Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shooting down the school dress code bill

Last week's passage and quick signing of a bill establishing a mourning dove hunting season in Iowa provided a cartoon metaphor too good to pass up. The talk in my office even among the hunters was, essentially, "What's the point?" They didn't see any reason to hunt a tiny bird that would yield very little meat. And, who knows, maybe at least inwardly they were chaffing at the idea of hunting down a symbol of peace, an argument made during debate by Rep. Deb Berry. Opponents of dove hunting will likely continue to ask why hunters want to kill this bird. Advocates now have one more retort to include in their arsenal, maybe while they're waiting in line to buy their dove-hunting licenses: "Because I can!" Which (finally) brings me to the point of this metaphor. The same day the Iowa Senate swiftly approved a mourning dove hunting season, the chairman of that body's education committee said another bill would not be put up for a vote. Sen. Herman Quirmbach said the school dress code bill had little support on his committee. Another factor in his decision was the amount of emails he had received from detractors. The bill is part of the ongoing fight between Waterloo Community Schools and a large group of parents and students adamantly opposed to a dress code the Board of Education originally passed in May. It includes changes to state law that make it either easier or legal --- depending on which side of the debate you're on --- for schools to put in place the kind of "restricted dress code" Waterloo now has. The bill's sponsor in the House, which passed it 91-9, suggested the bill was being single-handedly blocked by Quirmbach. And now with the second funnel deadline for bills to get out of committee upon us, it's dead. I guess the opponents win this round.

No comments:

Post a Comment