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#1 of 47 Old 10-22-2010, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sigh.....I'm super uncomfortable with this. Am I crazy?

Next week, they're doing some sort of "stay off drugs" week. Somehow, dressing up each day plays into the theme. I don't totally get it but, whatever.

So, the note came home that they kids can dress up if they want - the themes are:
Monday - Dress in red, white and blue
Tuesday - Dress like a friend
Wednesday - Dress like a nerd
Thursday - Dress like a rock star

Huh??? Dress like a nerd?

My kids were completely confused. They're in 2nd and 3rd grade and they don't even know what a "nerd" is.

Am I crazy or is this just a really bad idea? Apparantly, the middle school kids came up with the daily themes. Didn't a teacher review their selections?

I don't know. Do I say anything? Just not participate? Get over it, explain to my kids what a nerd is and somehow help them come up with a costume? (Not!)

And seriously, what would that costume be? And, what if there are stereotypical "nerds" in the classes? I can think of one boy in particular who wears really thick, black rimmed glasses, button down shirts with too short pants, very much into books and school etc..... is the nerd theme going to be a variation on what he looks like already? This just seems like a horrible idea

*Update* So, I called the principal this morning and left a message about the dress like a nerd thing, also the dress like a friend thing. Said it felt like mocking, exclusion etc....

So, I just got an email which was sent out to everyone in the school regarding several different issues but, one was a revised schedule for this week - they kept the dress like a friend but, changed the dress like a nerd thing to wear a silly hat.

I'm impressed by how responsive the principal is and satisfied with the result.
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#2 of 47 Old 10-22-2010, 10:49 PM
 
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You're not alone. I think it's a horrible idea. And I would consider complaining.

If the day doesn't get changed, perhaps your child could dress in lumpy pastel colors and pass out Nerds candies to his class.

Or he could dress like Bill Gates with gobs of money coming out of his pockets.

Sigh. Just not a good idea on the school's part.

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#3 of 47 Old 10-22-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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I agree. My step DD is dressing as nerds for Halloween with a group of her friends in highschool and I have a problem with it.
This is something I would not let my youngest DD participate in.

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#4 of 47 Old 10-22-2010, 11:18 PM
 
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I'd say something. Someone really didn't think through the implications of a school mocking intelligence .

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#5 of 47 Old 10-22-2010, 11:23 PM
 
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That is really innapropriate. I would be a little if it were high school, but it is the kind of extreme stereotype that I think kids that age would have fun playing with. But for early elementary school? TOTALLY ridiculous.

I would write a polite letter to the principal outlining why this is inappropriate.

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#6 of 47 Old 10-22-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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Bad idea. I would make a fuss about this one for sure.

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#7 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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What the heck is Dress Like a Friend?

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#8 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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We had the identical issue last year at school. I would have brought it to admin but my friend did first .

The arguments:
1) negative stereotypes are always in bad form
2) why would an educational setting mock intelligence?
3) it is discriminatory/offensive/bigoted to make fun of characteristics about which people don't have a choice. Kids can choose to be a friend, to wear a colour, to pretend to be an aspirational figure. They don't choose to be smart, socially awkward, wear glasses or to have offbeat, singular passions (depending on which nerd stereotype is being employed)
4) have they not seen the news lately about gay kids? get a clue - kids deserve to be respected for who and how they are, not mocked.

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#9 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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What the heck is Dress Like a Friend?
Barney?

It probably means match your friend. So the loners are screwed. Oh, right, and the nerds as a warm up for the next day.

<I should say that I'm a nerd and a geek, as are my kids. we're nerds and we're proud. we're nerds out loud.>

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#10 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by joensally View Post
Barney?

It probably means match your friend. So the loners are screwed. Oh, right, and the nerds as a warm up for the next day.

<I should say that I'm a nerd and a geek, as are my kids. we're nerds and we're proud. we're nerds out loud.>
ah, okay. That makes more sense. I wasn't even thinking that it meant dress just like another person - matching. Thanks! I was thinking, what does a 'friend' dress like.

(I blame it on the gin and tonic )

But, yeah - if you didn't have someone to pair up with, well, that's crappy.

I really don't like any of the ideas - and think they could have done better to have 'spirit days' related to saying no to drugs. I guess the rock star day would be fun! But come on, let's be honest - the majority of rock stars do drugs...

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#11 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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My dd and ds1 are in HS and they had dress like a nerd day yesterday. My dd and her friends are nerdy and they still had fun exagerrating their own nerdyness. My ds just went in his regular clothes which are not nerdy....

I'm torn by it....
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#12 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by joensally View Post
We had the identical issue last year at school. I would have brought it to admin but my friend did first .

The arguments:
1) negative stereotypes are always in bad form
2) why would an educational setting mock intelligence?
3) it is discriminatory/offensive/bigoted to make fun of characteristics about which people don't have a choice. Kids can choose to be a friend, to wear a colour, to pretend to be an aspirational figure. They don't choose to be smart, socially awkward, wear glasses or to have offbeat, singular passions (depending on which nerd stereotype is being employed)
4) have they not seen the news lately about gay kids? get a clue - kids deserve to be respected for who and how they are, not mocked.
These are all such good points, especially the last one. I hadn't even really thought about that comparison.

I think I would also say that these stereotypes are largely the result of media aimed at older kids, and that your children were confused and you had a hard time explaining to them what a nerd was. I bet if you ask them to please have an official definition of what a nerd is so that your children can dress to it, they're realize what a totally ridiculous idea this was!

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#13 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 01:06 AM
 
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I would be horrified. There is no way I would want my dd to think that it is okay to make fun of being smart, especially in elementary school. If it was a very small school and was something contained to the middle school grades because all of the kids voted for it I would think they should have a discussion about it then honor the request if the kids were set on the decision. This leaks out into all the grades though and isn't appropriate.
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#14 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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I would very much bring it up with the school. I would be uncomfortable with that day, DH would be uncomfortable with it and DD would be very uncomfortable with it. We have a very dear family friend who happens to be a nerd and we love him. I would bring up all the points that joensally listed. Also pointing out that the nerds of today are the billionaires of tomorrow and I'd rather be on their good side thankyouverymuch!

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#15 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 01:16 AM
 
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Im in AZ too and this whole 'spirit' week thing seems to happen way too much but the key is "IF THE KIDS WANT TO DO IT". THe dressing up is totaly optional so if you or your kids dont want to do it you dont have to. I agree that most of the ideas are not good etc however...


Some better options I've seen are:
Silly sock day
Wear your shirt inside out / backwards day
Mis-matched sneakers day (wear 2 diff shoes)
School colors day
Red White Blue day
Pajamas day (basically pj pants and a t-shirt)

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#16 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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That really is pretty awful. I suppose if DS's school did that I could just dress him up to match his computer programmer daddy. I'd be much more tempted to go out and get one of these though.

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#17 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 01:54 AM
 
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That really is pretty awful. I suppose if DS's school did that I could just dress him up to match his computer programmer daddy. I'd be much more tempted to go out and get one of these though.
But that's self-effacing humour. DD loves this tshirt, wearing her own cute glasses:
http://www.smoofer.com/products/paul-frank-i-love-nerds

DS may have a few of these:
http://www.cotygonzales.com/2009/08/...eks-and-nerds/
(but then, Sheldon from Big Bang Theory is his fashion icon)

These rub me the wrong way though:
http://www.sodisney.com/2010/08/disn...rchandise.html

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#18 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 02:01 AM
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That really is pretty awful. I suppose if DS's school did that I could just dress him up to match his computer programmer daddy. I'd be much more tempted to go out and get one of these though.
I really like the snoopy one--"How to spot a nerd"-- snoopy is dressed up and it points to different parts and says "big smile", "great listener", "eye on the future", etc.

Other great themed days could include:
Crazy hat/hair day
Favorite sports team day
Dress as Favorite historical character OR book character (I went as Pippi Longstocking one year and Laura Ingalls the year prior)
Dress as your "future" so a kid could come as a plumber, doctor, teacher, etc.

Seriously though: I would complain. Spirit days shouldn't mock a group of people. There are PLENTY of ways to do a theme without being negative.

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#19 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by joensally View Post
But that's self-effacing humour. DD loves this tshirt, wearing her own cute glasses:
http://www.smoofer.com/products/paul-frank-i-love-nerds

DS may have a few of these:
http://www.cotygonzales.com/2009/08/...eks-and-nerds/
(but then, Sheldon from Big Bang Theory is his fashion icon)

These rub me the wrong way though:
http://www.sodisney.com/2010/08/disn...rchandise.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by AAK View Post
I really like the snoopy one--"How to spot a nerd"-- snoopy is dressed up and it points to different parts and says "big smile", "great listener", "eye on the future", etc.
The shirt I linked to had the candy all over it. YK nerds candy. See here

http://www.wonka.com/home.aspx/products
http://www.amazon.com/Wonka-Nerds-Gr...7843083&sr=8-1 (I have no idea why they think someone will pay over $20 for bag of candy.)

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#20 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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I agree with the previous posters. It's wrong and you should speak up.

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#21 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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Among the many other reasons that this day would bother me, and pp's have pointed them out, I'm currently in a battle to get ds to wear his glasses at school. He resists because, "I don't want to look like a geek." He doesn't want to appear to be too smart because "kids don't like smarty pants kids." A "nerd" day would be the solidification of what he already is grappling with.

If this were happening at our school, I'd be on it immediately with the school.

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#22 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so I'm definitely going to address the nerd thing and the dress like a friend thing. Would you email or call?
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#23 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Ok, so I'm definitely going to address the nerd thing and the dress like a friend thing. Would you email or call?
call repeatedly or show up until someone responds. the squeeky wheel gets the grease!!
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#24 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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Yeah, I'd be very upset with that in elementary or even middle school.

If it had been done in my highschool though, everyone would've just come in their regular clothes.

Of course it was a school where dressing up for the '60s had guys in suits and skinny ties--because more men wore that for more of the '60s than any hippie outfit.
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#25 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 05:35 PM
 
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The one the other poster is referring to is a different shirt on the same site. http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_1...=1287866418379

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#26 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eepster View Post
The shirt I linked to had the candy all over it. YK nerds candy. See here

http://www.wonka.com/home.aspx/products
http://www.amazon.com/Wonka-Nerds-Gr...7843083&sr=8-1 (I have no idea why they think someone will pay over $20 for bag of candy.)
(its actually 12 of those bags, so a little less than $2 per bag, isn't that cheaper than the store? don't those things run 3-5$$?)

I would probably say something to his teacher(in person), and/or keep ds out of school that day. at that age, kids don't even know what a "nerd" is, and theres no point in teaching kids to be stereotypical and kids who do fit the stereotype at that age probably aren't comfortable with their "nerdyness" enough to "embrace it" like an older kid/adult would.

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#27 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 06:37 PM
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Yeah, it's a bad idea and you should call them on it.

I want to mention, though, that one doesn't have to be intelligent to be a nerd. A nerd is just someone who is seen as unattractive, annoying, and socially inept. Does anyone remember "Revenge of the Nerds?" They weren't all smart.

And yes, I'm a word geek.

But really, in a school environment, the kids shouldn't be dressing up like stereotypes of the people they might go to school with.
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#28 of 47 Old 10-23-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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I want to mention, though, that one doesn't have to be intelligent to be a nerd. A nerd is just someone who is seen as unattractive, annoying, and socially inept.
Or have passions and interests that aren't considered "cool."

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#29 of 47 Old 10-24-2010, 11:57 PM
 
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The shirt I linked to had the candy all over it. YK nerds candy. See here

http://www.wonka.com/home.aspx/products
http://www.amazon.com/Wonka-Nerds-Gr...7843083&sr=8-1 (I have no idea why they think someone will pay over $20 for bag of candy.)
I know, and it's funny. But likely too subtle for those who think the theme is a good one. That shirt is humorous as a literal (mis)translation, and as a self-effacing joke if one is embracing "nerd" - versus mocking nerds.

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#30 of 47 Old 10-25-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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Yeah, it's a bad idea and you should call them on it.

I want to mention, though, that one doesn't have to be intelligent to be a nerd. A nerd is just someone who is seen as unattractive, annoying, and socially inept. Does anyone remember "Revenge of the Nerds?" They weren't all smart.

And yes, I'm a word geek.

But really, in a school environment, the kids shouldn't be dressing up like stereotypes of the people they might go to school with.

When I google "definition nerd" and "definition geek" I get different interpretations. This makes me laugh though:

Quote:
In a 2007 interview on The Colbert Report, Richard Clarke said the difference between nerds and geeks is "geeks get it done."
It doesn't really matter though, in the larger culture both terms are generally derogatory.

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