Tuesday, March 16, 2010
In a suburb of Washington D.C., a Germantown teacher was forced to apologize to a student after telling her she was dressed like a prostitute.
The Seneca Valley High School teacher made the remark Thursday and had a security guard escort the student to the main office, said Naomi Lynn, the girl’s mother. The incident was first reported by WJLA (Channel 7). Lynn said she wasn’t satisfied with the response; after a one-day absence, the teacher returned to class Tuesday, Lynn said.
“If my daughter had called her a prostitute, [the school] would have suspended her,” she said. The teacher “needs to be punished for what she did.”
Dana Tofig, a school system spokesman, said that he couldn’t comment on personnel matters, but that the teacher’s comment was “inappropriate.”
I personally want to thank this teacher for having the guts to say what so many teachers and school administrators are afraid to say.
Whatever happened to enforcing standards in our schools? I remember our principal would get on us if our jeans were a little too tight. At some point, it seems the school community just gave up:
You want to wear a thong hanging out of your jeans, you want to have your boobies falling out, your ass cheeks popping out of your low-riders, no problem.
Notably, the only person the parent in the above story is mad at is the teacher. She’s mad at the teacher for speaking the truth about her daughter. As a result, the teacher was suspended for a day, however, the mother seems to think this punishment was too light. Something tells me she needs to worry more about her daughter than this teacher’s career.
Children learn what is and isn’t appropriate from adults. How will this young lady ever learn how to function as a lady if her parents and school administrators, the people who spend the most time with her and are most influential in shaping her life, just let her run wild?
We forget that high school students are a mix of adult-bodies and children-brains. Many young women want to look like their favorite video hos but don’t understand the ramifications of the way they dress.
They don’t understand how they will be perceived, they don’t understand that they will invite more trouble than they can handle. And because they don’t understand, it is up to us to tell them and make them understand.
Whatever happened to “you are not going out the house like that”? I think it is the responsibility of the community and the schools need to step in.
And although teens will be defiant, won’t listen and pack a bag with a change of clothes, at least we will have shown them that there is a standard and they can choose to meet it or not.
Although we all acted out as teens, most of us at least had a moral compass that was enforced by our parents, so we knew we were wrong and would just pray we didn’t get caught.
But what happens when children don’t have a moral compass to start from? When there is no clear distinction between right and wrong? When your bad choices go unchallenged? When adults will accept anything in the name of keeping them happy and avoiding conflict at all costs? What happens?
To stand around and passively endorse their inappropriate dress with our inaction is unforgivable. Look at all those awful prom pictures (like the one pictured above) that circulate each year with a bunch of scantily clad young women. The schools may as well go all the way and set up a pole in the middle of the gymnasium.
I always wonder, Where are the parents? And if the parents are dumb enough to let their kids come out like that, where are the school administrators? They should have turned around those girls at the door and told them that they were inappropriately dressed for a school function.
I know we’re only talking about clothes, but it’s larger than that. We cannot underestimate the importance of teaching young women how to present themselves to the world. This is a lesson that can make the difference between a girl growing up believing she’s only good for one thing and a girl that knows she has so much more to offer than her body.
Whether we use shame, positive enforcement, punishment or some Dr.Phil hybrid of the three, we MUST demonstrate to our children that standards do exist. There is acceptable and unacceptable. And it is adults, not children, who will decide which is which. This girl was in the 10th grade, and I personally think she’s old enough to be told she’s dressed like a prostitute. The real problem is that her mother didn’t tell her first.