Sunday, February 17, 2008

Toned Down Kids

I'm not particularly fond of children. They're fine from afar and from someone else but I rather they kept their distance.

Of course there are exceptions like MM's brood, only because they are so well-behaved. At least when I happened to be around.

But still, kids should be allowed to be kids. They are not miniature adults who have to conform to all sorts of prejudices and bias and restrictions. These will come with age unfortunately and they will have to learn how to cope as they do - hopefully with their parents' and family's support and guidance.

An article in AP made me angry. OK, mildly angry. OK, more like strongly disturbed, gearing up to angry. I have not had my coffee yet so give me time ...

A Swedish pre-school in Gallivare, north of Stockholm, has banned its children from wearing striped and spotted clothing. No, no, not together ... (OK, maybe together too). The reason is because the patterns gave one of the teachers severe migraines.

Wow, talk about fascist fashion police. 

"Daaaahhhling, stripes are so passe! And you look all spotty! Oh, my eyes! Oh my head! Woe is me. Let's ban the lil tots from wearing them." 

Apparently this ban has been in place in one of the areas for three years but only recently reached nationwide attention. 

Myran preschool Principal May Norberg said the ban had never caused any problems. Until now.

The parents understandably complained. I think they should make the kids wear checks and busy florals in neon colours just to prove their point.

According to the AP article, "Some researchers claim that striped, spotted or even checkered patterns can cause migraines since they affect the brain and the eye's visual impressions.

"They project a certain light and can be very disturbing," said Professor Lars Forsgren at Umea University.

Anita Israelsson, a spokeswoman at the Swedish Work Environment Authority, said the clothing ban, since it deals with people's work environment, does not violate Swedish law and is usually handled by individual workplaces."

We had a statistics lecturer who used to show up in tight checks and stripes. We finally had to draw straws to see who had to go up to her and request that she wore plain clothes for the lessons. Our eyes were starting to cross as we could not differentiate between her clothes and the grid on the board after a while. I remember we were all terribly embarrassed and worried that we would hurt her feelings.

Fortunately she understood after we hurriedly assured her that it was only for the statistics classes and her dresses were fab for any other classes where we did not have to focus on grids and such.

Some requests are reasonable but to make the kids stifle their clothing choices because of a teacher's inability to cope optically is quite ridiculous.