The Board of Education has heard the concerns of many parents and students and have said they will continue to analyze the schools’ dress code.
On Monday night’s agenda was the updated Code of Conduct. Included within the rules are the stipulations for the student dress code, a topic that has been increasingly debated in the public forum.
One mother, Melissa Lohr, spoke during public comments and pointed at a particular piece of the dress code that some find unfair. The fingertip rule to determine if shorts or skirts are long enough does not impact all students the same, according to Lohr. In order to determine in the length is appropriate, a student puts their arms down at their sides. The fabric must meet or extend below the fingertips to be acceptable.
“While seemingly a uniform way to judge length, it isn’t fair when you consider we’re all built differently,” she said, noting that her daughters are affected differently because of the length of their arms.
It was also called a rule that targets female students, while not affecting the males at all.
“Whether it’s intentional or not, this portion of the dress code disproportionately impacts our female students.”
Lohr said she is very much in favor of a dress code, but that it needs to be fine-tuned, perhaps with the help of a parent-student committee.
“Something slightly less finger-tippy might benefit our children.”
The Board did approve the updated Code of Conduct, but will bring the pieces related to the dress code back after staff has time to further analyze them.
“That’s certainly something I feel like we can continue to sharpen the saw with,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Barrow. “I’ve been in this business for a long time, and every year that issue comes up. There’s not a perfect solution, but it’s something we want to be sensitive to.”