Increasingly popular mask sweatshirts were recently banned by the administrators of Orange County’s Capistrano Unified School District. The concerned officials sent out mass emails warning parents to remember, while doing their holiday shopping, that kids won’t be able to wear such sweatshirts on campus. Tom Ressler, the principal of Capistrano Valley High said “There is no way to identify who kids are. Generally, we don’t think that is a good thing. It gives kids the opportunity to do something bad”.
The goggle jacket is causing a commotion in England – it isn’t illegal, but apparently the look is perturbing anyhow. According to AFP “models with dark colors convey the image of commandos or criminals, while ones with light colors give the impression of a nuclear or biological catastrophe”.
It may be unfair to assume all people are just waiting for that perfect disguise that will allow them to smash each other’s brains in, yet it’s undeniable that anonymity lifts inhibitions and brings out the darker aspects of human nature. Real life superheroes wear masks to protect their identities and to feel more confident than they might as their everyday selves. Masquerade parties make for anonymous frolicking and inebriation with minimized regret factor. At the other end of the spectrum, riot police worldwide are notorious for unnecessary brutal violence. Not only are their identities obscured by often tinted helmets, they also have the power of the uniformed pack mentality.
Helmets and gas masks give a non-human appearance that allows the wearer to abandon concern for others’ opinions and expectations. They also tend to be very cool-looking when done right! Besides, if a high school student wants to conceal his identity, they have but to wrap a t-shirt around their face and the effect will be the same. Personally I think the ban is inane and goggle jackets are a great idea, though I’m not mad about the execution