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A junior at Fort Myers High School in Florida has learned an important lesson about academic achievement, striving for success, and standing up for yourself. And that lesson is that if a bunch of adults decide your bare shoulders are in violation of a dress code, then all that stuff doesn't matter because you broke the rules, young lady, you'll be stripped of the National Honor Society position you were elected to, and you should sit down and stop complaining. Just be glad you're not a black girl with big hair, missy.


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Cameron Boland, a super achiever who's president of her class and involved in nine million activities, was running unopposed for a post as NHS "Historian" for her county -- basically, the job involves doing social media, sending press releases, and the like. On May 1, she attended a district NHS meeting to give her campaign speech at another school in the district. She and a friend decided to dress up a bit in fairly modest sundresses. After all the students had given their speeches, she and the other girl were informed by the NHS advisors that their positions had been revoked because of their horrifying bare shoulders, in Florida, which supposedly violated NHS's dress code. She had a jacket with her, which she offered to put on so she could apologize and give her speech again, but no, miscreants who can't be bothered to abide by the rules don't get do-overs. A new election was held for Lee County, and another student got the "historian" position.

Cameron says the NHS advisors told her she'd violated the NHS bylaws, but neither the county nor the national NHS has bylaws that mention dress codes. Now, the school district dress code does prohibit bare shoulders, because Fort Myers is plagued with shoulder-baring sluts. This is, after all, Florida, where they take dress code violations seriously.

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Cameron and her mom, Caroline Boland, have pointed out that the dress code doesn't specify that it applies to extracurricular activities, and that nothing in the district's Code of Conduct says anything about dress code violations resulting in a title being revoked, but the school has a very good answer for those troublemakers:

Amity Chandler, a spokesman for the school system, said the district's dress code is contained within the code of conduct.

"It's an implied expectation for events during the school day," she said. "As was indicated by the more than three dozen students that were in dress code on this day, including others from Fort Myers High."

Cameron, why can't you dress properly, like the other proper young people? The dress code is unequivocally clear, right there in ... well, not an actual written rule, but everyone else managed to follow what the school has decided is definitely the policy's perfectly clear implication. But noooo, you had to go and shove your bare shoulders down everyone's throats.

Also, funny thing about that student Code of Conduct: While it doesn't say anything about losing your NHS office, and only "implies" that it applies to extracurricular activities, it actually does say, quite explicitly, that the penalty for a first offense is that students will be given a verbal warning and their parents will be contacted. You'd think that was pretty straightforward. Not that it matters, because the school district had another explanation, beyond the fact that all the good kids knew not to dress like common shoulder-baring slatterns. The decision was made by NHS advisors, so it's really out of the school district's hands. Any decision to reinstate Cameron would have to come from the NHS advisers, and who knows when they'll meet again?

Cameron's also learning another very important lesson about standing up to the system: Her mother, trying to get the decision reversed, "said she has spoken to myriad school district officials, from her daughter's principal to school board members, and said she's been told to drop the issue and that she was being argumentative." So that's a good thing to learn, too: don't be a troublemaker, especially not on the behalf of your scofflaw daughter. Rules are Rules, even if they're not terribly clear.

Ah, but it's not entirely bleak! Cameron, her mother, and the other shoulder-barer and her parents have been called to a meeting with Lee County School Superintendent Nancy Graham and other school officials, including the principal and NHS adviser of Fort Meyers High. Cameron is hopeful; she's spoken to the kid who took her place as NHS historian, and he'd be perfectly cool with sharing the job. So who knows, maybe a reasonable compromise to the Great Florida Sundress Scandal is in the offing?

Hahaha, who are we kidding? This is Florida! Cameron will probably be expelled for bringing all the negative attention to the school, and then fed to alligators.

[News-Press / MTV / News-Press again]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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