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School Board, Administrators Discuss Dress Code 'Crackdown'

School administrators and school board members discuss district reinforcement of the dress code at the middle and high schools for staff and students.

is getting proactive about enforcing the student dress code early in the year, according to school administrators.

Middle School vice-principal Nathan Davidson and High School vice-principal Mark Covelle told the school board that stricter guidelines would be followed about issues, including spaghetti straps and short/skirt length.

"We take a little bit of a stronger stance [on the dress code]," said Davidson. "Those instances where we took a harder line [with students] the parents say thank you."

Covelle agreed, saying that while the dress code isn't changing, school administrators have decided to enforce the code more vigorously. "It has been an issue in the past, and it's an issue we address with the students."

Even school board members weren't immune to the school dress code conversation.

"On a personal note, we had one of those battles in our house, and if we're having it in my house there have to be a lot of houses having it," said school board president Dr. Tom McLoughlin. "I feel for daughters that want to feel cool, but I feel for administrators who have to crack down."

Other school board members pointed out that the dress code applies to all individuals within the buildings, including teachers. "Are the teachers modeling what is acceptable?" asked board member Bill Lycett. 

According the to student guidebook, the dress code is as follows: 

Dress Guidelines

Specific types of clothing/jewelry that are not permitted in school include:

  • Coats, hats, caps, bandanas or other head coverings or any headgear that distracts from instruction are not to be worn or displayed at anytime in the building. They are to be removed upon entering the building. This applies to both males and females.
  • Chains, wallet chains, or similar types of jewelry, which may be in
    violation of the Southern Lehigh School District Weapons Policy,
    are not to be worn in the building.
  • Gloves, belts, bracelets, necklaces or other types of clothing that have metal spikes.
  • Clothing/jewelry that makes reference to or promotes drugs, alcohol, or tobacco use.
  • Clothing/jewelry that makes reference to or promotes cult or satanic activity.
  • Clothing/jewelry that makes reference to or promotes violence, sex, or ethnic/racial prejudices.
  • Clothing/jewelry that displays profanity or obscene/suggestive writing, pictures or gestures.
  • Clothing that is revealing, skintight or exposes shoulders must be covered by another article of clothing. This includes leotards, see-through clothing, spandex shorts/skirts, spaghetti straps, tank tops with spaghetti straps, halter-tops, tube tops, mesh sweaters, muscle shirts, half shirts, or any other type of shirt that permits bare midriffs.
  • Spandex skirts/shorts when worn alone, boxer shorts, running or biking shorts are not permitted. Skirts/shorts must be at least mid-thigh in length.
  • Pants that are worn below the waist may not expose any bare skin or type of undergarments, including boxer shorts.
  • Footwear must be worn. However, slippers, shoes with cleats or shoes with wheels are not permitted.
  • Sunglasses may not be worn in the building.
  • Bandanas are not permitted.

Students may be required to wear certain types of clothing while participating in physical education classes, shops, labs or extracurricular activities. Hats or other head covering apparel worn for religious or medical reasons will be excused by the building level administration on a case-by-case basis.

slyfox September 07, 2012 at 12:57 PM
This is a tough road to travel with many twists and turns. Finally, someone is taking a firm stance on this issue. More districts should do the same thing and inform parents that violators that continually push the boundaries may be dismissed and school hours deducted. Parents will complain because their children need to express themselves. After school hours is a perfect way to express their individualities when it comes to the latest fad. Besides, parents should know better. Kids are sneaky so be on the lookout for them placing "tricked out" clothing somewhere outside to pick up later and change at school. Mailbox is perfect. The parents are mostly at fault in this instance. It starts at home. Be a parent, not a buddy. Mom & Dad need to be diligent in their parental commitments and comparable actions will rectify any bad behavior. Rules are made throughout one’s life – we do not always agree but do our best to abide by laws and regulations. What better way to start them off on a firm footing. Throughout your life there is always someone telling you what to do. It never is easy. Nothing good is. It will all work out for the best. Good for you SL! Keep up the good work!
Elizabeth Rich September 07, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Corrected. Thanks Kathleen!
New World Orphan September 07, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I thought you were suppose to focus on education. Who the heck cares what they dress like... There's no dress code for the real world unfortunately. In my opinion this is a losing battle. (Here's whats going to happen your going to give them detention for dress code violation. They are going to skip that detention get a Saturday detention. Skip that and they'll get suspended. Pretty much giving the child what he wanted to get out of school suspension.)
Judy Henderson September 07, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Maybe uniforms should have been an expense this year instead of wasteful, expensive laptops rarely even used by the majority of global business.
Chandler September 08, 2012 at 01:04 PM
No dress code for the real world?? Where are you living?? Almost every job has a dress code--hospital staff, McDonalds, Giant grocery store, doctors, lawyers, CVS employees, UPS delivery people, office staff, waiters/waitresses, USPS employees, and many, many more occupations of real life have dress codes. Going to school is a child's 'occupation' and a dress code should be enforced. Did you ever see the way some of the girls dress---shorts and skirts so short and other inappropriate clothes you wonder what their parents are thinking letting them leave the house like that. And boys so sloppily dressed. There is enough time outside of school for them to dress any way they want---and that should have a dress code too!

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