Introduction of a new type of dress code violation

October 15 – There was a bit of drama at the Preston County Board of Education meeting earlier this week (which, sadly, is becoming the norm nationwide).

The Preston BOE overheard Rodney Zinn – a frequent attendee of board meetings lately, often protesting against the wearing of masks in schools – whose son had been taken out of class at Preston High for refusing to wear a mask. Zinn turned down requests to get her son back, so the teenager sat in the school office all day.

At the BOE meeting, Zinn proclaimed, “Is this the school we’re going to run now? Is that what we do now? We are going to expel the children, not give them an education … [when ] are they not in accordance with your rules and your laws? “

Congratulations to Mr. Zinn. He and his son now know what it is like to be a young woman who has been given a dress code in school.

The parallel to the dress code violations that have long kept young women out of the classroom is easy to draw. However, there is a very, very important difference between these two situations.

A young woman wearing spaghetti straps or shorts that are arbitrarily too short or “too” exposed to the skin does not pose a threat to anyone’s health or safety. (And we will absolutely not tolerate any argument that holds young women responsible for “distracting” boys in school.)

On the other hand, refusing to wear a mask – a simple face covering that slows down and reduces the spread of airborne contagions – in a public space during a pandemic that has killed more than 714,000 Americans and 4.8 million people in the world is a threat to the health and safety of all.

There is another key difference between these scenarios: Dress codes are enforced largely to the detriment of young women, singling them out and interfering with their education due to subjective modesty policies. Young women and girls of all grades can be taken out of the classroom and made to wait at the desk until a change of clothes can be dropped off, forced to wear a stranger’s clothes from the box of lost and found or even taken out of school for the day due to non-compliance.

Talk to any woman who has attended school in the past 20 years, and she will more than likely have a story about her school day interrupted due to an alleged dress code violation. His male counterparts are unlikely to have similar stories.

However, the application of mask warrants at school is much more uniform. It helps that the criteria are more objective: either you are wearing the mask or you are not.

And since Zinn’s son refused to wear a mask, as school policy requires, it is only fair that he be removed from the classroom for the safety of his peers. If Mr. Zinn – and some like-minded parents – are so adamant that their child does not have to wear a face covering during school, then they still have the option of being homeschooled to school. at the end of the pandemic.

Of course, with the continued refusal to wear masks and vaccinate, it may be some time before we see the end of COVID-19.


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