Thursday, February 21, 2008

Texas School - Its ok to wear black as long as you are not a goth

A High school in Texas has some interesting rules:

Brenham Banner-Press Online Edition
Monday, February 18, 2008

The administration at Brenham Junior High is OK with students wearing black as long as you aren’t a “goth.”

Nobody likes being told what to wear or not wear, especially school-age kids, so when the student body mistakenly came under the impression that a ban on black clothing that applied to goth students also applied to everyone else, there was something of a brouhaha.

According to principal Artis Edwards, administrators never forbid the wearing of black for the student body as a whole, it was “another one of those rumors that was out there and they (the students) jumped on it.”

He said the entire thing got started early last week when administrators were trying to determine who among the black-clothed student body was and was not a goth. In addition to that, a student who had his black jacket decorated with padlocks temporarily taken away from him seemed to become a bigger event than it really was.

Edwards explained that schools in the Brenham school district have a long standing practice not allowing some students to wear clothing that identifies them as part of a group. This practice not only applies to groups such as gangs, but also to groups like goths.

He said that although there is not a definite cause and effect, young people who are also goths tend to suffer more from depression and self-destructive behavior, especially the practice of cutting one’s self.

In addition to being known for their affinity for black clothing, goths also frequently dye their hair black, sometimes wear make-up (both sexes) and often wear silver jewelry.

He said it is the administration’s duty to act to help protect the safety and well being of students and the banning black clothing in this case is a part of that.

“I’m not a psychiatrist, but when we see all black, we know what comes next,” he said.

Edwards said he held a “Black Out Day,” in which students were encouraged to wear black, on Friday to dispel the rumor that the ban on black applied to the student body as a whole.

He said he has nothing against black clothing and frequently wears it himself.

Regardless of the intentions behind the ban though, some see the effort as a bit heavy-handed.

A mother of a student who frequently wears black pants and T-shirts said her son was asked by administrators if he was a goth. In her eyes, a policy like the junior high’s unnecessarily gets the students riled up and is ultimately ineffective, she said.

“You can wear any color and cut yourself,” she said.

Some students see it a call to action as well, and started a Myspace group called

“Against BJHS,” which has 27 members.

This follows in the heels of the recent Long Hair Discrimination case in Texas school.

Other similar cases happened in Florida [School dress Code] and Maine["Goth-style makeup" causes school problem] recently.

No comments: