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Posted: February 20, 2014 9:00 p.m.

Where's the grey area?

In a follow-up to our editorial about how the minority rules over the majority in this country, we are now looking at how new rules created by that minority give businesses and organizations no room to maneuver with personnel or children.

There is no longer any grey area. Rules are strictly black and white, leaving out the judgment of the people who enforce the rules.

An example that hits close to home is how a Social Circle Middle School student didn’t comply with the law of the land (as far as dress code goes) due to tears in her jeans. Those rips violated the exact wording of the school system’s dress code. The code states there should be "no holes, cuts, and/or rips on clothing above the knees."

OK, but what if those holes or tears are covered by patches from the inside, revealing nothing? That was the case here. The student was told she had to change her clothes, contact her parents and change clothes at home, or be put in isolation — whatever that means.

We are sure other school districts have dress codes prohibiting tears and rips in pants; however Social Circle Schools could have veered slightly outside the strict wright-or-wrong wording of the code. Other instances have reportedly come up regarding covered tears, and, according to Social Circle Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd McGhee, they were handled in the same way.

"What they have is consistency on how they enforce it," McGhee said. "Whether people agree with it or not, it’s what we are living with right now."

This is an example of the problem of not having a grey area. Our question is: What if that child’s family could not afford jeans, and they made every effort to clothe their child the best they could? Or with the evolving art that is fashion, how can new things be adapted? Once there was a time when young women wearing pants was frowned upon, and grey areas allowed that to change.

We hope Social Circle Schools, and other organizations with black-and-white-minded interpretations of codes, can adapt. When asked if patches would be addressed in next year’s handbook, McGhee answered, "Absolutely."

"I want the school, and maybe even including some parent teams of folks, to come up with something that makes sense," McGhee said.

To us some leeway in making decisions and in some school rules makes sense. We should stop punishing good kids because the actions of a few bad kids.

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