Before I can make my statements, we must first agree on several points. Is the picture of an action the same as having that action committed? I would say yes, for the most part, or no photos would be allowed in court cases. This logic is also why child porn is illegal. A picture of illegal firearms found at a crime scene presented to a judge would be considered the same as handing the firearms to the judge for him or her to examine. This is, of course, assuming that there have been no alterations to the picture since it was taken. Next, do we assume that written words should be treated the same way spoken words are? Again, I would say yes as long as the proviso that they are not altered is met. The very reason we (humans, not Europeans or Americans) created a written language was to effectively speak to others without needing to make any audible noise or be in their presence at the time the message was received. If those two prerequisites have been satiated, let’s continue. If they haven’t been, please leave a comment telling me why they aren’t. I love reading dissenting opinions with legitimate reasoning behind them more than reading those of people who agree with me. A brief discussion on this topic with a member of the school staff has shown that the administration does not believe photos are the same as actions.
Our yearbooks came out recently, and I would approximate about half the photos, excluding the headshot class photos, contained either a student breaking dress code or participating in an activity that would be deemed against school rules like texting. This leads me to ask two questions: Why was this yearbook allowed to be published when it contained what would be considered too lewd or evil in public in photographic form? and why weren't the students who took the photos punished for assembling such a yearbook since they spent a large amount of time using school computers to compile pictures of girls in Nike shorts, shirtless guys playing ultimate Frisbee, and students with their phones out in class?
The school system has created rules by fiat that obviously have no beneficial effect on the student body. If not allowing students to expose parts of their body, a body that in no way is owned by the school system, in ways that aren’t even against the laws authorized by the country is supposed to in some way make school a more congenial learning environment, it is nullified by allowing the students to dress how they want outside of school since they are still students until they graduate, and it is again nullified by allowing those students to be free from dress code when participating in physical activities. Basically, the school says gorgeous legs are only a distraction to guys if the guys aren’t in PE at the time. Right, because that’s exactly how hormones work. I won’t even start on how athletic uniforms are exempt from dress code regulations; everyone knows more fantasies happen at the sight of a cheerleader skirt than at the sight of last season’s Abercrombie jean shorts.
We now move on to literature. I've read Beloved for English, and the book is rife with graphic scenes of rape, violence, and language. However, if I chose to have a casual conversation with a friend in class about his or her sexual encounter last night (I’m straight edge so it wouldn’t be me we were talking about), we would be reprimanded. It isn’t any different than what we’re required to put in our minds by the school. The only difference is that the words are being spoken and not written. Apparently what a teenager can be required to read and be tested on he or she is not allowed to repeat, even to the teacher who required the teenager to read the material in the first place.
The preceding statements leave the establishment with two logical choices: enforce strict rules pertaining to what every student can read, listen to, act like, and wear until they graduate or remove the rules that aren’t even legitimately enforced in the first place. If they do nothing, the establishment appears unintelligent on several levels because they can’t even consistently decide on what is a transgression and what is not. My hope is that the generation after my own steers them toward the side of more freedom, because I’m done with high school tomorrow, and I wouldn't want to be part of the bloodshed if they tried to limit the freedoms of youthful spirits.
I am not condoning lascivious or perverse speech or attire. Personally, I'm very conservative in my language and clothing except for general bathroom humor and a propensity for tank tops. There just is no reason for someone else to dictate how others should live.
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