• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Dress Codes And Individual Rights, The Nba And Aclu

AlbqOwl

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
22,769
Reaction score
11,834
Location
New Mexico
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent
A few years ago, an Albuquerque highschool beset by gang violence, drugs, and weapons smuggled into school, despite a zero tolerance policy, went the next step. They established and began enforcing a strict dress code: no gang colors allowed, no oversized overcoats, no baggy pants (hiphoppers could fit three people plus an AK47 into some of those pants) and, while they were at it, no exposed bellies or underwear, no excessively short skirts or shorts, etc.

It was no time at all before a parent, assisted by the ACLU, filed suit that the civil rights of her kid (and thus all students) was being violated.

Now the NBA, both to improve its general image and with a secondary purpose of providng better role models for kids, has established a strict dress code. When in public representing the NBA, the players will dress in pressed shirts, pants, jackets and no 'gang attire', chains, jewelry worn outside the clothing, head gear, etc. will be allowed. It is speculated it will be no time at all before the ACLU chimes in with an opinion that not only are the rights of the individual players being violated, but there are racial overtones to this policy. Such is the buzz on most talk shows this week and also in an AOL straw poll run yesterday.

QUESTION: Should public schools be able to order and enforce dress codes or maybe even uniforms? Should private business, clubs, organizations? How about professional sports teams? How much does 'culture' or the 'public interest' trump the right of those in authority to set the rules?

(Note: the principle of setting rules does not necessarily have to be restricted to dress codes only in this thread.)
 

AlbqOwl

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
22,769
Reaction score
11,834
Location
New Mexico
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent
I've already received one private response that if we can say people can't be naked in public, then we can say what else they can't be. Somewhere in here, however, is the difference beween the best interest of the students and their civil rights or between civil rights and the right of private businesses and property owners to set the rules for their organization and/or what use will be made of the property.
 

Deegan

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
5,528
Reaction score
2
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
I agree with dress codes in school, as it's a very real problem these kids face everyday. Some kids can't afford the fancy clothes others can, and this leads to them being teased and harrassed daily. I like the idea of a uniform, I wore one to Catholic school, and we never had those problems, it was nice. I also see girls dressing like street walkers, this is obviously not appropriate at school, it's a distraction, and just plain bad for the girl. I wish all schools had dress codes, they really do help kids get through school more comfortably, and they get along better as well.

As for the NBA, these are grown men, and as long as they are not wearing a pot leaf on their shirt, or promoting violence, I don't see how you can justify making them dress a certain way?
 

Gibberish

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
6,339
Reaction score
1,269
Location
San Diego, CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
I agree also.

My high school did not go as far as a uniform but there were limitations on what could be worn and if that clothing was worn then the student would have to change into full gym attire.

The security at school could check any student at random through a number of tests (example: have a boy take off his belt and walk 20 feet and come back. If his pants fell down he had to put on gym clothing). This gave the kids the freedom to express there personality through their clothing but would eliminate the disrespectful, or sexual clothing.

Parents should be brought in as part of the new policy as to not buy their children these clothes and allow them to come to school in clothes that are not allowed. Though I am aware this is not always the case as kids tend to change clothing after leaving home.

As for the NBA. These are grown men and should be treated as such. Yes they are role models but so are music artists and actors. Are we going to limit what music artists can wear, and what actors can and cannot wear in life and/or in movies or TV?
 

AlbqOwl

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
22,769
Reaction score
11,834
Location
New Mexico
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent
Gibberish said:
I agree also.

My high school did not go as far as a uniform but there were limitations on what could be worn and if that clothing was worn then the student would have to change into full gym attire.

The security at school could check any student at random through a number of tests (example: have a boy take off his belt and walk 20 feet and come back. If his pants fell down he had to put on gym clothing). This gave the kids the freedom to express there personality through their clothing but would eliminate the disrespectful, or sexual clothing.

Parents should be brought in as part of the new policy as to not buy their children these clothes and allow them to come to school in clothes that are not allowed. Though I am aware this is not always the case as kids tend to change clothing after leaving home.

As for the NBA. These are grown men and should be treated as such. Yes they are role models but so are music artists and actors. Are we going to limit what music artists can wear, and what actors can and cannot wear in life and/or in movies or TV?
There was a time, albeit long before you were born, that Hollywood studios imposed very rigid codes of dress, speech,and conduct on the performing artists they signed on. And Hollywood had a much more respectable image than it does now.

The schools maintained a strict dress code including allowable length of hair for the boys, no jeans, shirts tucked in, girls in dresses or skirts no shorter than just below the knee, blouses tucked in - sweaters could be worn without tucking in. We never questioned it and when the code was relaxed enough that boys and girls could wear jean on Fridays, it felt wierd for a long time. And it is indisputable that young people who are 'dressed up' tend to behave differently than they do when they are in well worn jeans and cut off tees

In the business world, the dress code was the most strict and failure to keep it was grounds for dismissal. The motto was that the one who dresses professionally will behave professionally and will be respected as a professional. Eventually the code was relaxed to make it allowable for women to wear professionally tailored pant suits in lieu of skirts or dresses but again it felt really wierd to wear them for a long time.

So how is it different for the NBA? It is a business after all. If the desired image is successful professionals who are a positive influence in their community and in the world of sports and entertainment, how does 'gang banger' attire affect that? Do they make better role models conforming to the hiphop culture they may have evolved from? Or do they make better role models emulating honorable success and professionalism?

Or should NBA players be expected to be role models at all?
 

Gibberish

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
6,339
Reaction score
1,269
Location
San Diego, CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
AlbqOwl said:
The schools maintained a strict dress code including allowable length of hair for the boys, no jeans, shirts tucked in, girls in dresses or skirts no shorter than just below the knee, blouses tucked in - sweaters could be worn without tucking in. We never questioned it and when the code was relaxed enough that boys and girls could wear jean on Fridays, it felt wierd for a long time. And it is indisputable that young people who are 'dressed up' tend to behave differently than they do when they are in well worn jeans and cut off tees
So during this time of dress codes there were no disagreements, gangs, or social groups among the students? Or are you saying that because of the dress code students do not act how they do today. There actions today have nothing to do with there upbringing, music, or movies, but directly effected by the dressing of their role models?

The way people dress changes by decade so what we tell people to wear today will be pointless in twenty years because the "gang-related" clothing will be totally different. If this was done in the early eighties they could have said "No tight pants, no adidas without laces, and no big gold chain jewelry".

AlbqOwl said:
In the business world, the dress code was the most strict and failure to keep it was grounds for dismissal. The motto was that the one who dresses professionally will behave professionally and will be respected as a professional. Eventually the code was relaxed to make it allowable for women to wear professionally tailored pant suits in lieu of skirts or dresses but again it felt really wierd to wear them for a long time.
I personally feel more professional wearing business attire. Though at my current job it is not required unless a client is coming into the office (which we always have notice of before hand). One reason of the more casual wear in my office is because of fitness.

Check out this article:
http://www.acefitness.org/getfit/casualclothesstudy.aspx

AlbqOwl said:
So how is it different for the NBA? It is a business after all. If the desired image is successful professionals who are a positive influence in their community and in the world of sports and entertainment, how does 'gang banger' attire affect that? Do they make better role models conforming to the hiphop culture they may have evolved from? Or do they make better role models emulating honorable success and professionalism?

Or should NBA players be expected to be role models at all?

They are role models if they or we want them to be or not. Even if they do not have the intellect or character that is needed to be an acceptable role model.
 
Last edited:

AlbqOwl

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
22,769
Reaction score
11,834
Location
New Mexico
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent
Gibberish said:
So during this time of dress codes there were no disagreements, gangs, or social groups among the students? Or are you saying that because of the dress code students do not act how they do today. There actions today have nothing to do with there upbringing, music, or movies, but directly effected by the dressing of their role models?

The way people dress changes by decade so what we tell people to wear today will be pointless in twenty years because the "gang-related" clothing will be totally different. If this was done in the early eighties they could have said "No tight pants, no adidas without laces, and no big gold chain jewelry".

In my mutli-cultural, multi-racial highschool--the anglos were in the minority--there were different groups generally divided into the jocks, nerds, stomps (cowboy boots and hats), and pachucos, a sort of street gang distinguished by their walk (lead with pelvis in long strides with arms hung straight down behind.) Everybody had to adhere to the dress code, however, though the differences as described distinguished the different groups. Our clothing, our music, and our slang was all different from our parents, but it was a time when teachers could still demand respect, enforce discipline, and our value system was not different from that of our parents. Of course there were disagreements, but they were not acted out at school in any significant way.

Even then however, when we were dressed in our casual after school clothes, our behavior was markedly different than when we were 'dressed up' for school or church or whatever. And band and choir members and sports teams were required to dress up when traveling too.

It was not so much what we wore, but that we understood that we represented our school and we were to represent it in a positive way. That did translate into better work ethic and a better understanding of how to present a good image later on I think.


I personally feel more professional wearing business attire. Though at my current job it is not required unless a client is coming into the office (which we always have notice of before hand). One reason of the more casual wear in my office is because of fitness.

Check out this article:
http://www.acefitness.org/getfit/casualclothesstudy.aspx

I also feel more professional in business attire. I don't always dress up to work because I work out of a home office and I sometimes wear the sweats from the morning workout right to my desk. But when I meet with the public I am representing a client and my own business, and I want that to present a very favorable image. I dress up. This is something adults should be teaching the kids as well.

They are role models if they or we want them to be or not. Even if they do not have the intellect or character that is needed to be an acceptable role model.
Agreed they are. And they have a unique opportunity to impress a generation of youngsters who are going to have to decide whether to emulate a culture that is a certain deadend of chronic unemployment and poverty or crime or emulate a culture that is a ticket out of the ghetto and/or gang culture. I would be so proud of the NBA players if they accept their role and do what they can to be a positive influence.
 

gwynn

New member
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
40
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Liberal
As far as the NBA situation goes, if the head office wants to impose a dress code or uniform that's fine. Most employees have some sort of dress code at work, so I see no reason why they should differ.

Schools to me are a slightly different situation, mainly because you are not an employee. I do think some limits are appropriate ( eg, must wear a shirt, no profane/racist slogans etc.), but very strict limitations need not be applied.
 

AlbqOwl

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
22,769
Reaction score
11,834
Location
New Mexico
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent
gwynn said:
As far as the NBA situation goes, if the head office wants to impose a dress code or uniform that's fine. Most employees have some sort of dress code at work, so I see no reason why they should differ.

Schools to me are a slightly different situation, mainly because you are not an employee. I do think some limits are appropriate ( eg, must wear a shirt, no profane/racist slogans etc.), but very strict limitations need not be applied.
Of course its ancient history now, but the dress code when I was in highschool was no shorts, sweats, or jeans--pants with a belt and shirt tucked in for the boys - dresses or skirts--no hemlines above the knee--and blouses tucked in for the girls. Unobtrusive jewelry and accessories were permitted, but revealing or seductive clothing would get a student sent home to change. For the teachers, attire was dress slacks, dress shirt and tie and sometimes a coat for the men; dresses and hosiery for the women--many wore moderately high heels. Teachers commanded respect and enforced discipline. Students were expected to behave or incurred a trip to the principal's office. The learning environment was excellent.

I think there is something to it.
 

TurtleDude

warrior of the wetlands
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
240,299
Reaction score
72,287
Location
Ohio
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
gwynn said:
As far as the NBA situation goes, if the head office wants to impose a dress code or uniform that's fine. Most employees have some sort of dress code at work, so I see no reason why they should differ.

Schools to me are a slightly different situation, mainly because you are not an employee. I do think some limits are appropriate ( eg, must wear a shirt, no profane/racist slogans etc.), but very strict limitations need not be applied.

absolutely true. A public school can be seen as a state agent. However juveniles have traditionally been afforded less "rights" than adults and the Courts have consistently upheld that. The NBA appears to be making employment area rules and that does not invoke any constitutional issues
 

debate_junkie

Worst Nightmare
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
919
Reaction score
19
Location
Pennsylvania
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Here's the thing.. David Stern has gotten himself into a catch 22. While, he, as the employer has the right to impose a dress code, and I would agree with him doing so IF he hadn't so heavily marketed the NBA to the hip hop culture, and now all of a sudden is crying foul when it's running rampant throughout the league, and in the stands. Isn't this what he wanted? His marketing team did this. Hell, can you get anymore hip hop when the Black Eyed Peas "Let's Get It Started" is the theme for the NBA finals, and they appear in every advertisement for it? I would think not. MOST of the players come from this culture, and he made it a place of comfort for them, and for the fans. And now he wants professionalism? Can't have it both ways, David. Just can't.
 

AlbqOwl

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
22,769
Reaction score
11,834
Location
New Mexico
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent
TurtleDude said:
absolutely true. A public school can be seen as a state agent. However juveniles have traditionally been afforded less "rights" than adults and the Courts have consistently upheld that. The NBA appears to be making employment area rules and that does not invoke any constitutional issues
Personally I am from the old school where students had no rights other than the right not to be abused, discriminated against, or forced into illegal or unreasonable activity. There was nobody--not the ACLU or anybody else--to challenge that. And it was by far a superior system.
 

AlbqOwl

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
22,769
Reaction score
11,834
Location
New Mexico
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent
debate_junkie said:
Here's the thing.. David Stern has gotten himself into a catch 22. While, he, as the employer has the right to impose a dress code, and I would agree with him doing so IF he hadn't so heavily marketed the NBA to the hip hop culture, and now all of a sudden is crying foul when it's running rampant throughout the league, and in the stands. Isn't this what he wanted? His marketing team did this. Hell, can you get anymore hip hop when the Black Eyed Peas "Let's Get It Started" is the theme for the NBA finals, and they appear in every advertisement for it? I would think not. MOST of the players come from this culture, and he made it a place of comfort for them, and for the fans. And now he wants professionalism? Can't have it both ways, David. Just can't.
Are you saying that once we have *****ed everything up big time, we're stuck with the consequences forever? It is impossible to move back to a more profitable stance? I don't buy that. I'll never believe that humankind is not capable of recognizing its errors and doing better.

The whole problem is that the hip hop culture of the ghetto keeps kids in the ghetto, permanent unemployed, in chronic poverty, or turning to crime to get by. Is it too much to ask of million-dollar players, whose very livelihood and success depends on support from the community, that they give something back by setting an example in dress, speech, and conduct that would encourage these kids to emulate what will help carry them out of the ghetto?

Thomas Sowell in a recent "Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene" said it this way:
The controversies surrounding Bill Cosby should force more black leaders to decide whether their top priority is protecting the image of blacks or promoting the future of blacks, especially the younger generation.
It should not be concluded, of course, that all kids in trouble are black. But the fact is the NBA players are heroes to a lot of those ghetto kids, and it is thought by some that they could have a profound influence on attitudes that will determine what those kids will make of themselves.
 
Top Bottom