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Lesson Plans

Re: Baggy pants

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Stenger - Judith DiSalvo (jstenger)
Thu, 29 May 1997 19:13:27 -0400 (EDT)

I teach my kids that while no one likes censorship, the reality is that
the schoolhouse is not a democratic institution. I understand that baggy
pants and multi-layered pants, along with one leg rolled up, are fashions
which began in prison. In school, kids have been known to hide weapons
and drugs in their baggy clothing.
Just as parents have the final word on what symbols, icons, and
objects are permissible in their homes, I think schools have the
obligation to set standards for the educational setting. When you give the
message that "anything goes" ANYTHING GOES.
On Thu, 29 May 1997, Robert Sheffey

> I worked for awhile in an alternative school in Illinois, and the first
> inservice they held was on gang symbols. We were told not to let them write
> these things: 5 pointed stars, eight balls, certain color combinations, etc.
> As an art teacher I had a hard time with the whole thing. I tried to talk to
> the kids about gang symbols. We talked about "symbols in art and throughout
> history" and how they were used by cultures. I tried to get them to see that
> symbols are somehow part of who we are and can express greater meaning. I
> also talked about how they can seperate and label us also. I used Dr.
> Seuss's book about the starbellies as an example.
> I always felt that the administration were being ignorant in just trying to
> disallow any of it. But one day, a student in another class wrote certain
> numbers on the board with pitchforks pointing down, and 5 minutes later, a
> large gang fight broke out. The kids just broke up into two groups and all
> hell broke loose.
> So there is a reality to this use of symbols to identify different gang members.
> Now I have moved to El Paso and there are different gangs here, lots of
> tagging.The school that I am going to be working for has put out a dress
> code to the students....they cannot wear baggy pants, sports shirts, buckles
> with initials, or use old english calligraphy. I know when I begin to teach
> in July, I am going to encounter gang symbols in the art room.
> I would be interested in all opinions on how to deal with this. I believe
> that this is bringing more censorship in the schools (no baggy pants?). I do
> not like to censor my students work .
> What is the opinion of the other art teachers being confronted with this issue?
> Teresa Sheffey