Teed off - Parents urged to 'just say no' to offensive clothing messages
By Mary Carty
CATHOLIC ONLINE, Aug. 25, 2006 (www.catholic.org) – ‘tis the season for “back to school shopping.” Racks and aisles at the malls and superstores are crammed with merchandise to entice shoppers and set the standards for what children and teens will wear to school.
A mere glance at this year’s children’s clothing styles may be a bit jarring to some parents and adults in general.
Among the styles and items being promoted are: ripped jeans, jeans that appear stained and filthy, midriff tops and lacey thongs for girls barely out of kindergarten and T-shirts with offensive messages.
When kids choose clothing that parents find offensive or unacceptable, parents can “just say no”: “no” to clothing those parents consider immodest and/or offensive; “no” to clothing that is too expensive for the family budget; and, “no” to T-shirts that carry messages that could offend teachers, classmates and parents themselves.
A teacher returns to school, rested after summer vacation. He/she looks out at a sea of 8-year-old children’s faces and is immediately distracted by the message written on a T-shirt in large letters “I’M NOT LAZY, I JUST DON’T CARE,” “I HAVE NOTHING NICE TO SAY” or “IT’S TIME FOR A NAP.”
The messages on these material shirts may influence the teacher’s opinion of the child that is wearing the shirt as well as affect the wearer’s relationships with parents, friends and even the person that drives the school bus.