If you teach middle or high school, you know there’s always going to be students who LOVE a provocative T-shirt. And these things seem to come in waves. Right now, the hotly debated clothing in our Principal Life group on Facebook are shirts that say “I Heart Hot Moms” or “I Heart Hot Dads.” And the leaders in our group are conflicted on how to handle this trend. Some say it’s not worth fighting, while others feel it’s an obvious disruption to learning. We’ve gathered some of our group members’ advice on “I Heart Hot Moms/Dads” shirts below, but we’d love to hear your thoughts too—please share in the comments!
“Unless you have a documented incident of these shirts causing a disruption to the educational environment, I think you’re in a slippery slope situation.”
“Tinker v. Des Moines is pretty clear and has been case law for decades. It’s clear that you may only limit dress if it has caused a disruption or has clear potential to cause disruption.”
“I’ve had a lot of positive experiences one-on-one with students just listening to why they like the offensive clothing, and respectfully explaining why it can cause divisiveness or cause others to feel uncomfortable.”
“I told them that I probably couldn’t make them stop wearing it, but I just ask if they would reconsider. It works best when you have a good relationship with the kid.”
“We allow it. It’s not worth the conflict.”
“I laugh with them and move on. There are bigger issues.”
“It could be problematic.”
“I would say whenever you have something that suggested an adult-child situation where either side is sexualizing the other, you need to think twice.”
“I hate dress codes, and I’ve found that often if the adults don’t make a big deal about it, it’s not a big deal.”
“It’s stuff like this that takes precious time away from the business of educating students and running a school.”
“I told one of my biggest behavior-problem students who wore an ‘I Heart Hot Moms’ shirt ‘thanks for being a fan.'”
“He said, you’re not hot—I replied that all moms are hot or at least by definition were at one time. He never wore the shirt again. (Not a conversation I would have with all kids, but he and I spent A LOT OF TIME TOGETHER!!!). Not a hill we wanted to die on since it didn’t break our dress code.”
What are your thoughts on “I Heart Hot Moms” shirts? Please share in the comments!
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