Consequences for a choice.
Summer, a senior at Hickory Ridge High School in Harrisburg, North Carolina was suspended for violating her school’s dress code. She admits that she knew, when she chose the off-the-shoulder shirt, that it was in violation, but she chose to wear it anyway.
Summer is very unhappy that she must now face the consequences for her a choice. “I have a 4.4 GPA! I have worked so hard and this might jeopardize my future.”
Consequences for us mere mortals.
Sorry Summer-you shouldn’t have chosen to violate the school dress code. What did you think would happen? Did you think that the principal of the school would praise your individuality? “Summer is exempt but all of you mere mortals must adhere to the dress code.”
Like it or not we live in a society with rules and regulations. We have rules and regulations because there are 7.5 billion people on the planet. Without rules and regulations there would be total chaos. Our individual needs are no more important than the needs of other people.
• We get angry that the person in line in front of us at Starbucks is too slow.
• We get angry that the person at the gym didn’t take the time to dry off the treadmill.
• We get angry that we have to adhere to deadlines.
• We get angry that the coach is giving that kid more time on the field than our kid.
• We get angry that the guy in the red mustang convertible just passed us on the highway.
• We get angry about how other people choose to spend their money.
• We get angry that people do or don’t eat meat.
• We get angry when a parent allows a child to violate the school dress code.
We all have differing views about how we should behave. Luckily, we have social skills rules. We keep one another in check by calling each other out if we violate one of our unwritten social skills rules. “Excuse me sir, but you have nineteen items in the ten item or less express lane.” Social skills rules make brushing elbows with strangers safe and living peacefully in a society possible.
There is no way that 7.5 billion people are going to reach a consensus about basic social behavior. We can’t even all agree that texting and driving is dangerous. If we could, then that guy yesterday in the gold Toyota weaving like he was drunk, would put his phone down and stop endangering the rest of us.
Summer mocks the dress code, but it is there for a reason.
It probably went something like this:
The school district in which Summer attends school has a dress code that I am sure was not thrown together without careful consideration. The school board didn’t want to create it but the kids were coming to school dressed inappropriately. For whatever reason, the district heads were alerted to the fact that student attire had grown distracting. Administrators were forced to establish some guidelines and consequences so that students would follow the rules.
Summer doesn’t like it, and that girl in the yoga pants doesn’t like it, and that boy in Summer’s study hall doesn’t like it either. The adults in charge, who have all of the responsibility for keeping the learning environment serious, safe and running efficiently deemed it necessary.
We are all subject to rules and regulations that we don’t like, that we think are stupid or stifling or sexist or arbitrary and capricious. We choose to follow the rules because we live in a society that we want to run smoothly, we don’t live on a deserted island (if we did we could make our own rules). When we choose to break the rules there are consequences that we must accept. If we don’t like the rules we can use legal avenues to try and affect change.
So Summer, think about the consequences before you choose to buck the system. If you feel that it is worth it after weighing the pros and cons, go for it but don’t complain because you chose to suffer the consequences.
If you would like to teach teens social skills, making smart choices and understanding the consequences of their actions than choose to become a certified social skills trainer. Our online social skills programs make it easy to learn all of the social skills topics that children need to be successful and content. Pick your program today and create a career that you love and is meaningful to others.