's me! I have big shoulders and ooh, it didn't look like me! I said, 'I can't do this!' So my mom said, 'Try on the tux.' And that looked normal."

Shortly thereafter, students were informed that girls had to wear drapes for yearbook portraits; boys, tuxedos.

The Mississippi chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote to the school. Rickey Clopton, superintendent of Copiah County schools, did not return phone calls. Last month he released a statement affirming that the school's decision was "based upon sound educational policy and legal precedent."

Last month, Veronica Rodriguez, Ms. Sturgis's mother, paid for a full-page ad in the yearbook that is to include a photograph of her daughter in a tuxedo.

Dress code challenges like these have been cropping up for years. Earlier this year, when prodded by lawyers, schools in Jackson, Miss., and Lebanon, Ind., reversed policies and allowed girls to wear tuxedos.

But generally, courts give local administrators great latitude. In Marion County, Fla., students must dress "in keeping with their gender." Last spring, when a boy came to school wearing high-heeled boots, a stuffed bra, and a V-neck T-shirt, he was sent home to change.

"He was cross-dressing, and it caused a disruption in the normal instructional day," said Kevin Christian, a district spokesman. "That's the whole point behind the dress code."

In some districts, administrators seek to define the line between classroom distraction and the student's need for self-expression. A few years ago, when Dr. Alan Storm was assistant superintendent at Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson, he oversaw legal and disciplinary matters.

Principals would ask him about dress code gender cases: "They'd say, 'Johnny just showed up in a cutoff top! Should I suspend the kid or make him change his clothes?' " Dr. Storm recalled. "And I'd say, 'Is there a bare midriff?' 'No.' 'Then it doesn't violate your dress code. You have no right to make the kid change his clothes. But it's your absolute policy to keep the kid safe.' "

Dr. Storm, now superintendent of a technological program for high school students throughout Pima County, Ariz., helped draft antidiscrimination policies that protect gender expression and sexual orientation, since adopted by some Tucson districts.

Such policies have become woven into the social fabric of Rincon High School, said Brenda Kazen, a school counselor: "Gender expression is very fluid here." Some boys have worn makeup and pink frilly scarves; girls wear big T-shirts, long basketball shorts - and look like male gang members, she said. Moreover, the student population includes immigrants from more than three dozen countries. "Our kids are just used to seeing different things, and they're O.K. with it," Ms. Kazen said.

Yet acceptance is hardly unilateral among teenagers, much less adults.

"There are other places where there are real safety issues," said Barbara Risman, a sociologist at the University of Illinois who studies adolescent gender identity. "Most boys still very much feel the need to repress whole parts of themselves to avoid peer harassment."

Last fall, Stephen Russell, a professor at the University of Arizona who studies gay, lesbian and transgender youths, conducted a survey of about 1,200 California high school students. When asked why those perceived as not as "masculine" or "feminine" as others were harassed, a leading reason students gave was "manner of dress."

Often a student's clothes, intended as a fashion statement, can be misread as a billboard about sexuality. In recent years, "emo" style has moved from punk fringe almost to pop mainstream, with boys wearing heavy eyeliner, body-hugging T-shirts and floppy hair dyed black, to emulate singers like Adam Lambert and Pete Wentz.

"The emo kids get a lot of grief," said Marty Hulsey, a guidance counselor at a school near Auburn, Ala. "Even teachers say things and I had to stop it. One child came to me who was an emo kid and said he was accused of being gay but that he had a girlfriend." Mr. Hulsey said he affirmed the boy's right to wear the clothes that expressed his taste.

When a principal asks a boy to leave his handbag at home, is the request an attempt to protect a student from harassment or harassment itself?

Dress codes should be enforced consistently, with measures also taken against straight students who dress provocatively, said Diane Levin, a professor at Wheelock College in Boston who writes about the sexualization of young children.

But whether a principal bans gender-blurring clothing, she said, the student cannot be abandoned. Why has the student chosen to dress this way? "Is the student sensation-seeking?" Dr. Levin asked. "Can the school keep the student safe?"

SOME guidance counselors say that while safety concerns can not be dismissed, high school administrators shouldn't presume that such students will be targeted by peers.

Jeff Grace, faculty adviser for a gay-straight alliance club at high school in Columbus, Ohio, said he has seen student perceptions change over the last decade.

One student, Mr. Grace recounted, born male and named Jack, has long, straight hair and prefers to be referred to with a female pronoun. Jack is careful not to violate the dress code. She favors tops that are tapered but not revealing, flats, lip gloss.

"One day I heard a student say, 'Man, there was a girl in the guy's restroom, standing up using the urinal! What's up with that?' " Mr. Grace recalled.

Bathrooms can be dangerous for transgender students. But the other student replied off-handedly, "That wasn't a girl. That's just Jack."
 
2009-11-07 10:32:07 PM
I wore mine under my jeans.
 
2009-11-07 10:32:15 PM
thanks smooshie
 
2009-11-07 10:33:14 PM
cretinbob: Yes.
He'll end up getting the shiat beat out of him mercilessly, but yes.


Pretty much this.
 
2009-11-07 10:41:33 PM
I don't know how they did it for the girls, but skirts made it more convenient for the principal to get a piece between classes.

But this was back in the 70's. A LONG TIME AGO.
 
2009-11-07 10:41:52 PM
Skirt? No.
Panties and a butt plug? Yes.
 
2009-11-07 11:11:09 PM
cretinbob: He'll end up getting the shiat beat out of him mercilessly

Depends on where he goes to school. Of course if school admins are on top of it, then they'll stop it real quick if that happens.
 
2009-11-07 11:24:57 PM
Sure. I see no reason why not.

Imposing strict gender roles on children (or adults, for that matter) does more harm than good.
 
2009-11-07 11:36:11 PM
You can pick your friends, and you can pick your skirt, but you can't pick your friend's skirt.
 
2009-11-07 11:38:11 PM
i158.photobucket.com

I tell ya, it's nae a skirt, it's a KILT
 
2009-11-07 11:41:49 PM
Does he live in Queens?
 
2009-11-07 11:53:32 PM
Is his weapon of choice a yo-yo?
 
2009-11-08 12:12:41 AM
The question should be: Do you want your child going to a school where boys can wear skirts? That decision should be yours to make.
 
2009-11-08 12:25:35 AM
Why does he want to wear a skirt? Does he wear it at home? Would they allow him to wear a kilt?
 
2009-11-08 01:10:12 AM
Girls are now allowed to wear whatever they want; skirt, dress, pants, jeans, etc. Why should boys be restricted as to what they can wear?
 
2009-11-08 01:19:55 AM
Oh yeah, and I want to go on record as saying that I do not condone the beating of boys because they wear skirts.

unless it's consensual you know, over 18 and all that
 
2009-11-08 01:22:38 AM
NecoConeco: I tell ya, it's nae a skirt, it's a KILT

I wear a kilt sometimes. I damned sure didn't wear one to school, though. I did some stupid things in school, but that would be borderline psychotic.

I was a pretty big football/weightlifter type, but that's just inviting some little twerp to give you a 7-10 split.
 
2009-11-08 01:26:58 AM
What a stupid question.
 
2009-11-08 01:28:19 AM
Is he Muslim or Hindu?
 
2009-11-08 01:29:59 AM
I've taught my son (who's very big for his age) to beat the crap out of those who choose to be "different". It's a good thing.
 
2009-11-08 01:32:44 AM
cause school doesent suck enough as it is
 
2009-11-08 01:33:43 AM
Why, Sue he can!
 
2009-11-08 01:33:54 AM
who gives half a fark
 
2009-11-08 01:35:09 AM
Men wearing skirts look freakish and gay, not manly like this guy:

www.gymaddiction.com
 
2009-11-08 01:36:24 AM
Sure, why not?
 
2009-11-08 01:37:58 AM
Yes.

Once.
 
2009-11-08 01:38:32 AM
FTA: In October, officials at a high school in Cobb County, Ga., sent home a boy who favored wigs, makeup and skinny jeans.

Not surprised.

That sure was a lot to read about some stupid bullshiat that shouldn't even matter so much in the end.

I hope he files a lawlsuit...

...and the school loses.
 
2009-11-08 01:39:55 AM
It's funny that some people still think that what they do in high-school matters.

/enjoy it while you can, I guess
 
2009-11-08 01:41:05 AM
Failing_Junk: The question should be: Do you want your child going to a school where boys can wear skirts? That decision should be yours to make.

That's not true. The decision is not and should not be yours. What another child wears is no concern to you.
 
2009-11-08 01:41:25 AM
Milton Berle is not impressed.
 
2009-11-08 01:41:49 AM
the freedom of speech or in this case dress does not prevent you from the consequences in this case getting laughed at and beat up...
 
2009-11-08 01:42:22 AM
dead_dangler: It's funny that some people still think that what they do in high-school matters.

It's still funny that some people don't recognize that "the real world" isn't much different from high school. It's the same pettiness and inflated sense of self-importance.
 
2009-11-08 01:43:33 AM
eraser8: dead_dangler: It's funny that some people still think that what they do in high-school matters.

It's still funny that some people don't recognize that "the real world" isn't much different from high school. It's the same pettiness and inflated sense of self-importance.


that sir is disturbingly true
 
2009-11-08 01:43:45 AM
Sure, why not? I turned out ok.
 
2009-11-08 01:43:58 AM
What the fudge ever happened to learning in school?.
 
2009-11-08 01:44:17 AM
In before "snowflake" and "attention whore" get applied to anyone and everyone who is different and minding their own business.
 
2009-11-08 01:44:30 AM
eraser8: dead_dangler: It's funny that some people still think that what they do in high-school matters.

It's still funny that some people don't recognize that "the real world" isn't much different from high school. It's the same pettiness and inflated sense of self-importance.


Think fast!

*tosses pudding*
 
2009-11-08 01:45:10 AM
beowulf980: eraser8: dead_dangler: It's funny that some people still think that what they do in high-school matters.

It's still funny that some people don't recognize that "the real world" isn't much different from high school. It's the same pettiness and inflated sense of self-importance.

that sir is disturbingly true


yep... 'tis true.
 
2009-11-08 01:46:31 AM
NecoConeco: I tell ya, it's nae a skirt, it's a KILT

Came for this. Leaving satisfied.
 
2009-11-08 01:46:39 AM
Yes... until the student gets taunted or beat up and the parents are wondering why the school didn't do anything to prevent their precious snowflake from being picked on. Adopt a school uniform policy - problem solved.

Why do you not hear about this issue happening in colleges and universities?
 
2009-11-08 01:48:25 AM
Melquiades: I wish I could have worn a skirt to school. I'm making it up for it now, mind :)

If you had any real integrity, you'd show your face.
 
2009-11-08 01:48:43 AM
Eyebleach: NecoConeco: I tell ya, it's nae a skirt, it's a KILT

I wear a kilt sometimes. I damned sure didn't wear one to school, though. I did some stupid things in school, but that would be borderline psychotic.

I was a pretty big football/weightlifter type, but that's just inviting some little twerp to give you a 7-10 split.


I wore an outfit that had other students honestly asking if I was in the FBI. The hat said FBI, but what I was wearing was not the standard FBI uniform.

Must've looked darn good though!

/future husbands mother choose to show up that day to give him something at lunch and saw me like that.
//amazed she let us date after that!
 
2009-11-08 01:48:51 AM
eraser8: dead_dangler: It's funny that some people still think that what they do in high-school matters.

It's still funny that some people don't recognize that "the real world" isn't much different from high school. It's the same pettiness and inflated sense of self-importance.


This is probably the most disappointing thing about being alive.
 
2009-11-08 01:50:44 AM
eraser8: dead_dangler: It's funny that some people still think that what they do in high-school matters.

It's still funny that some people don't recognize that "the real world" isn't much different from high school. It's the same pettiness and inflated sense of self-importance.


To paraphrase Bully, one of my favorite video games, high school is like a microcosm of the real world.

TheWarmonger: ...their precious snowflake...

There it is and here comes Stupid.
 
2009-11-08 01:50:52 AM
cuzsis: Eyebleach: NecoConeco: I tell ya, it's nae a skirt, it's a KILT

I wear a kilt sometimes. I damned sure didn't wear one to school, though. I did some stupid things in school, but that would be borderline psychotic.

I was a pretty big football/weightlifter type, but that's just inviting some little twerp to give you a 7-10 split.

I wore an outfit that had other students honestly asking if I was in the FBI. The hat said FBI, but what I was wearing was not the standard FBI uniform.

Must've looked darn good though!

/future husbands mother choose to show up that day to give him something at lunch and saw me like that.
//amazed she let us date after that!


You're not nearly as interesting as you think you are.
 
2009-11-08 01:51:41 AM
Who cares?
 
2009-11-08 01:52:25 AM
DRTFA: But I think that schools (public or private) should have uniforms. Nothing fancy or expensive. Boys in khakis and an oxford shirt tucked in. Girls in khakis or a skirt and an oxford. It just makes sense. It would eliminate this whole designer clothes caste system that schools are all about. I am aware that the kids would find another way to establish a pecking order, but uniforms would help a great deal.

Bonus: Pleated skirt hotness.
I graduated from high school in nineteen hundred and ninety six. That year, the popular girls' fashion was the Catholic school girl look. I don't think I learned anything that year, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. Absolutely marvelous. There just aren't adequate words to describe how excellent that was. I... I'm just.... It was good.
 
2009-11-08 01:53:41 AM
I wore a kilt to high school several times and nobody said boo. It was the 80s though. The crazy, crazy 80s.
 
2009-11-08 01:55:36 AM
Being bigendered myself, I have mixed feelings on this particular issue.


Should a person have the feeling to wear clothing appropriate to their particular form of gender or societal expression? yes.

Scots should be allowed their kilts, as well as any who simply find them comfortable, as should people who find it comfortable for them, as should people who are trying to feel out where they stand as far as gender and such.

On the other hand, 90 percent of the guys I knew who wore skirts and bras and shiat to school when I was that age, weren't doing it to feel normal, they were doing it specifically to be attention whores and to piss off the establishment.

The funny part, I remember my mother talking about high school in the 60's, and growing up during a time when girls weren't even allowed to wear anything BUT skirts (past the knee) in high school.


Long story made longer, if the guy's trying to feel normal or part of his social group, that's fine, if he feels he's really a girl, that's fine, if he's specifically trying to disrupt class? fark 'em, send him home.
 
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