In my school the issue was hair. To be precise: loose hair. And in those BC days (before conditioner) loose hair was pretty wild. The school prefects used to prowl the corridors, and lurk behind corners armed with hair-snapping elastic bands. Your way would be blocked until every last hair was safely tamed into submission.
It was a school rule that hair should be tied back neatly, but most of the time the rule was ignored. The army of elastic-band wielding prefects was only called upon every few months. After a couple of days the campaign would end, we all sighed with relief, and then went back to looking like Kate Bush wannabees.
I was reminded of this yesterday when I heard about an Irish boy who has apparently been told that he can’t go back to school as he has dyed his hair. Worse, his family claim that plenty of girls at the same school have dyed their hair: hardly surprising really since they are teenagers - no-one saw my natural hair colour after I turned 14.
So it seems that very little has changed in the *ahem* 30 years since I left school. And I have had similar issues at times with the schools that my kids attend - brilliant as they are most of the time. But again there are lists of rules that simply aren’t enforced.
This does not make any sense to me: I thought one of the basic rules of parenting is to have rules, clear consequences and always to follow through. Why don't schools do this?
Could this be contributing to the problem of discipline in schools?
I resent being told what to do and always did, even as a child. But I will follow rules if I think they are fair, and apply equally to everyone, So guess what? I don't make my kids stick to the school rules on dress and appearance, because other parents don't either. As for the schools, perhaps they do not have enough staff or enough time. I think it would be totally unfair on my kids if I made them different to their pals by scrubbing her face every morning (Angel) or insisting on the school regulation scratchy jumper (CD).
But meantime, the kids are learning that rules are there to be broken. Perhaps this is why some people in public life seem to believe the same thing?
So what do you think? Are school rules made to be broken?