Last week, the Broward County School Board, led by Dr. Rosalind Osgood, announced that it wants to enforce a dress code for parents.
"We have dads showing up in sagging pants," she said, according to the Sun Sentinel. "It's hard for me to tell a child not to show up for school with hair curlers, pajamas, or short shorts if they see parents wearing them. Parents need to lead by example."
Osgood wants to hold a forum about the issue in September and address the apparent issue with parents then.
A dress code. For parents.
Here now are eight reasons why this is an idiotic idea and why we parents refuse to comply.
8. We Have a Billion Other Things We Already Have to Worry About With Our Kids FCATs, SATs, lunch money, where they're going to be directly after school, that American History project about some obscure figure no one really gives a shit about that has to be done exactly how our kids' teacher decreed on their checklist handout or else face a failing grade even if the entire project is accurate and well-done (This is very thorough and well-researched. OH BUT YOU PASTED FIVE PICTURES OF MARY ANDERSON, THE INVENTOR OF THE WINDSHIELD WIPER BLADE, INSTEAD OF FOUR LIKE THE LIST SAYS... F-MINUS!)
There's bullying, peer pressure, the perpetual awkwardness of adolescence, and the constant anxiety of having to learn shit that will appear on some test but never actually help our kids become more intelligent students because, FLORIDA! Our plate is full, Dr. Osgood. We got a lot of crap to deal with every day. Me wearing a buttoned-down shirt and khaki pants isn't going to make my kid not have an anxiety attack over that test he needs to pass or else get left behind and be the tallest third-grader in the history of your district!
7. We'll Start Dressing Like You Want as Soon as You Start Dialing Back All the Damned Homework Seriously, what the shit is up with the mountains and mountains and mountains of homework our kids bring home every day?
It's like they're being asked to write a paper on how to split the atom, solve Beal's conjecture, read a massive 17th-century Russian novel where EVERYONE DIES OF DYSENTERY, and write a sequel to The Iliad. But it's not even those things. It's more about them nailing down whatever is going to be on the FCAT or whatever other BS standardized test you have coming down the pike that forces teachers to teach lest they lose their jobs. All this homework and they're not learning a damned thing. All our kids are learning with the Infinite Jest-like amount of work they bring home every single day is how being a student sucks massive balls.
They're also learning that weekends are for doing a huge pile of homework and not at all for going out to a movie and maybe some ice cream. Know the last movie my kid saw at the theater? Cars 2! He was 2. Ever since, he's been cooped up in his room every weekend doing homework with piles the size of the Chrysler Building. We haven't even seen our kid since he started the third grade several years ago. He's buried under a pile of homework. One day some guy with a mustache and a huge Adam's apple is going to emerge from his bedroom and we're not going to realize it's our son and we're gonna call the cops to report an intruder. And then he has adulthood to look forward to! Weeeeeeee!
Oh, but I didn't wear pants to drop him off Wednesday. Pffft.
6. Dress Codes Were Never Our Idea to Begin With So why should we have to worry about how we parents dress? The whole uniform for students thing was your bright idea, educators. In my day, I went to school in jeans and a Pearl Jam T-shirt. You want the kids to all dress the same every day like a bunch of drones working a hive? That's your call. All it does for us is save us laundry time. Otherwise, we honestly don't care.
5. We're Too Damned Busy Know what our mornings consist of? Laboring to wake these walking raging hormones up out of bed every day, fixing them breakfast, fixing their lunch, making sure they eat their breakfast, making sure they brush, making sure they're dressed properly, and making sure they have the 183,000 billion tons of homework they worked on the night before in their book bags so they can turn it in. All of this in a matter of a short period of time, because then we have to make sure they get to school on time.
Know what we don't have time for? WORRYING ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT I SHOULD PUT ON A SHIRT WITH A COLLAR.
After going through all of that every day, I just grab the first pair of shorts or sweat pants flopping over the nearest chair and then toss on some flip-flops. I have no time for anything else.
4. 78 Percent of Our Morning Involves Trying to FInd a Way to Avoid the Drop-Off Line As mentioned above, our mornings are STACKED with shit. More important than deciding whether to wear something other than yoga pants or not is getting to school on time to try to finagle a prime spot in the dreaded drop-off line.
We have to not only drop off our kids at 15 miles per hour but then we have to swing back home to get ready for work. This is a combined race against the dual foes of the clock and the drop-off line THAT NO ONE EVER WINS.
The drop-off line is the Kobayashi Maru.
The drop-off line is Satan's traffic jam.
And during school hours in the mornings and afternoons, all lanes that lead to the drop-off area is like an M.C. Escher drawing where lanes turn and twist unto themselves in an infinite perdurable circle, where if you happen to take the wrong lane, you'll be swallowed up into an alternate universe where Hitler won. Take the wrong lane on the wrong alternating day and the fabric of space-time collapses on itself.
Who the hell has time to think about dressing like fucking Pat Riley when that's our daily challenge?
3. If You're Gonna Yell at Parents About Something, Yell at Them to Get a Move On From That Drop-Off Line Seriously. Chop-chop on the drop-off line. THIS needs to be a school district's priority. I mean, if you insist on bombarding our kids with 12 tons of homework every day, at least make this something you get your panties in a twist over, instead of how we dress.
Yell at the parents who take an hour and a half at the drop-off site.
You can have a dad wearing a three-piece suit, looking like Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird every morning. But if he takes more than 30 seconds to say goodbye to little Johnny, then how does that help our kids? All it does is teach them how to be inconsiderate assholes who don't pay any mind to other people stacked up for miles behind them who also have to drop off their kids and get to work.
Give me a woman in nothing but hair curlers and a bra who takes three seconds to drop off her kid over Atticus Fitch and his tweed jacket and Kenneth Coles who goes over even a minute of saying goodbye to his kids ANY DAY.
2. We're Adults and Can Dress However the Crap We Feel Like Yeah, we went to school years ago. We don't need to be dictated to. And most of us have a dress code for our day jobs. Let us dress like the Dali Lama if we want to. It's all so many of us have.
1. Embarrassing Our Kids Is Kind of Our Job as Parents Dropping off my kid looking disheveled, unkempt, and wearing gym shorts, flip-flops, and a T-shirt with holes in it is the only way to maintain order in the universe. This is America. The Forefathers fought and died for my right to embarrass my children when I pick them up from school looking like Joaquin Phoenix on a coke binge.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!