Students, parents unhappy with high school dress code enforcemen - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Students, parents unhappy with high school dress code enforcement


One big part of heading back to school is back to school shopping; and that can include new clothes.

However, some students in Perryville say the dress code is too strict, almost nothing they own gets a passing grade.

Several Perryville High School students and even parents have taken to social media, complaining about a dress code policy some feel is hurting the learning process. The dress code, which can be found on the district web site, sets clear guidelines though.

School leaders say it's always be enforced.

"When I was getting ready for school, I mean this is the type of outfit I wear every day," Mariah Adams said. "Skinny jeans, a plain colored shirt, no low v-necks and I've always thought that's ok, especially because I wear tank tops underneath them."

But Perryville High School administrators don't agree with her clothing choice.

Adams was sent home from school for her outfit, something her mother doesn't agree with.

"What she's wearing is completely appropriate," Terri Adams said. "She wears that outfit to church services, so I do not understand why it would not be appropriate for a public school."

Her Facebook post and picture of Mariah's outfit got more than 100 "likes" and nearly as many supporting comments.

Mariah isn't the only one questioning how the dress code is being enforced this year.

Around 15 students wanted to share their frustration with the dress code policy.

They say in years past, students would at least get a warning, but now students say it's go home and change or in-school suspension.

Something Lisa Schumer's daughter saw first hand.

"My daughter dresses very proper," Lisa Schumer said. "She always has. She had a jacket that was unzipped."

Superintendent Scott Ireland released a statement. In it he said:

"I am sorry that any of our students are embarrassed by being asked to conform to the dress code.

Minor revisions were made to the dress code in May, and we publicized those changes through our Website, local media and social media to help all students and parents understand our expectations before returning to class last week.

Our dress code has largely remained unchanged for the last 10 years, so it does come as a surprise that any of our parents are unfamiliar with the fact that we have a dress code, and that it has always been enforced by asking students to change clothes to be in compliance. Some students have a change of appropriate clothing at school and are not asked to leave. Others must go home to change.

Our dress code is in keeping with the societal norms of our community, and is more lenient than other schools within Perry County. I am confident that it is fair.

I fully support our administration at PHS and our other buildings as they enforce both student and staff dress codes. We are here to educate the students in our care, and part of that education includes learning that we always have boundaries in life, and there are consequences for violating those boundaries.

One of the revisions to the dress code requires middle and high school students to wear student ID badges on campus, just as our staff does. I don't feel like we need to explain why this is necessary in today's world.

Our dress code is not concerned with “fashion.” It is not our concern that students be fashionable. Our mission is to help our students meet the high personal and academic expectations that we, as a school, and as a community, have for our young people."

Students say the dress code is having the opposite effect to that of education.

"If you're trying to do away with these distractions, like clothes, but by coming into the classroom, you're actually being more of a distraction," Mariah Adams said. "Because in all of my classes, all I've heard are people talking about the dress code and all these new rules."

According to Perryville High School, their current enrollment is 755 students.

In the statement, Superintendent Ireland said seven students were sent home on Thursday, two boys and five girls, and six on Friday, five girls and one boy. He said an additional two students changed into their clothes at school.

He said most of the dress code violations at PHS have been shorts that are not mid-thigh in length, bra straps showing, male tank tops and yoga pants. The shorts and bra strap rules are not new.

Those were numbers the students say aren't quite accurate, because many of their peers end up in ISS if they can't go home to change.

Parents and students plan to voice their concerns at the next board meeting.

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