Monday, December 17, 2007

This School Got a Dressing Down

Earlier this year, I noted in a news story at the bottom of this post that a girl in California had been suspended from school for wearing Winnie-the-Pooh socks, which ran afoul of the "solid colors only" portion of the school's dress code.

Well, it appears that the student may have the last laugh:
Officials in a Northern California school district might not think Tiggers are such wonderful things after agreeing to pay $95,000 in lawyers' fees to five families who sued the school over its dress code.
The parents went to court after a student was disciplined for wearing socks with the "Winnie the Pooh" cartoon character Tigger on the first day of school last year.
And the district is no longer allowed to require students to wear only solid colors, according to terms of the settlement.

Some may say that this is a big waste of taxpayers' dollars, and that's certainly true. But if school officials had been a little smarter, they could have avoided this altogether. Let me say it again: Nobody here is denying that schools have a right to impose rules like this, but common sense (which is sadly lacking in bureaucracies of all kinds) dictates that the school ought to pick its battles a little more wisely. As I've said on many occasions, I'll bet that there are plenty of marginal students who might not mind school if they didn't continue to be subjected to things like suspension for having one's shirt untucked. And, as I've also theorized, most dress codes are less about safety and more about power for those in charge. It's good to see someone have to pay when they go too far, and, in a perfect world, the fines would be deducted from the salaries of the administrators who made the decision to suspend the student with the Tigger socks (but I'm not holding my breath).

And need I say that I have a really good way for administrators to keep from losing touch with the real world?

The robber got mugged, in a way: Did you hear about the Dunkin' Donuts employee who clobbered a robber with a coffee mug so that he "wouldn't look bad on YouTube" when the surveillance video eventually made it there? Well, the footage is up, so you can be the judge.

And speaking of getting clobbered: A guy in Germany didn't want to give up his vodka to the new airport carry-on rules, so he decided to drink a liter of it right then and there before going through security. (He actually suffered life-threatening alcohol poisoning in the process--and missed his flight as well.)

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