It remains an ever-lasting mystery how public school officials define their mission in life. Most educators and parents relish the idea that high school kids are interested (let alone active) in political issues. Yet, not at Waxahachie High School in Texas. Pete Palmer, a sophomore, wore a t-shirt supporting John Edwards to school and was sent home by aghast educators. According to school rules, you can wear t-shirts supporting sports teams or something called “spirit t-shirts” but not anything political. Why? According to Thomas J. Collins, Waxahachie Independent School District superintendent, the rule is meant to “maintain a safe and orderly environment. The dress code gives us the tools to make a decision on what is right and what isn’t.” How about this for an idea: don’t decide what is right and what isn’t for political t-shirts. Ideas are not a threat to “safe and orderly” schools. Indeed, it is more likely that the sports team t-shirts will generate more words and shoving than John Edwards. Instead of training citizens, Waxahachie appears intent on replicating apathetic youth with little interest in political or civil matters. It is little surprise that we have so low turn outs for voting when even a campaign t-shirts must be quickly switched for a Broncos t-shirt.
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