mid-day editorial: Schools can't teach parents what to wear

Apr 05, 2017, 06:02 IST | mid-day correspondent

First, it was the moral brigade, now it is schools that have muscled in trying to control what you wear. A Bandra school has made parents sign an undertaking that they must arrive in 'decent and modest attire' or face consequences.

It has not quite spelt out what it means by decent, which is highly subjective. The school director refused to comment, but plenty of parents were understandably irked by the directive. They were shocked and angry too, but refused to give their names because their children may be targeted by the school authorities.

This diktat is unwarranted and definitely illegal, and is merely a way to control parents. The parents, though shocked, will be forced to adhere to it - this shows the power that schools wield over parents. In a city where students outnumber the available seats, the power balance is skewed. Schools have an inordinate amount of leverage.

Parents will naturally sign an undertaking that the school demands because if one parent rebels and others do not, the school may just take it out on the child. It is time parents start standing together as one body, to fight such high-handedness. One simply cannot fathom what the school means by 'decently dressed' when referring to parents, and what made them issue such a rule. Definitions of decent dressing are highly subjective, so one has to wonder what are the parameters by which parents are going to be judged? Which wardrobe police is going to judge them?

It is time hapless parents have recourse to an organisation who will fight against schools trying to impose nonsensical rules and regulations. They cannot have a sword dangling over their head at all times, or fear action if they question any issue. The school needs to withdraw the inane clause at once.

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