I'm usually a big fan of dress codes. Someone needs to teach students what is and is not appropriate public attire, and unlike, say, character education, enforcing a dress code does not require teachers to teach less math or English in order to teach about appropriate clothing. Just send the kid to the office and on we go with sine curves, or diagramming sentences, or whatever.
Yeah, like they diagram sentences in English class anymore.
Anyway, published standards of dress, in accordance with community standards and equitably enforced, strike me as reasonable. However, this story is one of those that is just over the top. The boy wore a kilt to a dance and got sent home? Why? Honestly, I could see if he wore a skirt--that would most likely violate community standards and would probably be intended to be disrespectful towards the event. But a kilt? He even wore a shirt and tie with it!
The whole "demonstrating disrespect for all Scots" argument against the principal is weak. I'm so sick of this multi-culti crap. Hell, I'm part Scot and if the principal thinks a kilt makes the kid look like a clown, I'm not going to take personal umbrage. The question is not whether the principal thinks a kilt makes a boy look like a clown, it's whether or not he can and should reasonably deny boys the option of wearing a kilt.
At my school we have a club--Caledonian Club, perhaps? I forget the name--and the boys wear kilts on Fridays. It's not as common this year as last, but I still think it's great. Harmless. Fun. Respectful. And yes, I hope they're wearing something under it.
Update, 1/10/06 7:39 pm: situation resolved.