I just read Donovan Moser’s letter to the editor today (January 31) in reply to another letter writer who had criticized the Fargo Schools’ decision to cancel out- of- town trips in the extreme cold weather a couple of weeks ago. Moser thanked the school officials for making that decision in light of the life-threatening temperatures and the "dress code" which apparently makes the students wear what my generation called "skimpy clothes". I take it to mean that the boys and the girls on athletic teams or cheerleading squads must wear dressy outfits which could include nice dress-up shoes , suits or nice sweaters and dress pants or perhaps (could it be?) skirts for the girls????
I would venture to guess that there is no "dress code" for extreme cold weather or even winter. What a difference 5 decades makes in school rules and regulations about bus travel in winter weather. I am reluctant (but not reluctant enough) to tell what the "old days were like" in my high school days in the mid-1950′s and those of you who shared those times will remember it like I do. Bus trips for anything in the winter had strong, non-challenge-able rules: 1. You had to have a written permission paper from your parent(s) to even set foot on the school bus. 2. You had to have signed up on a sheet in the school office nearly a week in advance to be on a "spectator bus" (maybe there is no such thing anymore but there were in "those days".) 3. You could not get on the bus unless you were wearing: (a) warm winter boots (you could not be carrying them..they had to be ON your feet (b) a woolen scarf or a woolen stocking cap (c) a warm winter jacket or coat (d) long, warm-enough slacks or pants , and (d) warm mittens or gloves. I cannot remember if there was a "long john" rule but I know a lot of kids wore them as a routine thing in the winter’s cold weather.
The last time I checked out school bus attire in the winter, when I was still teaching in a public school and had, as one of my assignments, "bus duty" in the afternoons when the students boarded the buses for home….many of the students had gotten off the bus in the morning with NO WINTER JACKET OR COAT on….they had left home without a warm coat and still could get on the bus!!! I rarely saw any warm winter boots—except on elementary kids who were sent out for recess at mid-day. There were few caps or hats or scarves in sight, on the high school kids.
It is apparent from the earlier Michelle Richardson letter to the editor that modern parents think their kids should get on buses in all sorts of inclement weather and travel to faraway towns and cities so as not to miss one precious "game"….the below zero weather be "danged"….. I would also think that the "modern" parents would have a major fit if their precious darlings were told that they could not get on a bus….at any time in the winter…unless they had to follow the sort of clothing rules that we Senior Cits. followed unquestionly in the days gone by. Our parents would not have thought of complaining about school decisions regarding cold weather bus travel—our parents trusted the school officials and did not start a petition drive if students had to obey a dress code or, heaven forbid, had " assigned seating" on a school bus.
Gone are those days! Now too many parents want to TELL the school officials what to do and when to do it….school teachers and school administrators are automatically "dumb" or unable to make decisions about students’ welfare….especially if that school decision conflicts with the parents’ views.
I think perhaps Bobby Knight was right about teaching and coaching in orphanages after all!