(Copyright 1999. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

February 15, 1999

--- Opinion ---

Shivering teens get the cold shoulder

By JOE WILBUR
The Tattoo

The newest, most curious complication in
student/teacher relations is whatís called, in
hushed whispers among my skittish peers, "The
Coat Policy."
 
Loosely stated, this policy discourages students
from wearing "coats, jackets, outerwear, or
headgear" to classes during their day. Any such
garments must be kept in student lockers or
will be confiscated on sight.
  
Administrators cite many reasons for the recent
crackdown in enforcement of the long-standing
policy. The question "why" is there but, true to
form, administration at Bristol Eastern seem to
have a hard time answering the question
straight. Usually, youíll hear, "Itís for your
safety."

Hey, Iím all for safety...but how exactly does
that work, I wonder?

The timely, frightening specter of concealed
weapons is most often evoked. However, if
backed into a corner, they'll even tell you that
hoods, hats and even heavy sweaters harbor
quick identification, inviting all sorts of seedy
characters into the school to rob, rape and
otherwise wreak havoc. Well, you can't you
argue with that.

"BUT," shriek the voices of a frustrated student
body, "IT IS WINTER, ISN'T IT?!" 
And, well, it IS winter.
 
Does frost improve test scores and morale, the
poor man's answer to playing Mozart in the
background while studying studying?
Somebody talk to me here...

How does one reconcile their concern that little
Billy might be packing more than a bag lunch
and the suffering of innocent students at the
merciless hands of a New England Winter? 

One answer is to have the students layer their
clothing, stripping by layer when necessary and
carrying the excess clothing from class to class.
Another is to simply heat the school
sufficiently, thereby eliminating the need for
students to bring "outerwear" to class.
"Sufficiently" is, however, a subjective term in
rooms with holes in their ceilings, corridors
with no insulation.
 
I'm not an education professional, and I donít
make $100,0000 a year to come up with silly
solutions like these, but does the winning
answer seem obvious to anyone else? 
  


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