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Friday, April 2, 2010

Prom Dress Massacre: A Lesson in Holiness or Conservative Catastrophe?

Today I want to talk about this video. I have mixed feelings about this situation and so I'll outline both the positive and negative aspects, and maybe even come to a conclusion.

First, the Positive:

Modesty: I firmly applaud this Alabama community for deciding to uphold a minimum standard of modesty. Obviously this girl (who doesn't strike me as being the brightest bulb on the block) needs a lesson in modesty, and perhaps this was the situation to do it. When various parts of your body are threatening to "bust out of their cell" so to speak, and you don't think you have "cleavage" there's something not quite right... Although, with a mother like that, who could blame the girl for being ignorant?

Sufficient Warning: The school sent out three warnings to students and parents concerning proper dress code... you would hope that after three warnings that even the dullest, most ignorant, or even the most absent minded of parents and students would be able to comply. Even so, 5% of the students showed up in violation. Silly kids...

Now the negative:

The Punishment: I'm not convinced that the punishment fit the crime. First of all, three days suspension for violating the dress code at the senior prom... seems a bit severe. Why not just send them home and not let them come to the prom? That seems like a sufficient enough punishment in that it takes away something they are really excited about which pertains directly to the offense, rather than suspending them from school (which they probably dislike anyway). Even worse is the paddling. I actually agree with the girl on this one... they are too old to be paddled and, when not done by a parent, in a loving and consistent fashion, spanking can, but will not always be successful. I typically don't agree with spanking, as its detrimental effects (such as promoting violence and causing psychological dysfunction in the child) is not worth it, it shows the inneffective "authoritarian style parenting", and it is often done in anger. Spanking with anything other than hand is, in most of today's society, not appropriate. There are more effective means of behavioral reinforcement, and just because you uphold traditional values, doesn't mean you have to reinforce them in traditional ways.

Those are most of the positive and negatives that I could think of. I'm not so sure i agree with the guy's position of "patience vs tolerance", but that's for another post and I have never bee one for "Zero Tolerance" in the first place. All in all, a very interesting and potentially controversial issue of which I can see both sides.

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