Friday, February 06, 2004
Hooters and High School: There's been a little brouhaha in Georgia over a high school senior who's working as a hostess at the local Hooters restaurant. She wears khaki pants and a polo shirt -- not the well-known tight tops and orange shorts that the waitresses wear.The job is part of a work-study program that gives kids school credit for holding down a job.
The superintendent of schools has decided that the girl, Laura Williams, will not receive school credit because Hooters isn't an appropriate venue for the work-study program.
Personally, I think this is no big deal. I've been to a Hooters once. It's not a big deal. Yes, there are attractive female waitresses. This is California, the local Denny's has attractive female waitresses.
But that aside, the reason I bring up this story (and see it as no big deal) was because I had a similar story fall into my lap in my first reporting job -- only it was 100 times better.
It never actually made it into the paper, because I couldn't get the paperwork I needed to get it past the lawyer.
You see, there was this high school student who got a job answering phones for a local company. The school never actually checked out the company, because, according to the paperwork the student submitted, it was run by the head of the local chapter of the NAACP. He well-known and respected member of the community.
After she turned 18, the girl stopped answering the phones and started going out on calls -- as a stripper.
They later found out that the guy running the business was not the head of the NAACP, but his son. As I was grilling the school principal, I had a hard time getting any information out of him because I kept bumping into the student's privacy rights. However, I was able to find out the reason they hadn't checked up on this business before approving the student's work-study program.
"Was the form incomplete?" I asked.
"Yes," the principal replied.
"Was the employer's name incomplete?"
"Was it missing a comma, two letters and a period?"
He chuckled. "Yes."
So, in the grand scheme of things, Hooters is no big deal.