We all know that kids can be very mean and will tease one another in an effort to exert control and bully.
Although this is unacceptable and it should not be tolerated, what happens when a school takes measures to end bullying by punishing kids for having money?
That’s right. To ensure that kids who live in poverty won’t be bullied for not having nice clothes, one high school steps up and sets a rule that no other kid in the school can wear expensive clothes, namely expensive jackets.
This is their answer to controlling any bullying or ‘poverty shaming’ that is directed towards poor kids.
Beginning as early as next year, Woodchurch High School in Birkenhead, UK will not be allowed to wear super pricey brand name coats, in particular.
They feel that this will not only help end the shaming of kids who can’t afford such expensive pieces of clothing, but it will also help ease the financial burden of parents who feel they are struggling to keep their kids in the nicest clothes.
This is so ridiculous that it isn’t even funny, to be honest! There are a million reasons why this is foolish, but for the sake of time, here’s just a few;
- A school shouldn’t have the right to tell parents what they can and can’t buy for their kids. The moment a school fails to implement a unified dress code but instead singles out kids with money, they run the risk of discrimination, despite their best efforts.
- Dictating a wardrobe based on cost isn’t truly addressing the issue of bullying. If kids are being bullied at a school, telling other kids to ‘dress down’ so that they can all be on equal footing is insulting. The moment the school implements this rule, poor kids are really going to get the raw end of the deal from kids who feel they can’t wear certain things just because of a specific group.
- The message that this sends to all kids contributes to a further divide that will not help in bridging the gap of communication about the real issue here. This is a great opportunity for the school to step up and address the issue of bullying. Not just sit back and implement a rule that says you can’t wear expensive clothes to school.
Surprisingly, the parents actually believe that this is a great idea. They feel that this will assist in controlling the bullying that exists and it will help the kids to get along better. Are they all crazy!?
When the school’s spokesperson was asked about the decision to eliminate the wearing of expensive gear, she said, “We are concerned with poverty proofing in school, where issues can routinely, if unintentionally, stigmatize children living in poverty and contribute to the increasing cost of the school day to parents.”
When this announcement became public, parents went to social media and applauded this decision, agreeing that the high-end fashion was indeed causing the bullying in schools. How much do you want to bet that those parents who find expensive clothes to be the cause of bullying were the parents of the poor kids!
In the end, school bullying is something that goes deeper than what a child wears, how they look, and how much money they have. It goes into the psyche of the bully and their home life. Typically, when a child bullies another child, it is because there is something going on with the child who does the bullying.
The school should focus on what that might be…not focus on what the child is wearing. It’s such a cop-out to simply blame clothing for the deep issues that children face in school. Too bad the parents can’t see this. If they could, maybe they would step up and contribute to a solution that would actually work.