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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Fashion statements

Hoosier fashion on parade! In Anderson, they're talking about relaxing somewhat the dress code instituted in the school system almost five years ago:

They definitely need to relax the dress code,” parent Sandi Maxwell said. “I’m not against the dress code (itself). It’s the way they approach it.”

Maxwell, whose daughter attends Highland Junior High, said teachers nitpick at small things.

She said the punishments shouldn’t be so harsh when it comes to the code, adding that after the third violation, a student is suspended.

And in Merrillville, they're getting pretty darn tired looking at butt cracks:

Some people are flashing a little too much underwear as far as town leaders are concerned, so they'd like to take a crack at regulating how low pants are allowed to be worn from the hip.

If the suggestion advances, Merrillville would be the first municipality in the state to adopt such regulations, Town Administrator Howard Fink said.

Illinois and Florida have approved similar restrictions, Fink added.

Merrillville leaders said low-riding pants are inappropriate, so they are proposing an ordinance that would not allow people to wear their pants more than 3 inches below the hip in public places.

I'd say they're on much firmer ground in Anderson than in Merrillville.

Removing obstacles to the education mission is a valid goal, and making fashion statements is a huge distriction for kids in school. The fact that the schools are willing to consider feedback and relax the code seems to show they're not so fanatic about it that the code itself becomes a distriction.

Some have suggested that bans such as the one suggested in Merrillville are unconstitutional because clothing choice is a form of expression. That seems like a stretch, but there should be a better reason for dictating something so personal than "it looks awful," which is what one council member said. That's a pretty weak fashion statement.