While other school officials are struggling against the scourges of drugs and violence, officials at the Richmond Community Schools in Indiana have started a campaign against the ravages of stripes and plaids. Officials have prohibited clothing other than solid colors and have parents seeing solid red.
The protests in Richmond over the policy are occurring as religious extremists in Florida are protesting the ban on t-shirts with anti-Muslim messages. Wherever the proper line is found, it probably lies somewhere between banning plaid clothing and barring t-shirts declaring “Islam is of the Devil.”
At a recent meeting, some parents broke down in tears as they described their children’s struggle with the zero tolerance policy on clothes with any distinguishing marks, including stripes, logos, plaid or floral prints, delayed regular board business for more than three hours.
Others simply lived in open denial. Parent Steven Morris insisted “[h]er plaids and her stripes, they don’t affect her grades.” How naive. Did Morris ever wonder why prisoners all wear stripes? The connection between plaids and crime is well established. Consider this scene from Pulp Fiction where all of the criminals are wearing florals or logos:
Mr. Morris, all of their parents thought that they could “handle plaids.”
Other parents are opening pushing images that are known to be gateways to gang colors. Gene Nolte even complained: “The kindergarteners and first graders just coming into the school system, they don’t understand, I can’t wear Winnie the Pooh. As they grow up, with all this strict, strict, strict (enforcement) they are going to rebel.”
Officials insist that the ban on plaids, stripes, words etc are key to its “culture of success” program.
Superintendent Allen Bourff said the dress code is “a work in progress” but defended suspensions issued against students who continue to wear expressive clothing or illicit plaids. He has a considerable challenge. There are even those who would corrupt the youth with websites committed to “success with stripes and plaids.” Bourff’s culture of success is already paying dividends in shaping future (solidly dressed) citizens as shown in this video from the Richmond school graduation:
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