Boomer dress code protests haunt tem

The teachers may now have to abide by a dress code? Oh, how the mighty have fallen! A few decades ago, most schools imposed strong and unreasonable dress codes and rules of appearance on the students! The school's strict dictates were put in writing and all pupils were forced to sign an acknowledgement of them. Teachers were zealous about enforcement of these nonsensical rules, argued for them and made sure that violators faced punishment.

The following were some of the dress regulations and rules of appearance in effect at most public high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area before and through the 1960s.

1. Girls were forbidden to wear jeans, slacks or trousers to school.

2. Girls could not wear "short" skirts or dresses. The definition of "short" was the hem had to reach the floor when kneeling. (If a teacher thought a girl's skirt or dress was too short, the student was actually made to kneel to prove (if it was or wasn't!)

3. No excessive makeup or excessive hair color. Hair dyed in any shade that exceeded (in their opinion), the normal tones of hair color was disallowed and the pupil was ordered to correct the color before returning to school again. This rule was to discourage bleached blondes. (Bleached green wasn't in vogue.)

4. High-heeled shoes and sandals were not permitted.

5. T-shirts were considered underwear and could not be worn as shirts. If a student appeared in school wearing a T-shirt, the pupil was sent home.

6. Boys had to be clean shaven. No mustaches, beards or sideburns were permitted. Hair had to fall above the shirt collar.

7. Shorts were prohibited at all times (unless they were regulation PE shorts and you were in PE).

In the very late '60s, Baby Boomers (like myself) held protests to abolish these severe and ridiculous commandments. We succeeded. I'm glad those harsh rules are gone, but I wonder if we "Boomers" threw the "baby out with the bath water."

If adult teachers need to be told how to dress for work, and if they are disgruntled about not being allowed to stick pins on their faces or wear rings through their noses (or whatever is going on), the situation has taken a whacked-out turn for the worse and is now definitely bizarre.


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