Correct dress required at school: should National Education roll up its sleeves and tighten the screw?

Author: Clark Tos
2022-09-22 14:37:07

Crop tops, crop tops, sock flip-flops… the outfits sow disorder at school. Symptom of the time or recurring problem?

The recent combo ban tap socks - which some will call bad taste - in a college in Seine-Saint-Denis has brought to light the thorny question of clothing at school. school .

Coming back to the table at each new school year, this endless debate deserves our attention because, beyond the usual standards imposed by the regulations specific to each establishment, it represents a societal issue.

Photo credit: Istock

Proper attire required in schools

Clothing bans are not new and, with very rare exceptions, students have always complied with them, if not really accepting them.

However, it is not uncommon today for students to rebel by contesting rules that they consider sometimes outdated, sometimes unfair, even downright sexist .

This was particularly the case during the start of the 2021 school year when Jean-Michel Blanquer, then Minister of National Education, spoke out against wearing the crop top (short t-shirt revealing the navel) for young girls, urging them to wear so-called ' republicans ».

A position that had provoked the ire of many teenage girls, so much so that some observers believed they detected evidence of a youth clearly less docile than before. It must be said that these conflicts, which are more akin to a clash of generations, inevitably raise questions about the habits and customs of a time when ultra-connected students have access to explicit content earlier and earlier, which, intentionally or not, can lead to wearing outfits that some will not hesitate to consider indecent.

But beyond the - very real - problem of the hypersexualization of the youngest, conveyed by increasingly trashy series and other films, it is above all the question of transgression that must be addressed!

Basically, hasn't this contestation always existed, taking different forms over time and as society evolves?

Each of us has already been told, at least once, about our dress at school, starting with caps and other headgear, prohibited in the name of a certain politeness.

So is this really a current problem that the school must quickly solve or just a false debate that keeps coming up over time?

Photo credit: Istock

Should the school adapt to the times?

You should know that, contrary to many popular beliefs, there is no law in France imposing a dress code on establishments. Only the wearing of religious symbols is prohibited under article L.141-5-1 of the Education Code.

It is therefore the schools themselves that set the rules, in order to preserve public order according to safety and hygiene criteria, and these vary from one school to another.

These internal regulations on the correct dress required are dictated by moral and societal principles. However, the morality and society of yesterday are no longer those of today.

For example, is wearing a crop top as offensive today as it was in the past? Does putting on tap dance really represent a danger for the physical integrity of the pupils, as it was meant to them at the Elsa-Triolet college in Saint-Denis. Nothing is less certain and yet these are the grounds for prohibition invoked.

At the same time, it cannot be denied that the primary role of school is to prepare children for adult life, and therefore for working life, rightly or wrongly. ' A standardization company ', as it is called Jean-Francois Amadieu , professor at the Panthéon Sorbonne University. Imposing a framework is therefore an integral part of the powers of schools.

But should this framework remain fixed or evolve along with the society it is supposed to embody?

Should the rules adapt to the times or, on the contrary, be tougher and ignore the context at the risk of seeing a return to the wearing of school uniforms, which some have long been calling for?

Huge debate!