The value of school uniforms and dress codes has been debated over and over again. Arguably, they help to keep kids safe because intruders can be easily spotted, but they prohibit choices and keep kids from creatively dressing. And most recently, a North Carolina principal has landed herself in hot water after demanding that students walk outside for more than two hours after violating the uniform code.
According to reports, Manchester Elementary School Principal Tammy Holland ordered several dozen children to walk on a dirt track until their parents could bring them a change of clothes or pick them up to go home. She even said that they weren't allowed to eat any breakfast or be served any water. They were only brought inside after administrators in the school's office were alerted of the situation.
Naturally, parents are upset. They only found out when they came to pick up their children at the school, and now, they're calling for the principal's resignation. According to one mom, the temperature was in the mid-70s to high-80s that morning, so kids were exhausted. They were even more confused because teachers had apparently told the kids that they could wear casual clothes on the last day, so the sudden demands of the principal were not expected.
The children were clearly frightened, confused, and intimidated by the principal. She is the leader of the school, and as the head, they obeyed her orders. Even when her strategies were clearly in violation of basic rules.
The principal was in the wrong and the children were not prepared for the reaction. But as parents, it's important to teach children and encourage them to speak up in situations that don't feel or seem right. Kids should be taught that following authorities, when their gut instinct screams that something is off, should not be done blindly. If something feels wrong, or is wrong, they should make it known.
And walking around for hours in high heat, and without water, is definitely wrong.
How do you encourage your kids to speak up?
Image via Jake Gamage/Flickr