Lauren Miller: A bad way for schools to measure shorts

May 6, 2014 

I’m an eighth-grader at Herbert H. Cruickshank Middle School, which means I have to deal with the completely preposterous and entirely unfair fingertip-length shorts rule. Most readers probably won’t care, but those who have ever had teenage daughters will understand how hard this rule can be to follow.

First, it’s entirely unfair. Some girls have longer arms, almost to their knees, and others have arms that end about quarter of the way down their thighs. How is enforcing this rule equal and fair if fingertip-length varies?

Second, I’m sure you’ve heard adults complain about how shorts are getting shorter and shorter. There’s a reason behind this, and it isn’t the increasing raunchiness of kids. Clothing manufacturers only want to sell girls shorts that barely clear their rear ends. How are we expected to find shorts at fingertip length when we have to drive 80 miles to find shorts longer than our underwear? How is it fair to make girls with longer arms scrape and scrounge to find shorts that won’t get them sent home or given detention?

Third, the most absurd thing is the official rule states “the inseam of shorts should measure 5 inches.” So why are we not enforcing this rule? It’s far more measurable, fair and achievable. Is it because it’s difficult to measure while girls are wearing the shorts? Is the school district incapable of having girls change briefly into their provided P.E. shorts so that their inseams can be measured? I propose a petition to have the fingertip-length rule abolished. It’s unfair, expensive and not even the official rule.

LAUREN MILLER

Merced

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