Many Kids Stop - Whoa, Dude! - Showering After Gym Class
Filed under: In The News
Does your kid come home smelling like he's got a dead squirrel tucked in his armpit? Do you run to the laundry hamper and inhale a week-old gym sock for a breath of fresh air?
If your kid is working on an advanced degree from P.U., there's a reason.
The time-honored tradition of showering after gym class is going the way of civil discourse and pants that don't expose your plumber's butt.
The Orlando Sentinel reports many students are mortified by showering in front of their peers. But curling their classmates' nose hairs? No problem.
"I wouldn't do it," Adrian Alequin, 16, a junior at Winter Park High School in Florida, tells the newspaper. "It's way too weird. I don't want to see another guy like that."
Most adults grew up in a world where communal gym showers in middle and high school came with the territory. It was that or go through the rest of the day smelling like the undead. (Hint: That never impresses chicks.)
Nowadays, the Sentinel reports, kids can opt out of showering. And -- eewww! -- many do.
And remember, this report comes out of Orlando. Sweat City. The Sentinel reports even after hours of rigorous exercise under the hoooot Florida sun, kids, including Boone High School football and track star Marvin Bracy, wait until they get home to de-stink themselves.
Bracy tells the Sentinel he skipped showers during his twice-a-day gym classes last semester -- he just freshened up with a washcloth and threw on some BOD Man body spray.
"I just don't feel comfortable around all of those people," he tells the newspaper. "They play too much."
Wait a minute. What happened to teenagers? Aren't they obsessed with how they look and smell anymore?
Well, yes, they still are, teachers tell the Sentinel, but people in general have become a bit more prudish and privacy conscious.
Can you blame them when airport scanners make you feel like a lost cheerleader at the Playboy mansion?
People may not be able to do much about other invasive aspects of modern life, the Sentinel reports, but teens feel they don't have to expose themselves in school.
Some school officials even discourage showers, fearful of lawsuits from parents.
In the early '90s, the American Civil Liberties Union raised a stink (you must have seen that one coming) over the showering policy in the Hollidaysburg School District in Pennsylvania. A girl got in trouble for refusing to open her towel so a gym teacher could make sure she wasn't wearing underwear into the shower.
The ACLU threatened to sue.
"Of all the cases I've ever done with the ACLU, this is the one case I got the most reaction from," David Millstein, the attorney who took the case on behalf of the ACLU, tells the Sentinel. "It was my belief that unless a student smelled and was drawing flies, it wasn't the school's business."
A lot of people apparently are in agreement. The smell of change is in the air. You might want to stay upwind.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.