Archived Story

School board: Dress code outdated?

Published 9:31pm Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Beaufort County Schools dress code came up for discussion in the last board meeting.
Board member Carolyn Walker questioned the policy against piercings. The policy states, “jewelry affixed to the nose, tongue, cheek, lip or eyebrow” is prohibited.
Walker said a lot of students had the piercings and asked if the policy was being enforced or whether it was up to the staff to decide.
Superintendent of Schools Don Phipps had an answer.
“My thought is if it’s a policy and it’s written down, it needs to be enforced,” he said.
The feedback from teachers was mixed. Board members had heard teachers say student behavior improved with the last policy change. Others told them a strict dress code was not necessary.
Walker said she did not see the harm in piercings.
“You’ll never find me with a nose piercing, but I don’t think it disrupts,” Walker said.
Board member Teressa Banks compared the size of some piercings to a speck of glitter.
Chairman Cindy Winstead was in favor of leaving the policy as it was. She said piercings were not acceptable in many professional settings and should not be acceptable on campus.
Winstead is a nursing instructor at East Carolina University where she says students must cover the piercings.
The last revision of the student dress code was in 2009 when board members wanted to put a stop to the baggy jeans trend.
Board member Terry Williams said the dress code might be the one policy the board does not want to broach. He did question whether or not the dress code was outdated, especially the jeans policy.
“Does it really matter if a child comes to school in blue jeans if they have their belt on and them pulled up? I don’t think so,” he said.
He added that jeans were an affordable option for parents that students should be allowed to wear.
Board member Barbara Boyd-Williams questioned why teachers were not allowed to wear denim. When others said jeans were viewed as unprofessional, Boyd-Williams disagreed. She said times had changed and denim was acceptable in many workplaces.
“I think we’ve opened up a can of worms,” Winstead said.
The discussion was tabled with no action taken.
The school board will meet for its monthly work session June 4 at 4:30 p.m. The regular board meeting is set for June 18 at 5:30 p.m.

  • Clifton

    Dress codes in Beaufort County schools was useless in the beginning and still are. Clothing has absolutely nothing to do with learning. Adam and Eve were naked and still went against God. Children acquire learning habits from a very early age. This comes from interaction with family and friends. Some learn to be well mannered, some learn to be less well mannered. All learn something from someone else. Clothing does not make the man/woman (boy or girl). Kids will learn even if dressed in a burlap bag. The dress code that was in place before the uniform policy was not enforced. Fact is, kids wore their clothing too low, too loose, too tight, or whatever they thought they could get by with. Why? THEY ARE KIDS. Has anyone noticed that kids today will try anything, especially if they think it will bother someone or get them added attention?
    Piercings. Unacceptable in the professional world? How you been to Wal-Mart lately and checked out the employees there? Piercings, tattoos, multicolored hair, ill fitting clothes. Heck! You can’t even tell the employees from the customers. Look at the professional athletes. Weird stuff stuck all up on their body, tattoo’s, freaky hair, and bad clothing. But we accept it.
    The dress code within BCS has been a thorn in the side of the kids, the parents, as well as the teachers who try to enforce the dress code. Students don’t want to be seen in some of the clothing that is available in their sizes. Parents are having to spend EXTRA money to go out of town to buy clothing that kids will wear. This is a DOUBLE expense. I do not blame the kids for not wearing some of this stuff simply because, I, myself, will not wear some of the clothing on the market today. The cut of the material is wrong. Belt loops staggered around the waistband, makes you look like a crab walking down the street sideways.
    The dress code that was originally in place worked fine. No sagging pants, no short dresses or shorts, no low cut, see thru, or revealing tops, and no vulgar or insinuating/derogatory messages. THIS is all there needs to be in a dress code. Blue jeans ARE in style and have been for as long as I can remember and I’m nearly sixty years old. Denim is the only “fad” that has stood the test of time. Bring it back and let the kids feel good about themselves.

    (Report comment)

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