Teaching in a public high school, I’ve found that dress code issues are a daily occurrence. Whether it’s provocative imagery, a questionable product being advertised, or the common culprit – too little of it, school administrators spend more time than they probably should dealing with clothing issues.
As a teacher, it’s always a delicate balance in trying not to provoke embarrassment or humiliation in a student by sending them to the office for their clothes while at the same time trying to maintain a climate conducive to learning, free from distraction. That said, sometimes stories arise where I’m just left scratching my head asking how any educator could possibly find reason to fault a student’s freedom of expression.
A Newport News mother is confused after she says her daughter got sent to the school office over her t-shirt.. The shirt reads “Virginity Rocks”.
Ultimately the Woodside High school student was sent back to class, but the girl's mother is still upset that there was ever a question.. 16- year-old Cidney Jackson says she was walking to class when a teacher stopped her and asked to read her shirt.
“When I showed it to her she said it was slightly inappropriate and I should go to the office and see if I should be put in ISS,” Jackson says. “It was a positive message so I thought it was okay for school.”
Again, I understand how difficult it can be to know what is distracting clothing and messaging versus how much more distracting it will be to draw attention to it. And I suppose that the teacher who found the shirt potentially inappropriate might have assumed that any clothing that referenced sexual activity (or in this case, non-activity) was not a good idea.
But backing up from the halls of Woodside High School to a societal viewpoint, if there’s one thing that youth culture could certainly benefit from, it’s the idea that sexuality is something to be cherished rather than exploited. And when a popular high school girl with her head screwed on straight wants to model that philosophy, it should delight every adult in the building.
Keep in mind that Cidney’s classmates are walking around with music playlists that are likely 100% consumed in sexual innuendo, social media feeds that are 100% overwhelmed with sexual imagery, Netflix accounts that are 100% loaded with the normalization of sexual fornication, and personal relationships that are 100% pressured with sexual temptation.
Cidney’s shirt and attitude is a breath of fresh air in a culture saturated with backwards and ungodly views of human sexuality. If she’s going to be sent to the office for that, it should be to receive an award, not in school suspension.
Cidney Jackson, you’re awesome. Don’t ever change.