Dress Like You Mean It: Part 0

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This is the first post in a series about the idea of dress codes. Figured I’d might as well warn you up-front. 

I’m writing as a Christian about Christians doing Christian-y things like education. If you aren’t in that situation but want to comment anyway, feel free. But I’m not going to dialogue with you about what the world in general should be doing, or whether France has the right to ban the burqa. My scope is narrow: Christian secondary education.

Further, these opinions are mine alone and not necessarily reflective of the school where I teach.  You shouldn’t assume that Coart agrees with me either.  I’m a big girl doing my own thinking here.

Finally, I write to think. I don’t write after I think. My views are always in flux and I can’t figure them out until I’ve stated a position that I can consider or reject or alter or whatever. So calm down.  If you disagree with me, your critique could help me formulate a better viewpoint on the subject.

All that said —
Every once in a while, the NCS dress code raises hackles among the student body. It’s always in those rough times of year when life is uncomfortable for a variety of reasons (it’s hot or it’s dark and cold or it’s really really really really really mind-numbingly busy) that the students dust off their rational faculties of debate and begin challenging. These past few weeks have elicited several questions and comments from students, mostly boys, about particular rules that annoy them — like the rule that they must keep their shirts tucked in at all times.

Supposedly, a Christian school’s dress code rests on the concept of modesty, which is certainly mentioned in Scripture. But theology and practice mash up into a nasty train wreck in this area. We’d like to think our dress code is an outgrowth of good theology, but usually the actual policies seem to have little to do with theology and everything to do with practical life at a school and with preventing phone calls from angry parents.

I’m not sure where all this series of posts will go, but I imagine a definition of biblical modesty is in order, along with some musings on whether the phrases “Grace-based education” and “dress code” can coexist peacefully.

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