Teens Gone Wild: Tuxedo Shirt Found “Inappropriate” (original article, another article including the following terrifying quote):
Others applauded Ward’s decision, including Karen Gordon, who said, “When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds.”
One of our children (I’m not naming any names) we sometimes get really frustrated with, because this child seems to have an incredibly strong need for autonomy and self-determination.
The child (I’m avoiding gendered pronouns here) cannot be disciplined. Punishment does not change the child’s behavior in any positive way. We’re doing our best to find ways of working with the child which respect the child’s need for autonomy and self-determination. It isn’t easy. Traditional child-rearing doesn’t really have a solution for this kind of thing.
I mentioned the situation to a professional therapist and he said that he thought that while he respected the desire to raise a child in line with egalitarian values, he wouldn’t want to raise a child who didn’t know how to deal with other adults in their lives.
I read this article and realized I would be proud to raise a child who was not willing to knuckle under to the kind of authority this principal tried to assert — and that if what that takes is not being able to depend on automatic, unthinking obedience to my own authority, I’m more than willing to accept that price. In that context this willfulness is a gift, not a problem.
America needs more people like the students in this story, both the one who had her photograph taken that way and the editor of the yearbook who refused to remove it.
When uniformity is compromised, then authority no longer holds.