I’ve returned as promise with my second out of 25 editorials/thesis on the Standardized Dress Code Issue. In this editorial, I will address a controversial reason behind the shift to Standardized Dress in JISD and evaluate the necessity (if any) concerning the issue at hand. Limited to only 500 words per entry, in Thesis II: I will confront the “Security Issue” that was named firstly as a concern for the administration and prompted the move to school uniforms, un-cleverly disguised as Standardized Dress.
Armed with Jacksonville High’s most articulate, an army of students 20 deep requested and attended a meeting with Principal Duane Barber to discuss the looming threat of a useless and controversial dress code. When the question was posed, “What effect/good will this due for the school in general,” Mr. Barber responded firstly with the security issue that has apparently plagued JHS for some time now. Mr. Barber gave the 20 of us the scenario of a male figure around average student age (who had no business being on campus) being approached directly by our principal himself and being told to leave campus grounds. Mr. Barber then informed us that rather than leave as asked, the male figure simply walked around the school, entered from another area, and mingled in with students in the cafeteria, thus making his capture more difficult than necessary.
According to Mr. Barber, Standardized Dress would have abolished the threat of an intruder, especially if one were to be armed, and pose a serious threat.
Analyzing the security threat, I derived several negatives from Mr. Barber’s affirmative stance on S.D. when dealing with security on any campus, more or less JHS. I would to point out first that, immediately after we take our pictures for the fall on campus, we’re issued picture identification cards that the school uses at times to verify whether or not we’re eligible to attend school functions. Would it not be easier to force students to maintain these cards with them daily for verification of validity on campus? Something simple like wearing them around our necks would solve some major but simplistic security issues on our campus.
Mr. Barber’s scenario did indeed trigger awareness in me of a very ominous security problem. Unfortunately, standardized dress would only compound and complicate the situation if one were to ever occur. View my scenario: A young man walks into school armed looking to cause bodily harm to students. He’s spotted with a gun by only one student. When the student goes to report what she has seen, she is asked to give a description of the potential assailant. She concludes that he is a white male, with brown hair wearing khaki shorts and a red polo. With OUR SDC, on any given day, imagine the number of white males with brown hair wearing khaki shorts and a red polo floating around on campus. Thesis II: The security issue, although valid, has been manipulated un-fairly by the administration to justify Standardized Dress.
William C. Igbokwe