Finding Truth In HBA’s Jacket Rule

Earlier this semester, I held a strong disagreement toward one of HBA’s dress code rules.

The rule stated that students could not wear “unapproved clothing, such as… non-HBA approved jackets.” The high school student handbook lists the following as HBA-approved jackets: the black Mills zipper jacket, the Mills rain jacket, the gray HBA hoodie, and the varsity athletic jacket for HBA or PAC-Five. It excludes any regular PAC-Five jacket.

[one_third]Wearing my new jacket would be considered a violation of the dress code, but I did it anyway.[/one_third]

This was a slight problem for me, considering that I had just bought a PAC-Five paddling jacket and I was not on the varsity team. Wearing my new jacket would be considered a violation of the dress code, but I did it anyway.  I had spent money on the jacket and I was intent on wearing it. I also thought the rule was completely unnecessary. I didn’t understand why PAC-Five jackets were considered a violation of the rule. What could be so bad about it?

I decided to look into what the student body thought about the rule. Some told me that maybe the school didn’t want students who weren’t in athletics to feel left out. Others said the school wanted the student body to look unified, and they didn’t want students to show off their different sports teams. I found this unbelievable. I was proud to show that I was a part of a team that played for HBA. I believe that student athletes have to work harder than non-athlete students, and at the very least, should be able to wear their sports jackets in school.

With this in mind, I wore my jacket around school and didn’t get caught for some time. Then one day, I got my name taken down by a faculty member who then reported it to Mr. Frontiera. Thanks to his graciousness, I was let go with only a warning that if I wore it again I would be given a demerit.

This experience left me with more bitterness and I decided I was going to express my disagreement in some way. I began drafting an blog entry for the Eagle Eye focusing on the unfairness of this rule. I was pretty far into the article when I realized I needed a different point of view to make the blog more interesting. I went to see Middle School principal George Honzaki about it since he was the person who introduced the rule. I was quite shocked to hear what he had to say so I emailed Mr. Frontiera for confirmation.

[one_third]If you find that you don’t agree with something, investigate it.[/one_third]

This was his response: “Last year, Mr. Honzaki opened the policy up a lot. However, students started making a wide variety of jackets and sweatshirts for different teams. Many were appropriate or got approval ahead of time, but too many people were just going out and making their own designs without getting them approved ahead of time. This was especially notable in PAC-Five sports. It got too hard to consistently enforce, and put an unfair responsibility on the teachers.”

His response matched Mr. Honzaki’s and it made me wonder if my PAC-Five paddling jacket was approved. Upon investigation, I discovered that the jacket’s design had not been approved by the school.

It all made sense to me now why this rule was put into place. If these sports jackets were not approved with the school, then of course it should not be considered an “HBA-approved jacket”. It’s almost the same thing as coming to school with a Hollister jacket on. Knowing the reason behind the rule changed my perception of it. With everyone coming to school with unapproved jackets, athletic or non-athletic, it made sense the school had to adopt the jacket rule.

This experience taught me that there is a reason for everything. Everything has a story behind it. If you find that you don’t agree with something, investigate it. Only then can we truly decide if we agree with something or not.

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