Friday, March 31, 2017

School uniforms - Britain versus France......

Reading the British press - mainly the Daily Mail I have to confess - British school teachers seem to spend a great deal of time checking on how their students dress, measuing the lenght of skirts and shorts, and the colour, lenght and style of haircuts. Being sent home or banished from the classroom appear to be the standard punishment for these apparent breaches of the rules.

Happily the French take a much more relaxed attitude. The majority of youngsters attend free public (state run) schools, from the maternité through to the lycée and dress code is not on the list of requirements for entry - apart from that imposed by current teenage fashions taken from television or the web.

In my home town the current fasion is for leggings (apparently now frowned upon by some airlines as 'inappropirate') worn by both girls and boys, with a draughty few inches of bare ankle displayed in both summer and winter. The top half is generally comprised of a T-shirt or other sports gear, with logos, trademarks or slogans of your choice. When it comes to hairstyle - anything goes, length, colour, shape, style, the boys generally following the trends set by footballers. And the minute the sun comes out, everyon is in shorts.

I was waiting for a friend to join me for lunch yesterday and watched several groups of youngsters passing by - including a greed haired lad with two friends - but his appearance did not attract a second glance from a single one of the (adult) passers-by. Joining groups of friends in a café or bistro is routinely accepted and thse pre-adults have a surprising self confidence, especially when surrounded by their peers. Any suggestion that they should be made to conform to a dress code would be considered laughable.

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