Friday, February 5, 2016

A Jersey of a Different Color

Often high school students are subjected to rules regarding conduct and dress by the Powers that Be of the school. There may be rules forbidding the chewing of gum, leaving the school grounds at lunchtime for Happy Meals (including freely translating burritos in that category as they also induce culinary happiness), wearing certain clothes as low-cut jeans, legible t-shirts, short shorts, and bizarre accessories. Of course, some schools require uniforms. Those that do don't have to worry about bare midriffs!

It seems to be an occasional fantasy of the naughty private school girl wearing a too-short school uniform, as this music video illustrates.

But lately there has been a some heat regarding the wearing of Confederate flag images on t-shirts. Often banning these is motivated by a desire to avoid possible occasions for provocation. And I can't find much fault with this thinking. On the other hand, is there a First Amendment issue at stake also? Free speech is not limited to speech that others approve of.

But what about pro team athletic jerseys?  I can imagine the desire of boys in Colorado to show their Denver Bronco partisanship by wearing a Broncho jersey; preferably #18 (Payton Manning's). And likewise Carolina guys would patriotically sport a #1 Panther jersey (Cam Newton's). But what about the Colorado nonconformist who sports a Panther jersey or the Carolina provocateur who dares to wear a Bronco jersey? Will the impact of this be a mild tweaking against social conformity; or a true social provocation? The school district in Everett, WA decided it could be the latter: it banned non-Seattle area professional sports teams from being worn on school premises. The reason: they thought it could be used as gang identifiers. After all, big, aggressive guys sport those colors most Sundays in the Fall!

Since these jerseys can be pricy (some $100 apiece or more), this can be a real factor if they are excluded from some wardrobes. 

Let's look at it a bit further: what if some odd duck in those places showed up wearing a Tennessee Titans jersey in either Denver or Charlotte? Or (horrors!) a Dallas Cowboys one! Those are not conforming clothes; but other possibilities that may rise to the occasion. One reason why this might occur is because some teens like to jerk the chains of adult authority figures.

On the other hand, some might just like to wear a football jersey along with some cool accessories:


Hell Hound said...

Wearing a Titans jersey certifies the guy as a loony

Mike said...

Ah schoolgirl uniforms. The ultimate sexy outfit.

Linda Kay said...

I remember when my brother had to leave school to go the barber three times, after returning with his locks still a bit too long.

Cloudia said...

you are a fine social scientist

Bilbo said...

As I remember, my old high school was fairly lenient as far as clothing went (as long as all the right places were covered), but the administration went nuts when one of my senior classmates grew a beard ... he was suspended and not permitted to come back until he was clean-shaven!

Blue Grumpster said...

People need to stop being afraid all the time. What if... What if.... We need to stop walking on egg shells.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Our society as a whole has become weak.
What's the worst thing a person can do now?
Hurt someone's feelings.
People need to grow a spine.
People need to grow up.
People need to stop being SO sensitive.
Like the awesome Packer Backers above, I love the Green Bay Packers.
But if someone doesn't like them, or wears a different jersey. Oh well, that's who they support, I'm not going to be offended. Variety is the spice of life and society is moving towards everyone having to conform to only one way of thinking and dressing.
Sad, very sad.