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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Of Flip-Flops and Such…

One of the topics each of your School Renewal Committees examined yesterday was flip-flops. Well, that's only partly true. Nobody had complained that flip-flops were bad, and nobody was promoting flip-flops. It started when one faculty member noticed that our student handbook says we don’t allow flip-flops, yet we are seeing our students wear them. The problem is not flip-flops; it's a mismatch between what we say are the rules and what we enforce. (Of course that means one would actually have to READ the Student Handbook to notice that mismatch, so if you are feeling a twinge of guilt, add "Read Student Handbook" to your to-do list.)

The real issue is one of consistency. We all like to know where the boundaries are, even as we protest that boundaries exist. Whether it's flip-flops, gum, talking in the halls, or what is expected at breakfast, kids need the safety net of knowing that we mean what we say, and that the expectations are the same from day to day and adult to adult...And how many of kids are hungry for some type of steadiness and consistency in their lives. Once I get the notes from each committee, I will get the word to students and parents on what we are doing with flip-flops and gum.


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