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Another Racist Dress Code?

August 31, 2010

Ahh… the worst of both worlds: a school dress code that is both arbitrary and racially targeted!

First off, I think there is something wrong with an educational institution that feels the need to have an “extensive year long community engagement process” before they make their students wear uniforms as the Pitt County School District did.  I mean, that’s a lot of time devoted to something so “superficial” and “non-academic.”  …not to mention that if it takes you a whole year to convince people that uniforms are a good idea… well…, maybe they’re not such a great idea.

In any case, uniforms were instated.  And racial disparities in dress-code-related-discipline ensued:

  • 150 students were suspended due to dress code violations last year
  • of that, 77% were African-American and 14% were white

So, the Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children submitted a complaint against the Pitt County Schools to the US Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office.

The Civil Rights Office is investigating complaints that the school district used the dress code to target African-American students and that the dress code was used against African-American students more often and more harshly than it was against white students.  The complaint also points out that this affects African-American students’ academic achievement by keeping them out of class more often for dress code violations than white students.

…and teachers always the ones complaining that students let clothes get in the way of their education… it’s so easy to blame teenagers.

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