Did the school over react?

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KathyH24's picture
Joined: 10/05/02
Posts: 28
Did the school over react?

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Boy-wears-dress-to-school-gets-suspended-1429489.php

It began as a challenge, when Sam Saurs told his mom he was tired of hearing her complain that her feet hurt in high heels. She bet him he couldn't last a day in heels.

So 15-year-old Saurs, of Port Orchard, not only wore a pair of spiky pumps to school, but a flowy, low-cut dress and make-up. He said he felt "pretty" that day, but the dean at Sedgwick Junior High School told him he was a distraction and to go home, Q13 Fox News reported.

That prompted Saurs to tell the dean he was being sexist, the station said. That led to the boy's suspension for the rest of the school year, KING 5 reported. It was later reduced to three days.

The ninth grader ended up missing the school's dance and annual trip to Wild Waves.

"If anything, it makes me want to be more out there and more spontaneous and crazy," Saurs told KING 5.

The station reported the boy had been suspended before for wearing makeup and hats to school. His mother said the school does have a ban on hats, but no rule against boys in dresses.

"I found that very offensive," Ivanna Leible told KING 5. "They told him he couldn't be him."

The South Kitsap School District offered little comment, except to say the issue had "been resolved."

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

I don't know....is there a reason they couldn't do the high heel experiment on a weekend? I think it IS a distraction for him to wear a dress and heels and make-up to school. The suspension seems extreme but sending a student home for inappropriate dress does not seem unfair to me.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

Sorry, I don't see the sexism. The description of the outfit sounds like it could be distracting regardless of who was wearing it. Flowy, low-cut dress with spiky pumps? It would have against my high schools' dress codes.

Three days for defiance and arguing when this isn't his first offense doesn't sound too far to me.

I don't understand if this is who he is why his mother would think he couldn't last a day in heels.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

We had a boy in highschool do similar but less revealing types of things "to get people to think" he said. One day he wore a plain gray skirt and black tights. Some of the jocks almost lost it. But we all respected each other back then (in the early 90s) so were respectful of the thought. And there was not much talk about transvestites or even homosexuality back then.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I think the biggest annoyance with me is that this kid isn't gay or transexual... he was just doing it to prove a point to his mom. I bet he knew how the school would react. They should have just sent him home to change, and if he refused, then give him detention. I agree that it would be a distraction. Schools have the right to set certain dress guidelines.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

We weren't allowed to wear high heels and if the picture shown here is the dress he wore, we would have been suspended too. I can't imagine being the parent here and making the decision that I knew would get him in trouble. It's one of the reasons I like uniforms for public schools. If he'd been wearing the same thing as the girls and not his mother's clothes, I wonder if he would have gotten suspended.

http://www.king5.com/news/local/high-heels-challenge-with-mom-suspended-124090989.html

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

I don't know any high school girl that even wears an outfit like that, so I can see why it would be a huge distraction to other students and they had a right to send him home for the day. The suspension seems extreme, however. I don't see the claim of sexism at all.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"RebeccaA'07" wrote:

I don't know any high school girl that even wears an outfit like that, so I can see why it would be a huge distraction to other students and they had a right to send him home for the day. The suspension seems extreme, however. I don't see the claim of sexism at all.

Dress Code
John Sedgwick Junior High School does not have a strict code of dress. However, students are asked to wear clothes that are neat, clean and suitable for school. Clothing which interferes with or distracts from the educational process or depicts something illegal is not acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
 Extremely tight or excessively offensive form-fitted clothing.
 Excessively short or revealing clothing to include bare midriffs or low-cut tops, spaghetti straps, strapless tops, short shorts, or short skirts.
 Pajama bottoms.
 Sagging, or extremely baggy clothing, which may allow the underwear to be exposed.
 Clothing, backpacks, jewelry, or insignia with drug/alcohol/tobacco/sexual/vulgar/weapons pictures or messages or any other thing that could be deemed illegal.
 Any garment/footwear (including slippers and rubber flip-flops) which could be considered unsafe.
 Students may not wear hats, hoods, scarves, bandanas in the building.
 Chains (wallet type) of any kind or size.
 Spike dog collar type neck wear and bracelets.
Parents may be contacted by letter or phone call. Also, students may be sent home and allowed to return when the dress is acceptable. Refusal to comply may result in suspension.

Recommended Sanctions for Rule Violations
Steps, Parental Contact, Short Term Suspension: 1 to 3 days, max up to 10 days. Repeated offenses: 3 to 10 days, Long Term Suspension: 11+ days, could be remainder of semester. Expulsion: Indefinite period of time, determined by Hearing Officer.

Incident ACTION TO BE TAKEN
First offense Repeated
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum

Dress Code Violation STEPS
Change Attire STEPS and Parent Contact Short Term Suspension Long Term Suspension

Sorry, the original is a spreadsheet and I don't know how to line it up right. Anyway, according to their handbook, repeated dress code violations can result in anywhere from 1 - 10 days. I'm not sure when this happened, but their last day of school was on the 22nd. So being "suspended for the remainder of the school year" may not have been all that long.

Also, based on the handbook, he would have lost the privilege of attending the field trip the first time he was suspended for dress code.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

 Excessively short or revealing clothing to include bare midriffs or low-cut tops, spaghetti straps, strapless tops, short shorts, or short skirts.

Any garment/footwear (including slippers and rubber flip-flops) which could be considered unsafe.

He broke the rules, in our school the boy that wore a skirt, was NOT revealing and wore flats, so didn't break the rules, was just pushing the mind envelope. There are ways this boy could do similar and stay within the rules.

Is there regulations to haircuts or makeup?

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

If a girl wearing the same outfit would have been given the same punishiment, I agree it is a dress code violation.

If not, the school needs to seriously lighten up. It was one day, I'm sure even a few teachers got a giggle out of it. We need to stop taking everything to seriously and have fun with life every now and then (even if it does distract students for one day) Wink

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

saw the picture. it's not a revealing dress. Ugly, yes, but not street walker material as it seems it was described. The heels are high though.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

Did the school overreact? No, this outfit was clearly outside of the dress code.
Was the punishment appropriate? No, because this should have been his first offense. If girls are allowed to wear dresses & makeup to school, boys should be allowed to wear dresses & makeup, anything less is discriminatory IMHO. So he shouldn't have been suspended for the makeup offenses, which would make this his first offense. But again, it's only an offense because of the style of the dress & shoes, being low cut & high-heeled, not that they were women's clothing.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"elleon17" wrote:

saw the picture. it's not a revealing dress. Ugly, yes, but not street walker material as it seems it was described. The heels are high though.

Put that neckline on a teenaged girl with breasts, and it would be very revealing.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"Spacers" wrote:

Did the school overreact? No, this outfit was clearly outside of the dress code.
Was the punishment appropriate? No, because this should have been his first offense. If girls are allowed to wear dresses & makeup to school, boys should be allowed to wear dresses & makeup, anything less is discriminatory IMHO. So he shouldn't have been suspended for the makeup offenses, which would make this his first offense. But again, it's only an offense because of the style of the dress & shoes, being low cut & high-heeled, not that they were women's clothing.

It wasn't his first offense.

The station reported the boy had been suspended before for wearing makeup and hats to school. His mother said the school does have a ban on hats, but no rule against boys in dresses.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

This is a no brainer. I could not possibly disagree more with the notion that the school needs to "lighten up!" or that losing a day of distraction because of some attention hungry kids desires is a great idea.

Stand by what the school did 100%.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

"Spacers" wrote:

Put that neckline on a teenaged girl with breasts, and it would be very revealing.

but not on one less cleavage. I really didn't think the dress was all that horribly revealing and I'm a pretty preppy, classic dresser with not a lot of cleavage going on in my outfits in general. But I will say as a busty woman, basically anything that is not a turtleneck look revealing on me. (and even turtle necks can because they are pretty form fitted). lol!

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

"Potter75" wrote:

This is a no brainer. I could not possibly disagree more with the notion that the school needs to "lighten up!" or that losing a day of distraction because of some attention hungry kids desires is a great idea.

Stand by what the school did 100%.

I just think that we take everything so seriously nowadays and everything is a severe, permanent punishment for sometimes just doing silly kid/teenage stuff. This didn't put anyone in danger (except baby the boy if he tripped in those heels)
If you don't want him to have attention, ignore it. This just fuels the fire of wanting to be more outrageous and get more attention.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

So schools should have no rules or dress codes, because there should be no consequence when the rules or dress code is broken? Because, you know, ignoring it is the cooler way to act? I don't think that handing out suspensions encourages more students to act out. I think that ignoring it would. Rules are in place for a reason. IF you don't accept them go to a school with rules that suit your personal whims.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

"Potter75" wrote:

So schools should have no rules or dress codes, because there should be no consequence when the rules or dress code is broken? Because, you know, ignoring it is the cooler way to act? I don't think that handing out suspensions encourages more students to act out. I think that ignoring it would. Rules are in place for a reason. IF you don't accept them go to a school with rules that suit your personal whims.

No, but aren't the rules set in place for the safety of the children (flip-flops, etc)?

I'm all for rules. I'm just not for everything that I laugh about because we did them as teenagers could cause my kid to go to jail these days because everything seems over-sensitized.

Example; when I was in 8th grade, we swapped locker rooms with the boys from the outside exit and came up on the wrong side. He were sent to the principal's office, chastised, made to go church every day that week (I went to catholic school). today I think we would have been suspended, had it on our permanent record and possibly charged with some sort of sexual indecency. Who knows.

I just guess my point is that there should be consequences, but not everything should be taken so seriously.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"Potter75" wrote:

So schools should have no rules or dress codes, because there should be no consequence when the rules or dress code is broken? Because, you know, ignoring it is the cooler way to act? I don't think that handing out suspensions encourages more students to act out. I think that ignoring it would. Rules are in place for a reason. IF you don't accept them go to a school with rules that suit your personal whims.

What I'm saying is that the rules & dress code should apply equally. If a girl would get in trouble for wearing that dress & those shoes, he should, too. But if that dress & those shoes would be OK for a girl to wear, they should be OK for him to wear. Same with makeup, if it's good enough for girls, it should be good enough for boys. The hat thing, which I apparently missed the other day, how do you get suspended for a hat? Wouldn't you just take it off? It sounds to me like a school that is either too uptight about things to the point of over-disciplining, which pretty much waters down the message IMHO, or that has a problem with this one particular kid who is testing boundaries, which IMHO is the problem here.

And I think a lot of kids, when they are punished for stupid things, or things they perceive as being stupid or unfair, do tend to act out more. It's like, you think that was worth punishing me for, well just look at this! An extreme example is when my sister & I were punished when my mom found cigarettes in our yard, she didn't believe us when we said they belonged to a friend, and my sister started smoking for real. She left cigarettes lying around the house, pinned up snapshots of herself smoking on the bulletin board, she even smoked in the house so it was stinky when mom got home, all because she felt the original punishment was unfair. Which it was.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Yes, I was talking to the poster who I quoted Smile I know you and I have very different ideas about dress code in general/gender/etc.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"elleon17" wrote:

No, but aren't the rules set in place for the safety of the children (flip-flops, etc)?

I'm all for rules. I'm just not for everything that I laugh about because we did them as teenagers could cause my kid to go to jail these days because everything seems over-sensitized.

Example; when I was in 8th grade, we swapped locker rooms with the boys from the outside exit and came up on the wrong side. He were sent to the principal's office, chastised, made to go church every day that week (I went to catholic school). today I think we would have been suspended, had it on our permanent record and possibly charged with some sort of sexual indecency. Who knows.

I just guess my point is that there should be consequences, but not everything should be taken so seriously.

No, some rules aren't about safety. Some are about maintaining an environment conducive to learning. The Tinker ruling stated that schools can prohibit attire that will create a distraction.

That said, the heels most definitely would pose a safety hazard.