I was speaking to a young man this morning with Mr Anderson at the Secondary Campus and it inspired me to jot down the gist of our conversation.
We were dealing with uniform standards:
I hope you understand this is not an issue of conservative resistance to fashion as though we’re the “suits” and you are fighting for youthful freedom and expression.
To me it is much deeper than that: there are a couple of things I’d like you to consider.
The first and most important is an understanding that who you are is far more important than how you look. Uniforms and certain limits on hair etc are actually to take emphasis away from these areas and give you a break for those things that are quite superficial. It doesn’t matter how you look if you are not kind, a supportive friend, sensitive to others. These are the real issues as you grow.
The other is that in all of life there are times that we are called to toe the line: workplace safety issues, workplace dress codes, respectful behaviours in public and private spaces, keeping the law with a sense of personal integrity. There is a certain humility required in all of us to keep these things. Life is not just about us and how we want it to be.
The final point I’d like to make revolves around you understanding that we are not the enemy. I hope you realise how deeply we care about you and how are growing and developing. You have progressed so well last year both academically and in your relationships. Why would any of us want to operate in an atmosphere of contention rather than mutual respect? You understand that we are committed to you doing well and really accomplishing things here that you can be proud of and we are seeing that happen.
I know I seem easy going, but I’m actually quite strict, these are things that are important to me. The conversation went well and I am sure that this student has a good sense of our desire for good for him and his response was encouraging. We finished the conversation commenting on how well students in his year were relating and that it really seemed that here he was building friendships he could cherish throughout his life.
At the assembly this morning I mentioned to students that a school was not a building. An empty school is just the same as any other empty building. A school is the sum of all the people and relationships we share together.
Rod McNeill - Principal