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Related post: Sunday, July 31, 2005; B01
Last year, as part of my doctoral research, I spent a semester
observing teenagers at a multicultural high school in Queens, N.Y. One
day as I walked down the hall, Roxithromycin 150 I noticed a security guard telling a
student that the do-rag on his head was "a violation." The guard
proceeded to fill out what Roxithromycin Tablets 150mg looked like a parking ticket. I asked
another student what was going on, and he told me that the school was
cracking down on dress code infractions; three breaches could earn a
suspension. His Jamaican-born mother, he later said, didn't like him
wearing do-rags because police might interpret them as signs of
delinquency, "especially on a black male like me." He'd already Roxithromycin 300 Mg been
stopped several times to be checked for drugs and, once, on suspicion
of stealing the Buy Roxithromycin bike he was Buy Roxithromycin Online riding. His own explanation for the
do-rag, however, was Roxithromycin Tablets simple: On days he didn't comb his hair, he used
a do-rag to cover it up. It was his solution to a bad hair day.
As July slips into August and "back-to-school sale" signs start
popping up in mall windows, clothing-based disagreements between
adults and Purchase Roxithromycin Online teens -- over what's appropriate and what's not -- will Buy Cheap Roxithromycin be
heard in households across the nation. Some of these Roxithromycin 150mg Purchase Roxithromycin discussions will
be no weightier than the "flip-flop Roxithromycin Tablets 300mg flap" that occurred when a few
members Order Roxithromycin Online of the women's lacrosse Roxithromycin Dispersible Tablets team from Northwestern University wore
stylish variations of casual footwear to the White House a couple of
weeks ago. Others will be decidedly more so: Many schools, shopping
malls and other public spaces have developed rules regulating teen
dress. Earlier this year, even some state lawmakers tried jumping into
the fray, as legislators in Virginia and Florida proposed so-called
"droopy drawers" bills, which would have levied a $50 fine on anyone
caught exposing underwear -- an act that's almost a given for girls'
low-rise pants and boys' baggy hip-hop-style jeans. Both bills failed,
but that doesn't mean another won't reappear: A state representative
in Louisiana proposed a similar bill in 2004.
Adults, it seems, are seeing rebellion, disrespect for authority or
even criminality in those thongs and overlarge pants. Algie T. Howell
Jr., the state legislator who introduced Virginia's bill, said he
decided to propose it after seeing a parade of baggy jeans at a visit
to juvenile court. A vote for the bill, he said was "a vote for
character." Closer to home, one student told me that his mother
"thinks that if you wear these kinds of clothes you are going to turn
But how true is that interpretation? As part of my research on teen
life, I spoke to hundreds of high schoolers in both the United States
and Britain, asking, among other questions, about their clothing
styles and what they mean. The surprising answer: While there'll
always be the odd, message-sending troublemaker -- like the young
woman in Tifton, Ga., who wore a T-shirt referencing her principal's
DUI arrest ("Don't Drink and Drive") -- for most teens, adherence to
"dangerous" dress often signals an eagerness to conform, both within
their peer group, and in the future, as adults.
Unsurprisingly, most teens bristle at the idea that they're being
judged by their clothing. And for urban teenagers, especially boys
like those at the Queens school, this sort of misunderstanding can
have serious consequences in their interaction with law enforcement
authorities and educators. At best, Roxithromycin 300mg it fosters a feeling of being
excluded. One ninth-grade student, a devoted hip-hop fan, recounted an
incident at a pharmacy a few days earlier, when a boy wearing what he
called "tight-tight clothes" was allowed to wander freely through the
store, while he and his friends, in much looser attire, were watched
Girls also told me they felt misunderstood. One ninth-grader who
described her style as "rock Order Roxithromycin and punk," a rarity in her school, told
me that "some people" think her black nail polish and Roxithromycin Price dog collar
"shows that I am a rebel . . . [But] sometimes I rebel and sometimes I
follow the rules." We met in her honors English class; her 89 grade
average put her in the top third of her class. So while she was
setting herself apart in her hip-hop-dominated school, the rebellion
was only a few polish-coats deep.
Another girl, a well-manicured 11th-grader with straightened,
highlighted hair, abundant gold jewelry and a cell phone permanently
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