RICHMOND, Va. — Spearheaded by Republican politicians and commentators nationwide, a wave of criticism has fallen upon Barack Obama Elementary School after the school’s recent decision to enforce a universal dress code requiring all students to wear tan suits.
The school, which was recently renamed from J.E.B. Stewart Elementary after a vote by the Richmond School Board, announced the dress code at the start of the school year. Despite positive intentions, the school is now facing nationwide backlash regarding the decision.
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Roger Snyder, the school’s principal, commented that the dress code was meant to encourage professional attire and that the angry reactions were uncalled for and baseless.
“We really don’t see what all of the fuss is about,” Snyder stated in a press release. “We figured everyone would look nice in light brown suits, and it’s also educating the students on the importance of professional dress. What’s the big deal?”
“Seriously, is this the only ‘controversy’ in the world you pundits can throw at us?” he added.
Many of the attacks have stemmed from far-right political commentators such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, the latter of whom described the new dress code as “the epitome of vile socialism” during one of his recent shows.
“This is a disgusting attack on our core American values, making kids dress up like they’re trying to sell travel insurance,” Limbaugh stressed. “As if removing J.E.B.’s heroic legacy from the name wasn’t bad enough, now they plan to taint it even further with tan blazers. What’s next? Sandals with white socks? Where does it end?”
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., went a step further and argued that the dress code showed that school officials didn’t care about children’s fashion in a recent Twitter post.
“There’s no excuse for this kind of behavior,” King tweeted. “When you have children trying to learn in an educational setting wearing nothing but dated light suits, they can’t be taken seriously, and it’s simply embarrassing. We’re not trying to educate your grandfather, we’re talking about the future leaders of tomorrow, and this just shows that the school’s administration doesn’t care.”
King ended his post calling for a student walkout to protest the act. He also encouraged his followers to share his new hashtag, #WardrobeMalfunction2018, to raise awareness of the issue.
Despite the criticism, Snyder says the dress code will remain in effect for the full duration of the school year. He also says the dress code isn’t the only change the school will be introducing this year.
“We’re planning to serve hamburgers topped with dijon mustard every Friday to celebrate culinary diversity. They’re surprisingly pretty good, too.”
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