Changes to the School Shoe Policy Provokes Reaction

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By Maggie Ryan ’15

As all Montrosians know, the shoes policy for the 2013-2014 academic school year has changed. Montrosians now have to wear, as the updated Student Handbook specifies, “shoes that give support and are simple – black, low-heeled such as Mary Jane’s (small buckle), loafer, or oxford-styled, lace shoes.  Please note that canvas, boat-style, slippers, or sneakers are not acceptable.” Almost everyone knows about the new policy, except for Father Dick,who said “What new shoe policy?”

What caused this unexpected change in shoe policy? Although the announcement came out in early August, the administration has actually been working on the new shoe policy since last May. According to Director of Advising Mrs. Baker,  Dean of Students Mrs. Keeley, and School Nurse Mrs. Rose. three Ss explain the reasons for the new shoe policy: Safety, Savings and Support.

The old school policy caused a safety issue  because many student fell on the stairs due to improper wear of shoe attire. The new shoe policy saves money because of the quality of the new shoes; you don’t have to buy 2-3 pairs of shoes a school year. The new shoe policy also provides students more support because of the structure of the shoe, making it better for your feet, back and legs.The policy was the result of deep reflection on what is best for students.

Change evokes strong feelings, and the shoe policy is no exception. From teachers to students, even Father Dick, everyone has an opinion on the new shoe policy. College Counsellor, Mrs. Zatkowski focused on the benefits of clarifying appropriate shoes to reduce uncertainty: “more specific guidelines give students a clearer description of what is appropriate and allows students to know that they are choosing the correct shoes.” Mrs. White and Mrs. Sullivan commend the change to more supportive and safe shoes.

Student views on the new shoe policy varied. Monica Stack accepts the reasons for the change and thinks the policy change is not significant. She said, “I understand where the administration is coming from. People’s shoes left scuff marks all over the floor, girls were falling down the stairs, they couldn’t walk properly because their shoes kept falling off, etc. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, They’re just shoes, and they’re trying to do what’s best for us.” Other students jeered “communism,” suggesting that the new shoe policy excessively limits student choice and personal expression.

Father Dick, as always, shared his wisdom, “ As long as you can walk, you can dance, and you can run [the shoes] are great!”