• Stupid Rules

      I'm grateful to Indiana's Richmond School District for reminding everyone why it's important to have decentralized government.

      The District has suspended 150 high school kids because they violated the school's new dress code. Kids were booted for wearing plaid shirts or houndstooth-patterned pants. Parents say almost everything in their kids’ wardrobes is now banned.

      What is the new dress code?

      Well, there are some reasonable parts, like prohibiting clothing that exposes breasts or butts or displays vulgarity. But look at some of these rules:

      • Shirts must be plain.

      • Message bearing sweatshirts other than those that promote programs of Richmond Community Schools are not permitted.

      • Pants must be plain with no message.

      No wonder about 10 percent of the student body has been suspended. Frustrated parents say, why did they do back-to-school shopping?

      Mom Jacqueline Bell said she was shocked that her children were sent to school in what she considered respectable clothes only to find out that most everything in their wardrobe was now forbidden. "It's good enough to wear to church, but you can't wear it to school," she told ABCNews.com. "It amazes me."

      Now I’ve written about the inappropriate fashions kids often wear. But banning plaid is ridiculous.

      At a school board meeting, angry parents spoke up. "The approach of shut up and do what you're told -- or else -- seems to be too common in our school system," parent Angela Bane said.

      She’s right. Teachers are paid to teach, not enforce top-down rules by a school district that have nothing to do with a child’s education.

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      Pre-October 2009