Bare feet in schools?

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Galoot
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Bare feet in schools?

Postby Galoot » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:10 pm

Several East High students started going barefoot in school last spring, and it spread to a few other students this fall. Honest, I had nothing to do with it, in spite of being an avid barefooter myself.

The administrators have decided to come down hard on these students--two students were surrounded a few days ago by 3-4 security guards and a vice principal, and escorted immediately to the vice principal's office, to be shouted at about their behavior.

The administrators told them that it is a "state law in Wisconsin that shoes must be worn in any public building." I'm about 99% sure that there is no such law. Nor is there any MMSD dress code rule requiring shoes. After all, what constitutes a shoe, and does the school get to decide this?

Going barefoot is actually very good for the feet, but Americans have a weird hangup about seeing bare feet. Walk by someone wearing the thinnest of flip-flops, and they won't notice, but if you walk by in bare feet, people are often horrified.

And no, there is no health code requirement requiring shoes in stores or restaurants.

The students were told nonsense like "you know, no shoes, no shirt, no DICE!!". The "no shoes, no service" signs on restaurants are based only on the whim of the manager. Of course, students should do what the administrators ask them to do, but what the admins require should be based on the actual rules of the district and state, not stuff that is made up on the spot.

I think a few of the students might fight this, but unfortunately it will probably just result in a needless new district policy requiring "some sort of foot covering". Will a foot with kleenex taped over the top count as a shoe?

O.J.
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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby O.J. » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:23 pm

According to this, bare feet are deemed unacceptable.

http://www.madisonpublicschools.org/514 ... S_CODE.pdf

Galoot
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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby Galoot » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:28 pm

Interesting. Thanks, O.J., you have superior google-fu skills!

What's funny is that "footwear intended for the beach" is also banned, but kids wear everything from flip-flops to shower sandals to slippers to school, and nobody ever blinks.

So it isn't a state law, it's just part of the dress code. Odd that the administrators don't even know this.

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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby Stomach » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:33 pm

Is there a ban on girls sporting the "whale tail"?

thebookpolice
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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby thebookpolice » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:33 pm

O.J. wrote:According to this, bare feet are deemed unacceptable.

http://www.madisonpublicschools.org/514 ... S_CODE.pdf

Of course, that's Madison, NJ--but your claim is valid nonetheless.

O.J.
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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby O.J. » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:47 pm

Whoops. Damn you Goggle!

Galoot
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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby Galoot » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:43 pm

Ok then, back to the issue as I thought it stood--there is no such rule for MMSD schools.

One of the kids asked me how they can fight back on this issue, and I suggested he get his parents to contact the school. If they can't show a state rule or district rule on the subject of bare feet, I think they should just leave the kids alone.

O.J.
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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby O.J. » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:58 pm

http://www.madison.k12.wi.us/files/scho ... ks/143.pdf

From the Madison West High handbook: For reasons of health and safety, appropriate shoes must be worn in and around school at all times. Bare feet are not appropriate.

More importantly, I highly doubt that any student could think they could enter school shoeless without repercussion.

QuantumWeaver
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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby QuantumWeaver » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:59 pm

Or the district can just formalize the "rule" and the problem is solved. It's a safety issues, folks, come on.

You know the first moron to get injured will be crying that the school didn't protect them, blah blah blah.

It's not the beach, you're not at home, put your shoes on and stfu.

Galoot
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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby Galoot » Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:20 pm

Why exactly is it a safety issue? Sure, kids should wear covered shoes in chemistry class, and in shop class, and the kids who were going barefoot knew this, and brought shoes to wear.

Other than that, isn't there the other side to consider? There appears to be fairly solid evidence that going barefoot leads to fewer injuries of the lower leg and feet, such as plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis.

And is a flimsy pair of flip-flops or a pair of bedroom slippers (yes, I've seen these at school) really supposed to be safer than going barefoot? Is there any actual evidence for this?

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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:36 pm

Back in the late 70s I taught at City High School, a MMSD alternative program (also known as Hippie High). Many of the students went barefoot. When a downtown administration visited, he came into the office and complained about what he saw. As soon as the area administator (an old bureaucratic title) left, a fellow staff member who was sitting behind her desk put her bare feet on top of the desk and just smiled.

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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby ilikebeans » Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:49 pm

I can think of two safety issues off the top of my head:

- Stepping on sharp items on the floor/ground. Things get dropped all the time-- nail clippers, pins, glasses drop and break. Why turn that into a bloody trail down the hall and maybe a trip to a clinic?

- Spreading of foot fungus.

If shoes are causing you foot injury and pain, you're not wearing the right shoes.

Galoot
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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby Galoot » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:23 pm

Pins? Ever drop a pin? You can step on it (I have in my classroom, since we use pins for some of the activities) and you'll probably hardly notice it. Or do you think that pins stand on end all on their own?

Nail clippers? You think there are nail clippers sitting on the floors at schools? That's kind of silly. Also, anyone who walks barefoot knows that you tend to look where you're going, and not step on things.

Glass on the floor? From what? Very few people have glasses that are actually made out of glass. And I've never seen any broken glass anywhere except in a classroom where someone dropped something, in which case it is quickly swept up.

Foot fungus? How is foot fungus going to live on bare feet? Fungus grows really well in dark, warm, moist areas--i.e. inside of shoes.

Oh, and the fact that West High has a rule about people going barefoot, isn't going to carry a lot of weight at East HIgh. :D

The idea that there is a "proper shoe" that keeps your foot from being injured, especially a running shoe, is a complete myth. There isn't a shred of evidence that the fancy running shoes--starting with the Nikes of the early 70's--do anything at all to reduce running injuries. In fact, the rate of injuries per runner mile has gone UP since then.

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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby andrinabird » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:15 pm

all the cool kids are wearing Vibram Five Fingers! Barefoot with shoes! WOO!

thebookpolice
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Re: Bare feet in schools?

Postby thebookpolice » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:18 pm

BO wouldn't exist without shirts, so I say off with shirts, too. And y'know, ballsweat might not be as stank without pants, so I'm all for no pants.

Come on. Stuff on the ground can be uncomfortable to step on. No one wants to have to develop inch-thick callouses to walk around comfortably. Shoes make sense.

I can't believe we're having this debate.


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