Recently at Deerfield High School, students have been mobilized by their mothers in a mass protest which they have dubbed Unsock the Kids. Vehemently arguing against any rules or regulations which try to impose or mandate the “tyrannical practice” of wearing socks in school, the firebrands of the movement can be heard chanting “my foot, my choice,” and, while being hoisted into the air, sticking their toes in the faces of unsuspecting passersby. Predominantly, followers of this movement say that they just want public policy to “follow the science,” as they claim that there is no conclusive evidence that wearing socks prevents the spread of athlete’s foot.

Unsurprisingly, this movement has sparked much backlash. A spokesman for the Physical Education Department expressed his concern about the health effects Unsocking™ may have. “We’re afraid students in gym are going to start getting blisters, leading to fungal infection, or even malodor,” he said, “We would suggest that if students are set on doing this they at least apply an antifungal foot cream.” Despite his relatively understanding stance, this suggestion was not taken well. Leaders of the movement quickly responded that antifungal foot creams actually contain nano-bots that enter your body through foot pores and that they only last “6 months, anyway.” “They’re trying to mind control our kids,” tweeted one anti-soxer, “First, it’s shoelaces, and now THIS? Too Far.” The claims do appear to be uncorroborated by any research and in fact, a couple of studies have been conducted and have found no such nanotechnology within the foot creams.

District 113 administrators have also had to get involved with these Anti-sock movements. An email went sent out earlier this week stating “We have knowledge that there is a movement to boycott socks in school on February 16th. Students not wearing their socks during the school day will be reminded and asked by staff to put a pair of socks on. If a student chooses not to wear socks we will follow our District’s Code of Conduct (7-190). Disciplinary measures may be put in place if there is a disruption to the school environment.” This infuriated many students and parents alike with one student complaining, “This is oppression, my fundamental human rights are being threatened here and if you sheeple don’t wake up yours will be too.” He then went on to quote a quite inaccurate version of “First they came” by Martin Niemöller.

Some have gone even further and suggested removing all footwear. Buffy Sallee, an English teacher at DHS has been a large proponent of this idea, stating, “I’ve always taught class without shoes, I believe it helps me think more clearly.” This idea has been also picked up by some parents of the Unsock our Kids group. Among the “Free the Feet” chants at the recent protest at Stevenson High School was a variety of picket signs with both “Unsock the Kids” and “Unshoe the Kids—” prompting infighting. At the protest, two mothers could be seen yelling at each other one exclaiming, “not wearing SHOES? That’s absurd!” the other responded, “It’s current year! You’re perpetuating shoe-er oppression that has existed for decades. I’m closer to mother nature than you’ll ever be!” Even totally devoid of footwear, it doesn’t seem like these protesters are getting cold feet.

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