Board approves dress code
Lawyers provide input on new rules in Clintonville schools
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville School Board approved a dress code when it met Aug. 8.
On July 25, the board did not approve a dress code for Clintonville Middle School and High School when the 2022-23 Student Handbook was approved.
The board originally did not approve a dress code because some members thought the proposed dress code was too specific as to what could and could not be worn by students.
Since that meeting, Superintendent Troy Kuhn obtained information from lawyers to help guide the district in assembling a dress code.
This guidance was shared with board members in the board packet they received for the meeting.
One of the guidelines was, “If you are going to regulate it, you must regulate it. You must have the Dress Code Police and uniformly apply it.”
Goals for the district’s dress code
• Maintaining a safe learning environment.
• Allowing students to wear clothing of their choice that is comfortable and allows them to express themselves without fear of discipline or discrimination.
• Preventing students from wearing clothing or accessories that will interfere with the operation of the school, disrupt the educational process, invade the rights of others, or create a reasonably foreseeable risk of such interference or invasion of rights.
• Prevent students from wearing clothing or accessories that can be construed as being or including content that is racist, lewd, vulgar or obscene, or that reasonably can be construed as containing fighting words, speech that incites others to imminent lawless actions, defamatory speech, or threats to others.
• Ensures that all students are treated equitably regardless of race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household income, body type or size, or maturity.
During the school day students are not allowed to wear coats; blankets; hats and hoods; clothing, jewelry, wallet chains, and accessories that contain sharp edges or spikes; images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class or consistently marginalized groups.
They also are prohibited from wearing undergarments as clothing; and items that suggest drugs, alcohol, tobacco, illegal substances, weapons, violence, profanity, obscenities, gang activities, or sexually suggestive messages.
Purses and backpacks must remain in the student’s locker.
In addition, clothing should cover undergarments, stomach, navel, belly button, chest, back and buttocks. Tube tops, halter tops, backless tops, saggy pants may not be appropriate.
Footwear must also be worn. Bare feet and just socks are not acceptable.
If there is a suspected violation, “students will be addressed by building administration or designated person(s) at an appropriate time and private location that is not in the classroom, hallway, or in front of others. Ideally, the loss of educational time should be limited. The student shall not be ashamed or embarrassed when the dress code is being addressed, therefore they cannot be asked to reposition their body or measured in any way.”
If a dress code violation is addressed with a student, their parent or guardian will be notified by the school building administration.
Examples of dress codes from other area school districts were also shared with board members.