I have been a resident of the Oak Park-River Forest area since 1990. Looking back on my pre-teen years, I have fond memories of growing up as an Oak Parker. No one could ever deny the unique and diverse flavor of our quaint community. Oak Park public schools were always top notch.
Obviously no school is perfect, but we had discipline, values and guidelines — more specifically regarding dress codes — that were followed.
My daughter just graduated from Brooks Middle School on June 1. During her three-year tour, I have been totally flabbergasted at "today's style" of the young girls in attendance of this school. Daisy Duke Shorts with their butt cheeks hanging out, micro-mini-dresses that resemble more of a T-shirt, super-tight leggings that clearly outline their not so indisposed area … and it continues at OPRF.
What has happened to our schools? The teachers state they watch in disgust and dismay as the girls walk through the halls displaying personal body parts that were once concealed. Is there no longer a dress code? If there is, why is it no longer being enforced?
Of course the kids should be able to express their individual personalities through their own style of dress while not falling into the uniform code of the private school sector. But they also have to be taught that there are limitations along with boundaries within expression. These are the formative years that we as parents, as well as the school district, are supposed to work cohesively to lay that foundation. It is with the creation of these building blocks that assists in a solid work ethic moving forward.
I don't know at what point, between the '90s and the present, modesty vanished into the "black hole," but I am optimistic, working together as a village, we can teach our kids to dress for success.
Answer Book 2019
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