An ad hoc group intends study of the Winona Area Public School (WAPS) senior high dress code.

According to the Winona Daily News May 24 item, apparently some believe the dress codes applications are racist. Be interesting to know how they know.

Interesting, too, it seems unlikely any WAPS “dress code” is backed up by the school’s administration or WAPS board — and the students know it.

At least, that was the way it was at one point, and one reason one teacher quit. Long past, but daresay little has changed since.

Political organizations are cumbersome things, as WAPS and other local organizations have demonstrated — often.

One past spring day, a teacher received a copy of the senior high school’s “dress code” edict. While walking to first period class the teacher was walking behind a young lady student who had dressed herself in a white sweater, white jeans, socks and shoes.

At second hour class change, the same teacher and student encountered each other, while walking in opposite directions. He to teach; she to learn, while her attire distracted attention. Learn what? That her clothing was so very transparent — little left to imagine.

Encountering another teacher, the above teacher asked about the “new” dress code, and was advised: “The code is bullsh**! Don’t bother! No one will back you up! No one!”

“What about the kids? What do they think?”

“Most ignore, until a fuss.”

The (new) rules ended up in the trash. The school year ended for summer a week later. So much for timing.

A different (parochial) perspective.

I attended a boys-only, Christian Brothers high school in Evanston, Ill., a “few years” back. No uniforms, no jeans. Just ties/collared shirts required. An official dress code existed but was really rarely needed. Generally, students did not use dress to make statements.

For instance, I kept one blue knitted tie in my locker, to be sure to have it. It was old and had been stretched to around six feet long and the tied tags reached to my pants pockets. Wore it a few weeks.

One day Brother Cormack (geometry teacher) came up and, while saying “Hi,” took a long shears and “scissored” my tie at belt level. “Maybe a tad long?” Seemed a reasonable view!


Are the local (or any) dress code rules intended to assist teachers or students?

What drives kids away from public schools to private schools, a general lack of discipline or “administered” racism?

At what point does a child gain rights over other students, the school system or the family?

And so, if the school is (in fact) child-guardian (pseudo-parent), at what point does in-home-control cease and when does it transfer to the school administration or the local school board?

When rules become or are perfunctory, it is easy to evade or skew them.

Racism or discipline? Acting-out selfish or manners?

Putting any cart before the horse, will certainly not get a particular cart anywhere, will it?

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(7) comments


Fighting parents and students and administration makes teacher burnout arrive much quicker than an unruly student. Something will be done, but in the meantime many teachers will quit or be damaged. At some point reward for some is secondary to peace of mind.


Wisconsin Rapids +1. I still remember something about "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree".


As this bedroom community snores...


Les, maybe PS are not the same as others? There are some where the student is treated fairly to begin with and "acting out" bullroar is not tolerated by other students. IOW the bullies are quieted somehow. A Wisconsin Rapids school district is looking at going after parents of bullies, I might say being pushed by a lawsuit to do so, from a fed up parent. Interesting and about time parents were called to task for not doing parenting. Ya think?


Martin, yes. A subtle "iron hand." We kids did not mind, even though on occasion we got smacked. Most of the time we deserved it and if we did not no one "played the role" and acted out...save once, and the students took care of it. Was a grand time, I must say and got me up here, almost wore "a bib" meself.


Hive, Your high school in Evanston sounds just like "old Cotter high" back in the days before the girls arrived. The Brothers were there and ran the place "literally with a iron fist".


Every PS is the same and that needs to change. Student parents must be made to feel the pain of what their kids do, if disruptive. Learning or baby sitter? The school should be non flinching.

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