Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Perhaps The Greatest Educational Question Facing Our Schools

Our faculty is in the midst of a disciplinary revival meeting lately. There's been the same shouting and raising of hands making promises that are good, but we probably can't live up to them in the end.

Except it isn't over on Wednesday night and there's no traveling singer selling CD's in the lobby. No hot dog supper, either. Instead, it's just enforcing these good but hard promises today. One of our areas of conviction has been the dress code.

And so with questions on this new commitment, a friend emailed the entire English department today. How, she queried, do we make the call on when cleavage defies the laws of the dress code? Within an hour, one of us hit "reply all" and the emails were a-flying!

I tend to think of cleavage like a certain Supreme Court justice thinks of porn (and which Justice was it, seriously?) I know it when I see it. But how can we set a standard? Is it about a measurement from the neck down? Is it about curvature or peaks and valleys? Or is it to be left to the subjective standard that forces a male teacher friend of mine to the following exchanges?

Friend: Miss, I believe your shirt doesn't meet the dress code.
Girl: Why!? It's not that bad!!
Friend: Miss, if I see that shirt much longer I will feel that I owe you

Anyone have a definition here?


Susan said...

When I went to Catholic school, the nuns used to measure the length of our skirts. The idea was that when you knelt down in church, your skirt would just touch the top of the kneeler.

Cleavage, though, I know nothing about. Good luck to you!

educat said...

The old Falls Creek policy was the skirt must hit the tip of the middle finger when your arm is down. We use that standard at school. Oh, for an arbitrary measurement for the upper region!

Anonymous said...

"tend to think of cleavage like a certain Supreme Court justice thinks of porn (and which Justice was it, seriously?)"

Justice Potter Stewart. HTH