As an occasional leggings-as-pants offender, I cannot comprehend why schools are “cracking down” on yoga pants. School dress codes are really getting out of hand these days. Claiming leggings distract male students from their lessons is absurd. School officials are targeting legwear but refuse to acknowledge many of the distractions present in any given classroom. The fact that schools enforce spandex bans all willy-nilly is infuriating. (Totally not stopping dudes. Read more.) But most importantly, the time & energy required to enforced such rules could certainly be better spent.
Here are 4 bigger distractions that warrant just as much attention:
1. The Clock
Anyone who’s ever sat in a classroom dying to get out knows how distracting a clock can be. It’s hypnotic. And that piece of shit never moves fast enough. Most people have probably tried their hand at telekinesis as they anxiously wait for the bell to ring. Those affected by even the mildest case of Senioritis know the struggle is all too real. In chronic cases, subjects develop tunnel vision, becoming completely oblivious their legging clad classmates. The clock. It ticks. Too slowly.
You know what also trumps yoga pants in the distraction department?
You try to tell constantly growing mini-adults, athletes especially, that hanger isn’t all-consuming state of mind. Grumbling stomachs, hunger pangs & irritability do not a concentrated student make. I promise you that. I’m twenty-ish & I still have trouble managing bouts of hanger. It’s hard to sit through class & take notes when your body is politely reminding you to feed it every 1-20 seconds. Stress healthy eating & breakfast all you want, but sometimes life happens & meals don’t. But since hunger is distraction, let’s go ahead ban hunger in schools too!
And when meals finally do happen, food comas are a possibility (almost inevitable). Yes, sometimes when we can’t eat fast enough, we wind up in a hanger induced food coma. Try plopping down in a desk with a food baby that could fool pregnancy test and learn algebra. Or anything. When all you wanna do is keel over in fetal position, how could anyone be alert? Unless that class is called nap time, fat chance you’ll be participating. What’s worse? You’re probably REAL uncomfortable, with half the sense not to unbutton your jeans. Might as well ban food comas while were at it. What do you call a food coma without leggings? INSANELY UNCOMFORTABLE. You’re welcome!
The obvious culprits, more detrimental than the so-called controversial tights/pants hybrid:
3. Social Media.
Claim your school has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to cellphone use in class all you want, but I’m not buying it. These days, students and teachers alike are glued to their smartphones more than ever. It’s our clock, dictionary, email, scanner, etc. However, it’s also the greatest distraction of our time. Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat don’t magically fall silent from 8am-3pm during the week. And it’s inconceivable that ALL those student authored tweets are coming from little truants.
Feel free to rummage through the following hashtags:
It might be easier to take a selfie in a college amphitheater, but don’t underestimate high-schoolers (or younger), they’re impressively crafty. If their predecessors learned to blindly text with T9 under desks, bet your bottom dollar they’re taking selfies & telling the world how much #SchoolSucks. Trying to stealthily manage your social media accounts is an enormous distraction, legging-covered limbs are not.
As if students needed ONE more thing to stress out about, let’s just tamper with the dress code . Hormones aside (because that topic is TIRED), passing the semester, college prep, college essays, college tours, Driver’s Ed, school plays, volleyball matches, piano practice… are all perfectly worthy of adolescent stress. Those things actually factor into their future in ways yoga pants simply do not.
And since school’s not getting easier, (cf. “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader”), shouldn’t students AT LEAST be comfortable? Being comfortable is conducive to an academic environment. I, for example, wouldn’t have made it outta high school alive if it weren’t for pajama bottoms & sweatpants. But if leggings are OUT, we might as well make ALL comfortable clothing a violation of school policy, to be fair . “So long jeans, tees, hoodies, gym shorts & sweatpants,” said no school official ever.* But seriously, if we just ban stress, students wouldn’t need to be comfortable & we could bypass this whole legging controversy all together!
Uniform peddlers, before you rejoice, shouldn’t students experience the glory that is free dress before they settle down into the workwear-appropriate world us adults are so fond of? Have they not their entire lives (and after-school jobs) to be miserably dressed?
To be honest, I don’t see how students can get through school without leggings. Homework, all-nighters, college applications, SATs, SAT II, community service… all while getting up at the crack of dawn. School is hard enough. Some days real pants ARE too much of a hassle. Besides policing leggings worn by female students on school grounds is impractical, ridiculous, sexist & clearly misdirected. There are much bigger fish to fry: Sex Ed, Bullying, Rape Culture, etc. But if it’s the little fish you want, there’s always: bake sales, car washes, food drives, dances or even model UN.
Breaking News: Leggings are not raising teen pregnancy rates or the number of high school drop outs.
Next period’s homework
Excessive coughing or sneezing
Being too hot or cold
*Schools with uniforms/without free dress not included. Obviously.