Advocate editorial board opinion: Caped crusader learns how to fight the system

By the Advocate Editorial Board
April 6, 2011 at 8:01 p.m.
Updated April 5, 2011 at 11:06 p.m.

A popular story in history - who knows if it really happened - tells about the time Sir Walter Raleigh took his cape off, threw it over a mud puddle and invited Queen Elizabeth I to step on it so she wouldn't soil her shoes.

Such chivalry and romantic deeds are hard to find these days. And capes seemed to add to the debonair stature of nobility during that time.

Capes were once common for Westerners. According to, capes were popular clothing items - especially during the Victorian and Edwardian eras - up until 1910 when they morphed into coats. We always see the fictional character Sherlock Holmes with a cape that fits over his shoulders - we're sure it kept him warmer in the chilly, foggy London air.

Now, we have 14-year-old Joey Ochoa, a Cade Middle School eighth-grader, who was captivated by the fashion item when he wore a cape to a Halloween costume party, and his apparel was designed to be the "Phantom of the Opera" from the film and musical.

We would have figured Joey was enamored with superheroes. Guess that didn't fly in his book. Specters seem to be more his thing.

Capes really don't seem proper for phantoms, those misty, transparent spirits floating around. Of course, we know Joey and the character who played the phantom in the film are not really ghosts.

Joey so loves his cape apparel that he disputed the Victoria school district standardized dress code, saying there was nothing specific in the code that prohibits capes.

We think Joey is exceptional, not for his "capecapades," but for his endeavors. An honor roll student, he collected more than 80 signatures to petition the Victoria school board to rule that capes are acceptable to wear on campuses. He went through the process, as was his right to do. Joey probably will go far in life.

While Joey seems sincere in favoring wearing capes, we figure he's having a good time bucking the system. That's pretty normal for a kid. However, we were surprised to find a website that specializes in selling capes for kids. Who knows, maybe capes will come back in fashion after being off the scene for about 100 years.

We do have a little advice. Joey, don't wear your cape to any job interviews. A cape? Really?

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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