The Eighth Page

Students Defy Dress Code: Corporal Punishment Used

Last Tuesday, a group of 26 students led by a free-spirited Sean Beckett ’09 abandoned the school dress code for torn jeans and Hawaiian shirts. They justified their actions by declaring an “Impromptu Funky Flowered Shirt Day.” The students were swiftly reprimanded, to stifle the development of any Andover-esque attitude. The Exeter community is still recovering from the disciplinary action taken against these dress code offenders. The punishment of said offenders was a public affair, and took place in the center of campus. An invitation was extended to the students, faculty, and entirety of the four four residents of Exeter, NH. The demonstration began with a burnt sacrifice of over-sized Ecko t-shirts and Guess jeans. Following a chant and dance around this bonfire of teenage individuality, all those who dared to break Exeter’s sacred code of dress felt the iron fist of justice. The ceremony took a proverbial “trip down memory lane,” back to the Golden Age of the Academy, a time of hazing and paddling alike. And though those times may have ended with the passed legislation of a spineless, hippy Washington, the Dean of Students took a risk in dealing with these disrespectful young people. And so, the students’ dorms were raided and their Vineyard Vines neckties were promptly confiscated, only to serve as tools of vicious reprimand. The students were one by one whipped with their own accessories, and not a butt was left without the beet-red imprint of a Vineyard Vines Whale. Many members of the non-Exeter community feel that resorting to such drastic punishment was unprecedented. After all, breaking the dress code is supposed to be a minor infraction, and likely is not worthy of a public display of violent discipline. They see the actions of the students as an attempt to “wear what the kids are wearing these days.” And so, if students happen to choose a saggy pair of jeans over a respectable pair of chinos, we should embrace it as an attempt towards individuality. It can be expected from teenagers, they say, and to give them a spanking flies in the face of their desire for independence. This is not to mention the serious emotional and psychological damage that students are sure to face in their adult lives. One woman described a scenario in which one of the offenders’ sons will be preparing to attend their first bar mitzvah. A boy of 13 will surely need instruction in getting dressed for the gathering. And when it comes time for him tie his necktie, he will certainly approach their father. What will he think of his dad when he spends the afternoon crying in the closet? It is this kind of trauma that should make the school rethink their actions, and to reevaluate their methods in responding to future offenses. The Exeter administration and faculty, on the other hand, feels differently. When I sat down with PEA’s principal he had the following to say: “Here at Exeter, we have a certain image of prestige to uphold in all aspects of the daily life of our students. This includes behavior, attitude and dress. And so, if we were to allow our students to pick their outfits all willy-nilly, whom would our pupils come across as? Andover students, that’s who! I mean really, who allows their students to wear pajamas to class? How are they supposed to learn properly without a tie around their neck? And I bet that their females wear low-cut shirts, and those “booty shorts”… their students must be sex-craved maniacs!” This is a strong statement from our wise principal. I suppose that most students never thought that their ties and khakis held so much stead in the heart and soul of Exeter. These regulations, however, are what separate us from the barbaric prep school students to our south. Certainly the offenders in this recent outburst of nonconformity did not realize that they were blurring the line between red and blue. That’s right; they were turning our fair campus…purple! And purple, my friends, is a girl’s color.