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March 13, 2010



That is a difficult situation... I'm doing a teaching course myself, and while I hope I wouldn't end up in a situation like that, I'm convinced it will happen at one point. (The trend that leggings are seen as some kind of trousers seems so silly, really...).

Ridiculing a pupil in front of her classmates is definitely something you shouldn't ever try to do, though. No matter what happened, it's just not right. If the school has dress codes, it might be easier to say something about it. If the school doesn't though, the only thing you can do about it, is mention it in private. Personally I would talk to the pupil after the lesson...

Robin Goodfellow

I would suggest to talk to the young lady after class, and tell her that it would be appreciated if she chose more self-respectful attire for class. As well, adding that if she chose to come to class dressed in that manner again, she will be asked to leave.

I wish parents would realize that teachers make dress codes because they care about the students. It's as though young people forfeit their self-esteem, and resent the notion of self-respect.

The idea that we're always entitled to everything has screwed many of us up. I can just hear the angry self-righteous vindications of the parents now... "She's just wearing what she likes!..." etc. Why is it that we HAVE to have our cake, and eat it too?


I think there is a time and place for comments like that. Girls tend to become so defensive around that topic. Even if the teacher pulled the girl aside at the end of class to express her feelings about the way the girl was dressed, it doesn't mean that the girl would have been more open to what the teacher was saying. Unless the teacher had a very close relationship with the student, expressing her feelings about the way the student was dressed (even if it was in private) would have probably angered the girl, ultimately pushing the girl farther away from ever coming to appreciate modest clothing. I've been involved with teaching high school students about modesty for a few years now and a very important lesson that I've learned along the way is that preaching NEVER works...ever. Sometimes the best way to get across an important message is to simply set the example for other people to follow. If you are leading a modest lifestyle and have grown into such an incredible person in the process, people are eventually going to see that.

Donna Randolph

This is a tough call. I am trying to teach 5th & 6th grade girls in a Sunday School class about modesty. Recently I said to one of them in class that what she had on was not modest. I felt horrible later & realized I should've pulled her aside after class. I also realized that this young lady may not have a choice in the clothes she is given to wear. A couple of weeks later she came up to me commenting that she was trying as she had put a t-shirt on under her sun dress with the spaghetti straps as I had advised as an alternative way of dressing to them. Setting an example is the # 1 way we can preach what we teach as we continue to reach out & love these young girls growing up in a world that teaches the opposite of modesty. I wish we could go back to school uniforms all the way.

A Man

There's no room in this situation for subjectivity. There's either a dress code to enforce objectively or there isn't, it's that simple.

Melissa May

I agree that a dress code would be most helpful in this situation. I don't know whether there is one in place at the school in question. Even so it would still be up to the teacher to monitor the student's attire and respond to outfits that don't meet school standards.

Ultimately, my hope is that situations like this one can lead us to think about how we share our own modest values with the people around us. Is it only by example, and if we do speak up, how do we do it in a way that is both effective and sensitive to those with whom we are speaking.

Anyone can speak the truth. Speaking the truth with compassion and sincerity is another thing entirely. Without the latter, the former is likely to simply fall on deaf ears.


I think our unidentified male commentator has a point about a dress code. Lacking one, perhaps there could be a class skirt or pants which are lent out on a temporary basis, for students who neglect to clothe their lower half that day; it could then be simply given out with a sincere smile and a simple non-judgmental explanation, such as: "perhaps you would be more comfortable if you put this on over your ensemble."

I'm joking, but only half joking. . . .

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