02 April 2008

Dress Code at Co-op

We had a meeting at co-op tonight and one of the major things that came up was that they are going to require uniform dress next school year. There has been a lot of tension this year over kids wearing too much black, and since they were having difficulty communicating an understanding of what the ban on "excessive black" meant, they decided this was the safest way to go.
When I think of black, I think that monks, and nuns, and those who are grieving and not necessarily the whole gothic/emo movement. I love black - it is skinny-fying. I for one thing we need to take this color back.
I decided to remain an observer at the meeting and listen to what others had to say. I had to take some time to process what was wanted. I honestly do not like another level of control. My first reaction was that I hated it. I like individuality, even if it bumps up against my personal tastes and preferences. It was said that some of the smaller children were frightened, and I wonder if they keep them in a box, because the kids at our co-op look nowhere near as scary as I see on the streets.
Regardless, the processing time proved beneficial. Even if I don't like the rule, I can respectfully disagree. My kids and I will have to decide how much control we want others to have of our lives - and if participation in the co-op is worth abiding by something we think is ludicrous.
Hearts never change from the outside in. I am not scared to see people go through times of darkness, curious exploration, and questioning. Unfortunately that is not most of the Christian world that I am surrounded by, so we have to decide to be in or out of this community. My kids, to my surprise said they didn't like it - but they would comply in order to continue on at the co-op. We even found a way to have a positive outlook - Kaitlyn said it would make it easier to get dressed on a Monday morning.
I wanted to amend this, this morning to say that the code goes so far as to stipulate what kind of jewelry, length of hair (for boys), hair color, even down to what color of socks, etc. is acceptable. It is a shame because it is one of the things that was so appealing to me originally about the co-op is that the kids didn't look like "homeschool clones". I guess I'm still processing. It really goes beyond clothing style, and I hate the idea of the atmosphere this level of scrutiny will bring to the kids. Instead of one of grace and love it will bring a "do I meet the standard" anxiety. Guess what y'all? In Christ we all meet the standard, right where we are - no matter what we're wearing.

I feel a naked protest coming on! Just kidding just kidding!


  1. I'm not sure how I would like that. Behavior control isn't usually very effective.

  2. Do you and your kids enjoy the program at the co-op? Do you all benefit from this educational outlet? If the good out weighs what you see as the bad then I 'd just leave it at that. It doesn't sound like your children have a problem with it. As a matter of fact, it could simplify their lives. I'd try to focus on the positives and not make it out to be about control. My son attends public school and they do not wear uniforms, but if they did I would see it as a blessing. No worries about what to wear during school hours. When he came home he could wear/express himself any way he likes. Whatever you decide to do - do what's best for your kids.

  3. You said something great. (dont' you always) You said...they didn't all look like homeschool clones.

    I think that's a big thing! We all are gifted in different things and are so varied and different.
    I'm not a big conformist, and sounds like neither are you.

    'little kids are scared.' now, what KIND of black are these other kids wearing? I mean, that sounds like a different level of black altogether.

    I'm confused. Keep us informed, I'm interested in how you work this out.

  4. Ok, this has to be another April Fool's post, right? Plaese tell me it is- too much black? Hair length for boys? hair color? socks? eeeeeeekk

  5. You realize that this is just another control tactic, who do these people think they are?

    Next year they will find something else to regulate and pretty soon you will all look like homeschool clones.

    I realize this is a decision that all of you need to weigh on heavily.

    I wouldn't have stayed but I'm not the co-op type.
    I'm sure you can do whatever it is that you like there somewhere else.

    I say UNSCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Oh my gosh, Julie. I can not believe this. Geez. Can any one in that group complain about Big Brother now?
    Run Run Run Far Away. Start your own group. We don't belong to a group, never have. None of us could tolerate that intrusion. Going to go help myself to Carly's black nail polish now.

  7. And how does this prepare kids for life as adults? What in our lives as adults compares to this kind of regulation? I'm down for the naked protest!

  8. Disgusting! Honestly what is wrong with these people! I guess you can try to comply if he kids want to keep going...but I'm not sure how long they'll be able to keep it in, lol...sooner or later there is going to be rules made about what they're allowed to say as well. I'm sorry this is it for your town...any chance of starting something else? Otherwise, can you just do loads of extra-fun thing with your own children, and any kids you and they really like? I'd drop a wee link to your blog to one of the other coop parents :0) You've said what should have been said without any anger, though I would understand that kind of righteous anger totally!

  9. hmmm, never heard of a homeschool dress code. Sounds a little controlling to me- I can understand modesty, but this seems to be taking it a little fair. I am interested in finding out what happens too. I guess it is not horrible for our kids to sometimes have to conform in areas that are not detrimental to them- but gee, a dress code against black? Is this like goth, do you mean one cannot wear black dress pants or jeans?

  10. You know I feel a black phase in my life coming on. I like black. I also let my teenage son have long hair (long enough to put in a pony tail - GASP)I think it is what is in your heart not what is on your body that counts. I think smaller children a dress code would work, but teenagers are trying to figure life out and wanting to express their individuality. I think it is great. I love teens.

  11. Although black is my absolute favorite color, I personally think a dress code is a good idea... if kept within reason. I would've loved to have had a uniform for school growing up!

    But seriously? Hair color? Sock color/type? That is going a bit overboard.

    Unless it was some super-fantastic co-op, I think I'd protest just to keep from being legalistic. I definitely believe in modest dress-- but also realize that some would say I am immodest b/c I wear jeans. It's a fine line between having smart rules and developing a holier-than-though or super spiritual attitude based on appearances!

    But before withdrawing, I would definitely SPEAK UP. There are probably many others that feel the same way but are afraid to speak up.

  12. sweet jesus in the morning.

  13. I hadn't visited your blog in a bit and can I just say...HOLY CRAP. Since when are colors evil? Is this a Christian co-op? I wish to God my fellow Christians would get their heads out of the freaking sand and realize that following the risen Christ is all about being radical, baby, its about stirring stuff up, its about upsetting the status quo, befriending the prostitute and eating with sinners. Although now that I've said all that I don't know if your co-op is Christian. Either way...how about if the leaders spend their time helping the kids go serve at a soup kitchen instead of getting their panties in a wad over bright pink socks or whatever. Sigh.

  14. Woo hoo!!

    naked protest!

    he he he...


Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥