A couple weeks back Louisiana school Vermilion Parish set before it's school board an important question concerning kids' footwear — should toe shoes (Fila Skele-toes apparently being the primary culprit) be allowed in schools?
A local Vermilion, LA. newspaper reported the following regarding the potential ban:
The Vermilion Parish School Board is expected to include Skele-Toe shoes as a type of shoe not to be worn in area public schools. The board will vote on the shoe at Thursday's 6 p.m. school board meeting.
The issue would have been decided on June 22, 2012 (At the time of this publishing, I've yet to confirm the decision as it doesn't seem the minutes to this meeting have been published).
A schoolwide ban on toe shoes at Vermilion Parish would affect some eleven elementary schools, three middle schools, and five high schools. That's a lot of kids forbidden from wearing Fila, Skele-toes, Vibram FiveFingers, etc.*
Apparently, the issue in question regarding toe shoes is safety. More (emphasis added):
Brad Prudomme, supervisor for child welfare for the school board, brought up the issue of the Skele-Toe shoes to the school board during a committee meeting this past Monday.
Prudomme said this shoe is becoming more and more popular with students wearing them to school. Recently, Vermilion principals voted against Skele-Toe shoes.
Prudomme explained to the board that the shoes, which look like a rubber foot, are becoming a problem in schools and principals are concerned with the safety issue of the shoe. He showed a picture of the shoe to the board members.
Okay, I've held out long enough — on the face, this seems a bit ridiculous. Without knowing about Vermilion Parish Schools' dress code, I think it's fairly "safe" to say that the safety concerns around wearing toe shoes are no greater than wearing regular shoes, sneakers, or sandals. If you can run a marathon in the shoes, powerlift hundreds of pounds in them, or hike all over the world in them, well, I think it's safe to say that they're protective enough.
If it's a dress code issue, well, that's another story.
And really, my hunch is that this is more about some higher-ups taking issue with shoes that are different, and in being different, can be distracting. But is that really a good reason to ban them? I don't think so.
Any teachers out there have an opinion on this? Let's hear it!
Source: Vermilion Today
* It's funny that toe shoes have gotten so popular that there are numerous brands available today.