|To the citizens of Springfield, and the surrounding communities:|
I realize that my complaints are coming late. I now fight a battle that, for all intents and purposes, ended last year with the signing of a death-warrant for individuality. I refer to, of course, the beloved uniform policy that has descended on Springfield schools like a plague.
Like many, I was blissfully unaware of how far this atrocity would go. On the first day of school, as I donned my uninspiring black-and-khaki attire, I failed to notice the sense of impending doom that hung in the air, like a stench.
It is clear, however, that this novelty has gone too far.
On every basic level, this policy has stripped us of our rights. It is just another attempt to homogenize the youth of the city, another nail in the coffin of free thought, creativity and liberty.
Our old dress code was perfectly adequate in its design to eliminate distractions and prevent gang representation. No derogatory images. No excessive displays of flesh. Pants seated properly at the waist. This new policy does not reflect a weakness in the old ways, but instead an unfortunate incompetence in the school administration. (Which, I might add, is still an issue. Walking down the hallways of my school, I am still met by exposed undergarments and low-cut shirts, on a level that is beyond reasonable coincidence.)
The strategies of the administration are laughable. Not a single day seems to go by without our classes being interrupted by the principals, rattling off new regulations and alterations to our uniforms. Last month, they stripped us of our colored undershirts, which we wore beneath our school-regulated polos and dress shirts. This month, in a school that can barely afford heating, they have forbidden us to wear sweatshirts.
And what has this accomplished? Absolutely nothing. Just last week, a student brought a gun into Springfield Central High. It makes me weep to think that our school system follows the infantile mentally that believes that, so long as it can not be seen, a problem does not exist. To this I say: Peek-a-boo!
I am an honor student. I am at the top of my class, a member of the National Honor Society and a model citizen with a spotless record. Come this November, I will be old enough to vote, and intend on doing so. I will be old enough to fight and die for my country. And yet, the all-knowing Springfield School Committee believes that I, and hundreds of others, are completely incapable of choosing an appropriate pair of pants.
With a deft stroke of pen on paper, the School Committee has not only insulted the very worth of the students they serve, but have, in essence, put a price on public education.
I ask now, where is the justice? Where is the logic, the reason? It is simply nonexistent; intellectually bankrupt as those that conceived the very idea of a mandatory uniform policy. This abominable legislature is the act of cowardice, foolishness and laziness.
Of all the magnificent flaws in the city, fixing a dress code that was sufficient to begin with should be the least of everyone's concern. In their ignorance, the system has just created another stain on an already sordid reputation.
Benjamin McLaughlin, of Springfield Central High School
and a future Stepford Child
|5/20-8/30||Summer Internships at Playhouse on Park|
|8/2-8/29||Eloise Genest and Susanne Paquette Art Exhibit|
|8/21||At Home in the Woods Summer Camps|
|8/21||"Welcome Baby" Program in Southwick for New Parents|
|8/21||Free Program for Veterans|
|8/21||FUNdraiser for Amherst Human Rights Commission|
|8/21||Starting Your Business SCORE workshop|
|8/21 (2 days)||Cash Is King - Johnny Cash/June Carter Re-Creation Show Aug 21&22|
|8/22||At Home in the Woods Summer Camps|
|8/22||"Welcome Baby" Program in Longmeadow for New Parents|
|8/22||Friday Night Fitness Classes|
|8/22||Line Dance and Partner Dance Lessons|
|8/22||Cash Is King - Johnny Cash/June Carter Re-Creation Show Aug 21&22|