18 April 2013

Leggings are NOT pants

I just finished reading an article on the ABC News website and I am stumped. The story is about a junior high school in California that is requiring female students to wear something over their leggings. It doesn't matter what -- shorts, a long shirt, a skirt. As long as the garment over the leggings is fingertip-length, then the student is in compliance with the dress code. That part is fine. What stumped me is why one of the mothers pulled her daughter out of school for a week when she was in violation of the rule. Huh?

We are experiencing the same problem with leggings at our schools here. The teachers are repeatedly sending out emails and reminders on the weekly voice mail that leggings are NOT pants and shouldn't be worn as such. As a mother of two high-school age daughters, I don't have a problem with this. I'm not a prude and I let my kids do a lot of stuff that other parents may find inappropriate, but when it comes to how my daughters dress I lean toward the conservative. I'm not as strict as their father, who would have them both in burqas until they were married, but I see it as part of my job to protect their virtue. The fact is that leggings give others a good view of your behind and that may be a bit much for teenage boys to handle. Yes, teenage boys need to be taught to control their urges but teenage girls should do their part by not putting it all out there, especially when they are too young to know what they are giving away. If you think the school is overstating the distraction, then just talk to my husband. He has been dealing with the same issue at his job, and these are grown women who should know better. They are causing a lot of chatter around the office, either because their tushes are cute enough to be titillating or so wide that they are stretching the fabric of the leggings to the limit.

Perhaps that California mother believes she is teaching her daughter to protect her freedoms. What about teaching your daughter that there are rules wherever you go that need to be followed? When she grows up and gets a job, I'm pretty sure her job will have a dress code. Either she will wear a uniform, or she will run up against rules like "no denim" or "no open-toed shoes" in an office environment. Should we teach our kids to fight that hard over something as simple as covering your butt before you go out in public?

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