All dressed up and nowhere to go to school. Let student wear feminine attire

Let him dress the way he wants.

That is my verdict after reading the story about a North Cobb High School student – brand new to the school and the state – who dresses in what the school considers feminine attire. After the novelty wears off, no one will notice and life will go on at the school,

Jonathan Escobar says he chooses to wear clothes that express himself.  Skinny jeans, wigs, “vintage” clothing and makeup are the staples of his wardrobe. He doesn’t call himself a cross dresser; he considers his outfits to reflect who he is.

This is a new world. My son attends a college with mostly coed bathrooms except for a male-only facility on his floor. In the first week of school,  he mentioned that the dorm was voting on that bathroom that night.

“To make it coed,” I asked him. “No,” he said. “We are voting to make it a transgender bathroom.”

It’s 2009. Kids are far more tolerant of gender blurring. They are also far more extreme in their dress. I have spoken at dress-code free private schools where I was tempted to throw blankets over some of the girls because of the revealing clothes they wore.

This kid isn’t indecent. He’s just unusual.

And perhaps not even that unusual. Last year, a secondary school in rural Thailand opened a “transvestite toilet” for its growing population of cross-dressers. The Kampang School conducted a survey that revealed more than 200 of the school’s 2,600 students were transvestites. So, the school designed a special unisex restroom marked by a half man in blue and half female in red.

Let Jonathan be. High schools have bigger challenges than a kid who wears a page-boy wig and tight jeans.

And let me say, I expect a lot of you will disagree. Have at it.

268 comments Add your comment

Meme

October 7th, 2009
9:54 am

I am so glad that we have a uniform dress code!

DeKalb Conservative

October 7th, 2009
9:57 am

Maureen – I’m torn on this one. I despise the notion dress codes in schools. I think it distracts from the academic aspect of school. While I respect a student’s choice of expression, I also am overly optimistic people will exercise common sense judgment in how and where they express themselves.

I had a similar incident when I was in high school. We had a guy that grew his hair out slightly long, wore black nail polish and occasionally a skirt. He wasn’t transgendered, but straight and happened to like Marilyn Manson. I will say it was a big distraction for about 2-3 weeks and then kids just became numb to it.

The conclusion I have is that this student likely either need to learn to channel his expressive side during other times, or he’ll pigeon hole himself into limiting the avenues of opportunities post high school. Simple as that.

V for Vendetta

October 7th, 2009
10:00 am

Maureen,

I don’t disagree at all. I completely agree. It is a clear violation of individual rights. Dress codes serve a purpose, and, in a school setting, I actually prefer uniforms. However, if the school has no uniform rule and the student is within the parameters of what is acceptable for both males and females, I see no reason why the school feels the need to censor his dress.

Is it distracting? Sure, but only for those students who haven’t been raised by open-minded parents. Should we also ban males from wearing pink and purple? Should we prevent the “emo” kids from wearing makeup?

If you do not have uniforms at school, the dress code rules should concern themselves with gang attire, profane words/images, and visible undergarments. On a funnier note, I thought the boy’s attire was quite classy looking. I bet some of the girls would look a lot nicer if they dressed as well as he does. :-)

A Parent that Cares of All Children

October 7th, 2009
10:03 am

The student is a male and should dress like a male. School is for learning, and not a fashion show. The need to express his sexual choice is his business and he should do it after school time. Students are in school to Learn not parade around as the opposite sex. If he is gay and I am quite sure it is obvious. Expressing yourself is fine, but if you know you are distracting the education of others, accept responsibility of one actions. Schools have enough problems with females half dressed, and now cross dressing.

V for Vendetta

October 7th, 2009
10:07 am

A Parent that Cares of All Children,

Wow. You really care for all children. Like I said, if the girls dressed as well as him, they wouldn’t be so exposed.

Common sense prevails

October 7th, 2009
10:14 am

No he’s not indecent, but that’s not the point. The issue is he’s an intentional and obnoxious distraction to the other kids who are trying to focus on learning and not a fashion show at school. This isn’t about him “expressing himself”, he WANTS to draw the media attention. His comments yesterday were a prime example of his true motivation: “I want to get the message out there that because this is who I am, I can’t get an education.” Please. The kid is trying to make a name for himself, period. I’m sure he was given the option of toning down the “dress-up styles”, and he opted not to because it would defeat his real purpose. Thank God there are administrators in Cobb with the common sense and guts to stand up to this kind of craziness and defend learning.

Karen Taylor

October 7th, 2009
10:15 am

When I attended high school back in the late Sixties, the dress code was extremely rigid. Girls were not allowed to wear jeans, for example. I can’t say we learned any better than the kids today. If the teen’s clothing choices are legal (covering what needs to be covered) then how about treating the problem at the source? That would be the students AND staff who are causing the problems for this teen? Is bullying somehow acceptable under some circumstances? I don’t believe it is.

HS Teacher, Too

October 7th, 2009
10:21 am

Is anyone else singing “Parents Just Don’t Understand”?

“You go to school to learn, not for a fashion show …”

Karen Taylor

October 7th, 2009
10:25 am

Let me add, if this is an attempt to get attention, as one person claimed, then you are playing right into it. If he was allowed to continue school without comment about his attire, then he would stop when he didn’t get the reaction he was looking for.

Funny, I’ve known several people with a love of vintage clothing. All have said it was a matter of self-expression that they wore it. Why should the sex of the individual matter?

Get on with teaching, including teaching tolerance for people with differing styles.

MS Teacher

October 7th, 2009
10:28 am

I feel that the more alarming thing here is that this young man wants to drop out of school because someone won’t let him “express himself”. Is losing your education and your chance at being someone and making something of yourself really worth it? Life is all about making compromises…if I had a dollar for everytime I didn’t feel like “I could express myself” I’d be a millionaire and not a teacher!!!!!! Someone needs to pull him aside and tell him to get used to it and learn to play the game! Save your wigs and makeup for after school…

Jeff

October 7th, 2009
10:30 am

Yeah, I’ve already been discussing this issue this morning as well.

Basically, I agree with Maureen and V here. I find kids wearing camo or goth attire to be extremely annoying/pointless, but North Cobb has no problems there. I also found girls wearing low cut/tight tops and/or short skirts to be EXTREMELY distracting when I was in HS – FAR more so than if a guy chose to wear dresses. To the point that when I was a student teacher at North Cobb, (and later in my own teaching career), I made it a point to lower my thermostat so low that *I* was actually a bit cold, knowing full well that 90% of everyone in that room – and 99.9% of females, in my experience – would be so cold they would decide for themselves to cover up without me having to say a word. I used the mightily convenient (and true) excuse that I am naturally hot natured, and wearing long sleeves and a tie only exacerbates that – and I had to be in that room for 8 hours, the students only had to be there for 1-2 hrs at a time.

But no, North Cobb, as usual, wants to assault individual rights rather than tell people to mind their own frikkin business.

ATL

October 7th, 2009
10:31 am

The Schools Have A lot to Deal WITH, We ALL Need to Pray……

jim d

October 7th, 2009
10:31 am

Shall i once again have to define HORSEFEATHERS??? LOL

WHO THE H CARES if someone wishes to look like a girly boy? I certainly don’t–

Tony

October 7th, 2009
10:32 am

It is very distracting for other students and for the teachers to have to spend time dealing with junk like this. It is not worth the time and attention. We should not be charged with training every child to accept everything under the sun. We are here to teach how to read, write, perform mathematics, and other basics. Part of the problem with public schools is that we have to put up with junk like this all the time. It is time consuming and expensive. The child and the family should get over it. Buy some pants and shirts and move on.

Jeff

October 7th, 2009
10:36 am

Tony:

Why should the kid have to sacrifice his freedom for an action that violates the rights of NO ONE?

OTHER PEOPLE are making an issue out of this because of their own prejudices. THEY are the ones violating rights here – not this kid. Punish THEM!

jay

October 7th, 2009
10:37 am

Evidently, teenagers these days can’t dress themselves. What’s with the hat that kid is wearing in the ajc photo? Is he going to the Kentucky Derby or what? If they aren’t wearing their pants down to the ankles, they’re cross-dressing. (sigh) I consider myself very tolerant & open-minded but our society is becoming too liberal and PC. We need some boundaries. Get this kid a uniform.

anita

October 7th, 2009
10:38 am

Enter your comments here Obviously he is looking for attention and getting it and being a new student to the school and state and to dress the way he does I’m sure he is in the news wherever he came from also; getting attention from everyone. I’m sorry if I was his parent he would dress as a male and if it preferred to cross dress he would have to do it in his personal time this is a minor. I think that is what’s wrong with the world now everyone has rights that are violated no matter what they are. There are no morals anymore and it seems as though we are living in a total different world.

Wondering Mom

October 7th, 2009
10:41 am

Please….he can’t get an education because he chooses not to. Yes, I hear all the reasons to accept him as he is, but if it was some other type of extreme dress – wearing Confederate flags, Nazi apparel, girls dressed like the Girls Next Door, they would be asked to stop dressing that way. If his own parents had issues with his way of dressing, why would he think that North Cobb High School wouldn’t?

mystery poster

October 7th, 2009
10:41 am

Many teachers have the following poster in their rooms:

30 years from now, it won’t matter what shoes you wore, how your hair looked, or the jeans you bought. What will matter is what you learned and how you use it.

Pompano

October 7th, 2009
10:44 am

And the first time this boy gets his lights punched out, they’ll want to turn-around and sue the school. Like it or not, his appearance does present a security issue for the school. You can cumba-ya all you want and blather on about tolerance & such, but we’re still dealing with the real-world and teen-agers here. There was a ‘butt-kickin a brewing’ and the staff is merely relying on their experience to prevent an actual tragedy from occuring.

He is clearly a distraction and the school handled this appropriately.

Open-Minded Mom

October 7th, 2009
10:46 am

Leave this boy alone! All of you nay-sayers need to look at a young lady named Tavi Gevinson! She is a brillant 13 year old fashion guru who adores deconstructed fashion. For those of you who don’t know what that is it’s basically taking pieces that don’t traditionally go together and making clothing art that you wear. This can include scraps of grandma’s old hats, mismatched patterns ect. She’s pretty out there and I know her look gets lots of attention because she was just invited to Fashion Week by several great fashion designers who love her work. She has an extremely popular web blog and has become quite famous in the fashion world.
The point is, she does it for the art and love of clothing and it may or may not take her to momentous heights in life, but it’s who she is. This boy, too, is who he is. We have no right as a society to sensor the artistic output of others! Distracting or not we can not mold other individuals into who we think they should be. Our job is to provide a supportive and tolerant nation for each person to become who they are. The students who are causing this boy problems should be expected and encouraged to learn tolerance.
Afterall, if girls can dress ‘like boys’, then boys should be able to dress ‘like girls’!
My 14 year old was outraged when I told her about this story on the way to school this morning. She is always talking to me about how this girl is bi-sexual or this boy is gay. These kids are growing up in a more clear era of tolerance and acceptance than ever before, but we can do better and this is a prime example of where we continue to fall short!

Jeff

October 7th, 2009
10:46 am

Pompano:

How about we teach kids that a difference of opinion is NO REASON to assault another human being, and thoroughly prosecute ANY assault for ANY reason?

After all, is that not why we have laws – to PROTECT individual rights, not to PREVENT them from being used?

jay

October 7th, 2009
10:50 am

……I bet he doesn’t dress like a girl while he’s being homeschooled and there are no other kids around to give him the attention he craves.

Tony

October 7th, 2009
10:51 am

Telling a student what they can and can not wear to school does not violate their rights. When the decision was made that the child’s choices of clothing interfered with the school day, that was the only legal test the school had to meet. From there, it is the responsibility of the child and family to follow the guidelines that were set.

Again, the creation of situations like this take school staff away from more important issues. Perhaps school uniforms would be in order for this school to minimize any further issues. But that takes time and energy away from more important things, too.

Schools have limited staff and resources and we simply can not be everything to everybody.

EDUCATION FOR ALL!!

October 7th, 2009
10:55 am

Enter your comments here
My taxes are going to pay for EVERY child’s education. Let the kid go to school. Hasn’t Cobb ever learned about “teachable moments”? If he’s being bullied, I say kick the bullies out.

jim d

October 7th, 2009
10:57 am

jay,

prolly right–bet he just stays in his nightie

GET OVER YOUSELF!!

Pompano

October 7th, 2009
10:59 am

Jeff… that would be great except read my previous post – we’re dealing with the real world and with teen-agers here. Remember – we spend billions trying to prevent teen births, gang violence & drug abuse (and it all works so well). I’m sure every school tries to send a message of tolerance to their students, yet we still have murders, thefts and all sorts of crimes thru-out society.

It’d also be great if we could teach the thugs preying on Tech students the tenants you suggest. However, I don’t think you’d advocate takng police officers off the street as a sign of confidence that all these thugs need is a little life lesson on morality.

As I said, we can blather on about how we’d like things to be – however the school administration has to deal with the actual reality of the situation.

Lindsay

October 7th, 2009
11:02 am

I think he has every right to dress the way he wants. He’s obviously not breaking any dress code violations (male or female) wearing skinny jeans & wigs. Schools are becoming absolutely ridiculous with dress codes nowadays. Half the high school boys in America wear skinny jeans to school every single day and no one complains. The truth is fashion changes & if schools are enforcing dress code policies they need to keep up or shut up. If you want kids to act/look the same enforce uniforms. As a child raised with an open mind, I say give the kid a break it takes guts and a true sense of who you are to dress like that especially in High School.

Ps. North Cobb High School: I sincerely hope you have bigger problems than what one student out of thousands is wearing.

jay

October 7th, 2009
11:04 am

Somedays I feel like “expressing myself” at work but let me show up to work in jeans, t-shirt and sneakers on a day other than Friday and I would be sent home before I get a chance to clock in.

(by expressing my self I don’t mean cross-dressing…Lol)

Jeff

October 7th, 2009
11:06 am

Pompano:

My question is: Why are we spending all that money to begin with?

Thugs on the street is a completely different issue – rights are clearly being violated there.

No rights are being violated here other than the school and the bullies trying to force a person to make decisions they deem acceptable.

Maureen Downey

October 7th, 2009
11:07 am

Jay, The difference is that this kid is wearing articles of clothing that are allowed every day at his school. Nothing he’s wearing is prohibited. It’s because he’s a boy that he’s being told he can’t wear the clothes.
So, it’s about him, not the clothing.
Maureen

Michelle

October 7th, 2009
11:16 am

EDUCATION FOR ALL!! – you said, “My taxes are going to pay for EVERY child’s education.” Wow, really? I doubt that the amount of money you pay in taxes is enough to cover one student’s education, much less all of them!

As others have indicated, I was hired because I have content knowledge in a specific area. It is not my job nor my inclination to teach tolerance. I teach that to my own children, but, that is not my responsibility to do it at school. In addition, this kid got exactly what he wanted – attention. His own parents should have nipped this crap in the bud way before this. One of my children loves to just wear “wife-beaters” as shirts. He can do this all day, everyday – AT HOME! He knows that I would knock him into the middle of next month if he even thought about doing this at school! I don’t give a rat’s behind how much he’d like to “express his individuality” – public school is not the place for it. Maybe they’ll come up with a charter school for him and his kind…

Morgan

October 7th, 2009
11:17 am

I went to North Cobb High School in the 90s and it’s going backwards, not forwards. When I attended, I had at least one male friend who routinely wore “feminine” articles — nail polish, fishnet shirts, etc. — and others who sometimes wore things like black lipstick or even long skirts. As far as I know, none of them were told they couldn’t dress in that manner as long as they were also meeting school dress code regulations. I’m disgusted by the school’s choice in this matter and hope Mr. Escobar receives an apology.

Pompano

October 7th, 2009
11:19 am

You are exactly correct Jeff – no rights are being violated here. However you are wrong in accusing the school of forcing the student to do anything. They are simply trying to protect this kid and prevent the inevitable.

Maureen – you are incorrect in your last statement to Jay. Most schools would not allow a student to wear a bright-pink wig to class regardless of their sex. So this kid is deviating from acceptable norms for school attire.

jim d

October 7th, 2009
11:21 am

If wearing womens clothes makes one weaker men would be the dominant sex.

jay

October 7th, 2009
11:32 am

I understand where you’re coming from Maureen but the point that I was trying to make is that at sometime in this kid’s life he is going to have to learn to conform to some of society’s standards (especially in a professional environment) or he will greatly limit his opportunities. He’s already limiting his opportunities now by saying in so many words “Oh I can’t wear my skinny jeans and high heels to school, well I just won’t get an education.” And it’s just like I said before, I bet he doesn’t dress like a girl while he’s being homeschooled and there are no other kids around to give him the attention he craves.

Jeff

October 7th, 2009
11:33 am

Pompano:

It is NOT the government’s (nor the school’s) job to “protect” us, but to enforce consequences once rights are violated.

In this case, the kid SHOULD sue the school for violation of his rights, and he SHOULD bankrupt them over it.

Violation of rights is unacceptable – particularly when the very government that is supposed to PROTECT them is the one VIOLATING them.

Kinda like the worst child molesters out there – and ANY child molester deserves a particularly nasty place in Hell – are the parents who do it to their own kids.

Open-Minded Mom

October 7th, 2009
11:33 am

Michelle,
” I was hired because I have content knowledge in a specific area. It is not my job nor my inclination to teach tolerance.”
I’m a nurse, with specific content knowledge in my field as well, so do you think that all I should do is what I’ve been trained to do? What I was hired to ‘do’? That means I don’t hold hands with a patient in pain, I don’t hug a grieving family member, I don’t laugh at a patients off color jokes. I don’t run to the vending machine to buy a distraught parent a soda while they sit a vigil next to a sick child. I don’t pray with them, even though I don’t follow their beliefs.
Come on! We, nurses and educators, are in a field that requires a greater understanding of human nature. We are specifically in fields that require tolerance and acceptance of others and most importantly, we are two of the very few fields who are in a position to affect a positive change in the way the world see’s differences in people. Nurses are the number one trusted profession in this country, followed closely by teachers, doctors, etc.
Don’t give me this: “I was hired to do a job” crap cause if that’s the only reason you’re doing it, then you need to find another vocation. We do the work we do because of the love, need, desire, compulsion, to affect a real change in a persons life. Being a health mentor, life mentor and advocate for all people in every walk of life is the only reason to do what we do.
No wonder our educational ranking in the world is so low! If most educators feel the same way you do, we’d all be better pulling our kids out of public school and teaching them at home. They may not learn all the math they need, but at least they know they’re being taught by people who really care about them and not just doing a job!!!!!

Pearl

October 7th, 2009
11:39 am

Enter your comments here My children graduated from North Cobb, and I am saddened to read Jonathan’s story. My children went to school with other kids who sometimes crossed gender lines in their attire and no one in administration said a word. The kids might pick on them at first, but it usually stops eventually. The jocks and preps might keep it up, but they tend to pick on and bully anyone they see as outside the norm. Sadly, their norm is very narrow. The biggest problem is that high schools don’t do all they can to prevent bullying. Blaming the victim is absurd. Jonathan had only been there 3 days. He wasn’t even given a chance to blend in. Teenagers are often much more tolerant and accepting than adults. The assistant principal was out of line with is comments. First of all, skinny jeans are not ‘feminine’ attire these days. They sell skinny jeans in the boys’ departments at all the department stores. I think that AP needs to keep up with what is going on in teen trends so that he can stop embarrassing himself and his school district. This is the type of news that makes people think Cobb is a backwater, redneck enclave.

Maureen Downey

October 7th, 2009
11:41 am

Jay, I think you make valid points, but I also think this kid should be able to make his own clothing choices as long as he’s not harming anyone else. Given his willingness to risk public censure for his dress, it may well be that this is so important to him that he’ll choose a career in which flamboyance or personal expression isn’t a problem. Or he may end up working from home in some creative field.
But I agree with you that if he decides on Coca-Cola’s management track, he’s going to have to retire the heels and jeans and don the corporate uniform.
Maureen

Bob

October 7th, 2009
11:41 am

My daughter attends a Cobb County H.S and they have a very strict dress code, no torn jeans or the like and the rules state when in doubt do not wear it. The big issue here is adapting to the enivronment to get what you need. If you want a quality education, you adapt to their rules not the other way around. Do you think a private school would allow him to dress that way? What if he wants to go work for a large law firm after H.S. and walks in to the interview dressed that way? If you are either at school or at a job, you are there to work and learn and any personal quirks you may have should be done on your own personal time.

Parent

October 7th, 2009
11:43 am

If this student stays within the schools dress code, I have no problem with him wearing “gender bender” type clothing. I’m not sure wearing a wig to school for show is appropriate; we have to draw the line somewhere. You know teenagers give than an inch…..
I have more of a problem with the way teenage girls dress or half dress. Mom’s don’t you remember teenage boys have a one track mind!

Maureen Downey

October 7th, 2009
11:46 am

Bob, I do think some private schools would allow him to dress that way. There are several top private schools in metro Atlanta that give students great freedom to wear what they please. And the kids do.
Now, he couldn’t show up at a Marist dressed like that or any other private school that requires uniforms.
Maureen

V for Vendetta

October 7th, 2009
11:54 am

Bob,

“If you want a quality education, you adapt to their rules not the other way around.”

Really? It’s interesting that you say that because I teach a heck of a lot of students who refuse to “adapt” to the rules. They act out, cause problems, vandalize property, fight, and generally disrupt the learning process for others.

But they’re still here.

So why can’t this kid–who is bothering NO ONE except the simple-minded–be forced to change in order to conform to an environment that tolerates such depraved behavior from others. Oh sure, those students are punished, but it doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot of good, now does it?

You’re right, a private school would NOT allow him to dress that way, but it is their right to set such a rule. They are a private school. They are not FORCING him to attend. It is the same situation if he wants to be a lawyer when he grows up. It is their policy to which he must conform, but, if he doesn’t like it, he is more than willing to seek employment elsewhere.

Bottom line: Only the ignorant are being harmed here, and I don’t personally care for the ignorant.

Pompano’s logic of “preventing the inevitable” is equally absurd. What sort of argument is that? We’re protecting him from others who wish to do him physical harm? By that measure the government should take my car keys because I might get in an accident. The government should take my food away because I might choke on it. The government should prevent me from traveling anywhere that could be unfriendly to Americans. I might get hurt.

This kid isn’t hurting anyone. In fact, he’s probably doing a better job teaching the other students tolerance than their own parents seem to be doing.

Pompano

October 7th, 2009
12:01 pm

Jeff – first you say no rights are violated here. Then you spout that the kid should sue for having his rights violated.

Hmmm… not the Government’s job to protect us. Ever heard of a little organization called the Military? Ever read about how much pressure is put on schools to PROTECT students from bullies (example the recent issue in Dekalb County)???

I’m shocked that you would advocate the school should sit back and wait until actual violence occurs before taking measures. Punishing a bully for kicking this guy’s butt after-the-fact (and possibly after he has suffered significant injury) would not preclude the school from being sued. Prevention appears much more desirable in this instance than what could ultimately transpire. However, I can understand how those detached from true Reality would have difficulty with this concept.

Michelle

October 7th, 2009
12:01 pm

Open Minded Mom – I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to do. I wouldn’t consider another vocation. That being said – there is no way in (insert bad word here) that I’m hugging a student, teaching them something that is not part of my curriculum or running to the vending machine to buy them a drink. Am I a horrible person? No. I am someone who realizes that doing any one of those things I mentioned might get me hauled into the office with an angry and litigious parent, and cause me to have to look for another vocation! Call it crap if you want to – I call it real life.

Have a great day!

V for Vendetta

October 7th, 2009
12:11 pm

Pompano,

The military is part of the government. Jeff is correct in stating that the government’s primary job should be to protect individual rights, i.e., keep its citizens safe from the use of force by others. However, our own government seems to have lost sight of this fact long ago.

Perhaps the school should be more concerned with why a bully of the caliber you describe is still in school rather than the attire of the students. When prevention becomes the norm, we’ve completely allowed socialism to take over. We’re already headed in that direction, Pompano. Let’s not run to get there quicker.

FultonTeacher

October 7th, 2009
12:13 pm

This is less about self expression and more about having the ability to adhere to policy. His clothes were a distraction. He admitted that kids were always surrounding him. If he chooses to express himself through clothing, he has ample time to do so after 4pm. Until then he should dress in what is deemed appropriate. He has no right to dress any way. He has a right to an education.

Teaching tolerance is less our responsibility and more the parents. At what point are we expected to teach our content?

Alice

October 7th, 2009
12:13 pm

No one mentioned that he insisted on using the girls restroom and that he wore clothing that even girls would have been disciplined for.

Miss Maggie

October 7th, 2009
12:17 pm

There is more to this than a kid’s (poor) choice of dress.

1st: NOBODY’S GA tax dollars went for the education he has chosen to walk away from. This boy did not like his parent’s rules at home (Miami) so he move here to mooch of his sister and GA Taxpayers.

2nd: Outlandish hats and pink wigs are not a choice of dress but an outright and obvious effort to attract attention by disrupting class.

3rd He’s 17 and it’s time for him to wake up and smell the coffee- soon (very soon if he doesn’t finish HS and head for college) he’s going to be looking for a job and few if any well paying companies let employees dress like loons.

So yes, he’s got a right to dress any way he chooses except at a public school where STUDENTS do NOT have ‘rights’ per se but are subject to the rules/regs of the admin (In loco parentis) but more importantly when he does exercise his right to dress his way he’s got to be ready to accept the consequences of his decision. In this case those consequences are: follow our dress code rules or go elsewhere.