Now my boy comes home in the evening wearing a school uniform jumper. When I point this out to him he’s quite startled and says he’s forgotten to give it back to them. He forgot to take it off and give it back to them.
It turns out he’s been wearing (“borrowing”) one of their jumpers every day this week. Without my knowledge. Or my wife’s knowledge.
I still don’t know anything about these jumpers.
This in a town where every school, every kindergarten, every child care has periodic scares about head lice. What could these jumpers carry?
But that’s not the point. Is it?
The point is I sent my son to school adequately dressed in undershirt, shirt and jumper and they’ve taken off his jumper and substituted their own.
Without my permission and with clear evidence before them that I object to this.
They have no right to do this.
It is all apparently done because they have a principal who gets delighted by the sight of rows of identically dressed schoolchildren.
It is a known feature of humans that order – visual order, patterns and such – can please their eye, their sense of balance, can appear pleasing.
Hence rows of wheat tossing in the wind – or standing motionless, even – a plantation of trees, even telegraph poles alongside a road, all these things and many more like them get photographed or drawn or painted quite frequently and turn up in art exhibitions of various kinds here and there.
Order. Orderly rows of pineapples, of trees, of logs, of insects, of anything.
Pleases many people. Delights this principal.
But my son wasn’t sent to school to delight the principal by his appearance.
He was sent to the school to get an education.
I wonder if this principal and his staff have any idea that is the purpose of a school? I wonder if they have any interest in serving that purpose?