9.30.2009

To Hoodie or Not To Hoodie

I am a big fan of school uniforms in Philadelphia. Quite frankly, it makes my life much easier in the morning. My kids know the drill - and now, they've even gotten their gym days down (on gym days, you must wear pants and sneaks - no dressy shoes or skirts for girls).

But the big question now is: to hoodie or not to hoodie?

Hoodies are not allowed in school. I think it's all very "gangsta" which the schools try to discourage (also on the no list from the "gangsta" culture are baggy pants, pants which are belted below the waist and showing your underwear or boxers).

But sometimes these absolutes aren't absolutes. And that's one of the frustrating parts of being a parent in a large school district - it can be hard to find answers.

You see, it's nearly impossible to find a light fall jacket for kids that doesn't have a hood. So, I bought my kids a few hoodies - not gangsta-hoodies but nice, school color specific hoodies from the Gap and Lands End. A couple of them are actually cable knit sweaters with hoods on them.

And you know where this is going... My daughter came home from school and said that her teacher said no more hoodies at school. I told her that I understood that she couldn't wear them inside the school but it should be fine on the playground. According to her teacher, still not allowed.

I asked a few other parents about this and apparently, there is much confusion. Some teachers are reporting to parents that you cannot wear a hoodie on school property under any circumstances while others say it's fine outside. Now, we have to ask the principal.

This can't be the first year that this question has come up. You'd think there would be some very clear cut instructions on the point. In the meantime, it's confusing and frustrating - my kids went to school yesterday without jackets of any sort (and it was quite cool out). Hopefully, we'll figure this mess out shortly.

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