by Jennifer, age 17, from the US
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large
groups. Life affords certain undeniable truths, and this
is one of them. Groups of people seem to be what guides
the whims of today's society. Organizations, the one's
with all the letters and the catchy anagrams, seem to
be taking over political and personal aspects of life.As
many middle and high school students have discovered recently,
individual clothes have become a trend of the past. Rights
to freedom of expression and speech, guarunteed in the
U.S. Constitution, the watermark of human rights, are
being violated. Although some students seem to agree to
this, many have decided to stand up and be counted among
those who favor the right to be themselves over the right
to be part of a group.
For example, at a small school in rural east Tennessee,
where a strict uniform code is being enforced by a group
of martinets, some have decided to speak out. During the
school spirit week, some decided to make their own "dress-up"
day and break the rules to show pride and support for
the school. What was done to these students? They were
quickly, and quietly sent home. This however, is not the
only incident. The salutatorian of the class was sent
to the office, for the only time in her high school career,
for wearing the wrong shoes. One girl, a senior, was brutally
pulled by her belt loops to the office for forgetting
to wear a belt. She was so shaken that she left for the
day in tears. Other injustices were also done at this
school in the name of conformity.
It is time we reevaluate situations like these. In this
article, these people, and this school, are nameless.
Of course, everyone knows someone who has experienced
similar situations, so one can substitute the names. Not
one person is alone in this fight.This is my anthem, my
song, and my contribution to these people. Perhaps it
is not a violent struggle for civil rights, but the right
to express oneself as one feels is of paramount importance.
It is wrong to stiffle the creativity of minds so young,
so full of life, and then strip them from what makes them
unique--the expression of themselves. True, clothing is
not everything, but it is a part that makes up a whole,
and the use of it to convey beliefs and ideals should
not be denied. Who are these people to strip childern
of these rights?Is this the society we want? A faceless,
nameless crowd of uniform drones? I sincerely hope not.
A travisty such as that is anything but American. America,
the pinnacle of freedom, bravery, and an individual life,
should not be condoning such actions. What happened to
the "rugged individualism" of our forefathers? Perhaps
America has let that die, also. There still is, however,
hope. The hope is in the future, in allowing expression
to continue, unbridled with preposterous restrictions.
This should be society's anthem: "FREEDOM WILL RING!"