This photo was a joke – we pretended to make these women tzniusdig (modest) by using our scarves to cover their exposed necklines. We were being silly, though I don’t know if we were mocking the idea of tznius in general, the school’s policing of our clothing, or our own sensibilities.
It’s still funny. It’s also a little sad for me to look back at my senior trip to Washington and realize how badly we behaved in some places (there’s a pretty bad picture at Arlington that I will not share because it’s so disrespectful. There’s also one that a friend shared on Facebook and tagged me in, a tag I refuse to remove despite my shame at the pose we struck, because it is in fact a part of my past).
Our behavior was probably not that different than most high school groups. But it stings when I look back and realize that if I had been in a high school which didn’t see American history and government as “them,” not “us” and therefore not really important at all, I may have behaved differently.