Pinkerton Academy wants its students to become critical thinkers, according to its website.
For now, students will be allowed to make the critical decision of what to wear to class.
Late last week, Dean of Students Glenn Ahrens notified parents and students of the administration’s decision to maintain its current dress code, abandoning — for now — a switch to a unified dress code (read uniform).
It’s a decision a long time in the making. When parents and students first heard about the proposal last fall, most spoke out against it.
There were exceptions, mostly parents, who liked the idea of an identifiable student body and of the school taking the what-to-wear decision out of the equation.
This was not, mind you, the introduction of a dress code, rather a move from fairly standard school attire guidelines to a polo-shirt-and-khaki uniform from the pages of Lands’ End.
The sample clothing choices from the high-end catalog were enough to turn some students off and the price tags didn’t do much for a lot of parents.
It’s still possible to search for a Pinkerton “uniform” on the clothing retailer’s website. A girl’s long-sleeve blouse sells for $37. Add the distinctive clock tower logo and it will cost an extra $8.10. There’s a boy’s V-neck sweater for $40, with an extra $5.50 charge for a “Since 1814” logo.
Those options are likely to remain for students who find a uniform appealing — or whose parents do. The school promises links to “appropriate” clothing soon on its website, but it won’t require students to buy or wear it.
Pinkerton already has very specific clothing rules — no bare midriffs, low-slung pants, pajamas, spaghetti straps, shirts with violent or sexual messages.
The problem doesn’t appear to be the dress code, but rather the enforcement of it.