Students, you are a reflection of how you dress

Published 8:37 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2012

When looking at the pictures from the Bainbridge High School athletics banquet, I am amazed at how much has changed since my children were in school just a few years ago. It’s not just new coaches, new buildings or new rules. The thing that I have noticed most over the years is the changing dress styles and the decided trend toward emulating pop culture.

Certainly, we can blame modern fashion, celebrities, or the entertainment industry for stretching the standards instilled in our youth in terms concerning how they dress and behave. But we don’t have to look very far to see that times have changed for many of our children’s generation.

Today’s clothing choices for our children tend to mirror the hip hop culture or whatever is fashionable at the time. However, in my day, when we were going to be honored and have our pictures taken, our parents would always say, “You are not wearing that. Remember who you represent. Find that new blouse or shirt and tie that I got you for Christmas.” Our coaches would tell us beforehand to come properly attired or you would not be on the stage that night. They realized the importance of professionalism and preparing us as young adults for the inevitable judgment that comes with the real world — we were a reflection of our dress.

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When I truly look back, we, as the children, did not really grasp the importance of simple professionalism at the time. But, I am eternally grateful for those adults who stepped in and set standards — standards that would influence our personal growth and our career success, especially in such a competitive world. Where now are those coaches and administrators who established standards and expected us to adhere to them, regardless of the emerging trends? Where are the parents who demanded that we, their children, be presented in our best attire for such occasions?

Though it may not be the case, at present it seems as though coaches don’t seem to care and some parents don’t have the authority to tell their children what to wear. Well, administrators, it’s up to you to establish rules and have the coaches enforce them. It may seem extreme, but the gripping reality of the world is extreme, and we have to be there to ensure our children are prepared for their future endeavors. Otherwise, we are doing them a great disservice.

I don’t think this is as serious as world peace; however, when we had to dress up when we were in school, there were always less fights and better harmony among all those who abided within. Maybe it does have some bearing on world peace after all.

Wilson Turner III