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Letter: Following a proper dress code may lead to a proper education

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Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:00 am

I came across my old yearbook from high school, and this was the dress code from 1959:

“Girls are not permitted to wear slacks or jeans to school. Boys are not permitted to wear Levis to school. Boys must wear belts at all times. Metal heel-clips may not be worn at any time. Leather jackets may not be worn to class. Engineer boots may not be worn to class. The top button on boys’ shirts may be left open. Ducktail or ‘Elvis Presley’ haircuts are often associated with misbehavior. Boys with unsuitable haircuts may be sent home until they present themselves with proper haircuts.”

The drop-out rate was 1 percent. The teachers wore proper dress and you knew them from the students. The teachers and school leaders were in charge — not the kids. Maybe if the adults were in charge again, students would get an education.

Pauline Meyer


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Ted Lauchland posted at 3:40 pm on Thu, Aug 29, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Are you willing to pay fifty bucks for a fast food burger?

    This conversation seems to be getting away from the actual article but maybe not.

    Yes Ma'am, I am fully aware of employer obligations to his employees, or to the government on his behalf as well as the employees behalf under the law and so forth. I could not be an employer without it.

    My first and foremost obligation, which is voluntary on my part, is to do my best to keep my company afloat. Without that neither you as an employee or I as an employer have a job. This would involve a decision whether it would be feasible to hire as an employer in the first place. Just that fact and the expense, to do that small thing can make or break a small businessman. Larger companies are not far behind as they can all come tumbling down. The cost can easily be double what any take home pay you see is. Not being able to hire keeps the business small not being able to compete with the big boys.

    Contractual agreements usually cover any expense that can be accounted for. Non productive time periods are tough to cover and would not matter whether there is a law demanding it or not. What about the rights of the person I needed to replace you with while you were gone? What about the added expense. Either I had figured it out to work for the company or I did not.

    Coops do exist where the worker has direct interest in the business with or without a "Union". - Investors. Good luck in putting the heads together and keeping them happy.

    I have one question for you.

    If a law was passed by Congress tomorrow that said that you had to work for me for minimum wage and you will have no option to potentially increase (or decrease) that wage or even work for someone else - would you , should you or even could you do it ?

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 4:58 pm on Wed, Aug 28, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Wrong, Mr. Lauchland.

    Legislation, i.e., the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), guarantees that an employer CANNOT terminate an employee for taking a medical leave of absence of up to 12 weeks (provided the employee meets the guidelines - length of employment, etc.).

    It can be a LOA for maternity or illness of yourself or a family member.

    The employer MUST give you the same job (or an identical job) when you return.

    I certainly hope that, as an employer yourself, you comply with these guidelines.

    If not, the penalties are not pleasant or pretty.

    Congratulations for being self-employed. Although this makes you "your own man," it also carries many, many other responsibilities, especially if you have employees.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 12:20 pm on Wed, Aug 28, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    The only job a person owns is a "self - employed" one. Legislation can not change that fact. An employee has always had the right to be treated decent. Legislation can improve working conditions but will never guarantee the job. It can't.

    Yes , my wife and I have experienced working for less than nice employers before and have raised our family through it all. We now value being self-employed and have had to answer to a whole new set of circumstances in place of that "Boss" syndrome. The other side of the bridge. The experience should make us better bosses - right ?

    The future is yours. Have at it.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 11:47 am on Wed, Aug 28, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Differences in branch religious beliefs sometimes draw lines as to what a "Christian" is - why Christ was even born to this world. All in the interpretation of what the Bible says.

    As far as LHS problems it is more of an age maturity deal. So goes the "Bully" issues that the district is trying to curb currently. Attempting to come up with the magic answer anything short of the "paddle" will always be a challenge. High school issues don't change as it continues to deal with the same age bracket year after year. Teaching it different is the only hope of change. A college atmosphere tends to be quite different.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 5:36 am on Wed, Aug 28, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Adams wrote: "Seriously, I have a text from one of my admin classes that actually addressed the issue of hiring married women (They were against it) and it's is from the era the letter writer spoke of."

    I'm not sure how old you are, Mr. Adams, but I can tell you that right up through the 80's many employers in private industry would not hire women of childbearing age and many learned to skirt the laws which were changing to prevent discrimination. You'd be surprised to learn all the clever little "excuses" employers can make up to avoid hiring an "undesirable."

    In fact, a very prominent local banking institution right in this little town figured out how to cleverly discourage women returning from maternity leave from working for them anymore. After all, women with children have that pesky burden that interferes with job performance. By law, they had to give them "a job" when they returned, but not THEIR job. Instead they were relegated to a menial job until they got po'd and quit.

    And then the anti-regulation factions wonder why we have to have legislation like the FMLA to protect workers' rights.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 5:23 am on Wed, Aug 28, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Yes, you are correct. There are good and bad results in every realm.

    As far as discipline, that is not a thing of the past. A coworker recently made some contacts at Christian schools for her daughter in Sacramento. One was the Capitol Christian Academy. When she asked the administrator what types of discipline they used, she replied - only ONE, corporal punishment, we find it the most effective.

    The paddle is still alive and well.

    As far as locally, my son attended a well known Christian school for the 7th grade. I was shocked to find out that they teach the students that Mormons and Catholics are not Christians. Needless to say, the entire year, including academics, was a waste and he returned to public school. I learned a couple of years later from a friend who was on their board of directors that the principal and most teachers were fired right after my son left. I can see why.

    Next came LHS.

    That turned out to be a great breeding ground for teaching kids how to become bigots. Both my kids learned some wonderful racial epithets from their fellow students at LHS, many of which I had never even heard before.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 10:48 pm on Tue, Aug 27, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Discipline to some is getting smacked by a ruler. That has not existed for some time now. Discipline to others is being able to focus and move forward with success in education in mind. Uniforms were to help the focus but was not continued because of the uniform's lack of durability and the kids did not learn the independent social aspect of different clothing.

    You describe a very strict environment that I am not personally familiar with.

    I am not Catholic but am a Christian.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 10:27 pm on Tue, Aug 27, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Ms. Bobin , I am sorry that your experience with the different school systems proved to you that a religious education is not to be preferred over a public system's attempts. I have seen both sides of that coin. My experience tells me different. There are kids that come from a religious education with a very positive outlook on life and excel because of it. There will always be rebellious ones that come from both. The difference between the two is God will always be there for the believer.

    I was raised in the public school system but I raised my kids through the Church schools. Neither is perfect. I was surprised when I changed back to the public for one of my kids for one year to find out that he was to spend more time teaching the other kids or waiting for the teacher to teach the other kids - what I felt was a waste of time for him. We switched back the following year to a religious school. All eventually went to public high school and colleges or career schools. There was always an adjustment for them to make in the transition.
    The major differences between the systems are the kids and the background they come from and the atmosphere in the classroom.

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 8:43 pm on Tue, Aug 27, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 557

    Rules for Teacher, Early 1900's in the United States

    1) To keep the school room neat and clean, you must:
    a) Sweep the floor at least once daily
    b) Scrub the floor at least once a week with hot, soapy water
    c) Clean the blackboards at least once a day
    d) Start the fire at 7 AM so the room will be warm by 8 AM

    2) You will not marry during the term of your contract.
    3) You are not to keep company with men.
    4) You must be home between the hours of 8 PM and 6AM unless attending a school function.
    5) You may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores
    6) You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board.
    7) You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.
    8) You may not smoke cigarettes.
    9) You may not dress in bright colors.
    10) You may under no circumstances dye your hair.
    11) You must wear at least two petticoats.
    12) Your dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.

    The rules from "50 years ago" always seem out of place, don't they Mrs. Meyer.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 8:21 pm on Tue, Aug 27, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Lauchland, I think this is one of the few times I've agreed with some of your statements.

    I have 5 female cousins (all in one family) - 4 went to Catholic school - the oldest went to public schools (assuming the parents couldn't afford private school for the oldest).

    Surprise! The most responsible one was the oldest who went to public school. The other 4 rebelled against uniforms, knuckle smacking, having to put their gum on their noses as punishment, having nuns dictate to them what they should be giving them for Christmas, etc.

    Two of the Catholic school graduates had abortions (out of wedlock pregnancies). ALL 4 used every drug they could get their hands on. One used cocaine while pregnant and had a still birth, then proceeded to repeat the process having live births with health consequences.

    The oldest, the public school graduate, had to endure her own mother going to Mass every single day to pray that her daughter would not marry her fiance, a Protestant. My aunt was a convert to Catholicism, but she was so into it she lost her perspective and believed her own daughter was a sinner.

    My cousin, the sane one, has been married for 43 years, very happily. The others, all divorce stories and drugs, and more drugs.

  • Mike Adams posted at 7:09 pm on Tue, Aug 27, 2013.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1559

    Mark: My post is entirely about conduct and how times have changed. We are now educating far more students from different backgrounds and by a far more diverse corps of teachers.

    Seriously, I have a text from one of my admin classes that actually addressed the issue of hiring married women (They were against it) and it's is from the era the letter writer spoke of.

    You can only imagine how different things are today versus 35-40 years ago. I've had students whose family was living in their car. One student's mother was a IV drug user. Some were hookers. A lot of the parents were absent because they were doing time. They live in houses w/o electricity because they didn't pay their bill.

    "“Girls are not permitted to wear slacks or jeans to school."...excuse me? These are the only clothes I have. I didn't eat dinner or breakfast and our family is living in a flea infested one room hotel with hookers because it was the only voucher available for the next two weeks.

  • Robert Chapman posted at 6:19 pm on Tue, Aug 27, 2013.

    Bob Chapman Posts: 997

    Engineer boots and leather jackets and even "greasy" hairdos were around long before "bikers" came on the scene. Elvis, not so much.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 5:15 pm on Tue, Aug 27, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Mrs. Meyer, the subject of uniforms vs. dress code vs. no code has be discussed many times at the public school system level and also the private school level. All have their own benefit and draw back as far as a child's development.

    I do agree that control needs to be placed back in the hands of the teachers so they can do their job of teaching that should always start with respect for all. All the special programs created to encourage self-worth may not be as sorely needed now if self-discipline had been first instilled in the kids. I've seen a young relative flounder until he joined the military and suddenly became a very productive individual with direction.

    I can't say I would go back to the fifties completely which is no doubt exactly why we are where we are today - the exceptions to the rules which build on themselves.

    What I don't get is why kids are not treated as kids - in the process of development. Society wants to treat them as adults which shouldn't happen in my opinion.

  • Walter Chang posted at 4:34 pm on Tue, Aug 27, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1184

    "Engineer boots"

    Engineer boots??

    Folks, I had to look this up...

    They're biker boots!!! Black leather boots without laces!!

    Just like what Marlon Brando wore in "The Wild One". The seminal 50's biker movie that frightened America.

    Leather jackets, biker boots, greasy hairdos and Elvis: America in decline!

    Thanks Pauline for sharing.


  • Jeff Tillett posted at 12:17 pm on Tue, Aug 27, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 557


  • Mark Hillyard posted at 10:30 am on Tue, Aug 27, 2013.

    Mark Hillyard Posts: 11

    Mike, your argument doesn't point out any facts relating to the fact she is pointing out which is conduct. Some of the girls crossing the street to get to the High School in Angels look like they're set to do something other than study.
    Just saying!

  • Mike Adams posted at 6:59 am on Tue, Aug 27, 2013.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1559

    In 1959, schools were mostly segregated.

    In 1959, schools only counted as drop outs, those students who enrolled. Despite compulsory education, many students from all racial and ethnic backgrounds didn't attend high school.

    In 1959 hiring married female teachers was frowned upon, because a) they could get pregnant, and b)they might need maternity leave (because you hired a married female teacher and nature took it's course).


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