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Tensions flare over Texas school district's dress code, jumpsuit option
Dallas Morning News ^ | August 12, 2008 | staff reporter

Posted on 08/12/2008 6:40:13 PM PDT by Daffynition

GONZALES, Texas — Police were called to a school board meeting because of the loud protests of parents upset about a revamped dress code that includes prison-like jumpsuits for kids who don't comply

[snip]

The school district is implementing a revamped dress code that includes a ban on cargo pants and requires students to wear collared shirts. Those from fifth through 12th grade who don't obey may also be put in prison-style navy blue coveralls the district ordered from Texas Correctional Industries, the industrial arm of prison system.

District officials have emphasized that the coveralls are only an option aimed at allowing students to comply with the dress code and remain in the classroom. Parents can still bring students a change of clothes or students may still go to in-school suspension.

(Excerpt) Read more at dallasnews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Society
KEYWORDS: dresscodes; education
Parents and students should be glad Sheriff Joe Arpaio isn't on the board of ed.
1 posted on 08/12/2008 6:40:13 PM PDT by Daffynition
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To: Daffynition
LOL, well they could get pink undies!! :)
2 posted on 08/12/2008 6:42:36 PM PDT by chaos_5 (Nancy "Mad Cow" Pelosi, call the House back into session!)
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To: Daffynition

I like it. Put ‘em in a chain gang too, and set ‘em to crushing rocks with hammers.


3 posted on 08/12/2008 6:44:21 PM PDT by TheWasteLand
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To: Daffynition

I don’t like uniforms — period. Parents should be responsible for how their children dress and for them following dress codes.


4 posted on 08/12/2008 6:46:37 PM PDT by GOP_Lady
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To: Daffynition
Watch the jumpsuits will become a status symbol.
5 posted on 08/12/2008 7:02:52 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom)
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To: guitarplayer1953

Or those who have to wear them will somehow figure out to have their underwear show in spite of the policy.


6 posted on 08/12/2008 7:07:52 PM PDT by Daffynition (The quieter you become the more you can hear.)
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To: TheWasteLand

That’s where a good percentage are headed anyway. ;(


7 posted on 08/12/2008 7:08:58 PM PDT by Daffynition (The quieter you become the more you can hear.)
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To: Daffynition
We have that problem where I work, we have a dress code but some how this is not addressed. I've told them if there is a fire I'm going over them and not waiting for them to pull their pants up and run. Whats fun to do is tug on them on the leg and when their arse shows down to their knees they get the point.
8 posted on 08/12/2008 7:16:01 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom)
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To: guitarplayer1953

It’s obviously someone’s job to enforce the code and when it is not adhered to, your workplace problem results.

I’m dismayed to see how some people dress for work these days. While I’m hardly a prude, sometimes the ‘look’ is crude and lurid. I dunno, maybe I *am* a prude. ;)


9 posted on 08/12/2008 7:33:24 PM PDT by Daffynition (The quieter you become the more you can hear.)
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To: GOP_Lady

Yeah, but their not very responsible...so we have uniforms!


10 posted on 08/12/2008 7:42:04 PM PDT by TheGunny
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To: Daffynition

What in the world is wrong with cargo pants?

My boy wears camoflauge cargo pants and plaid shirts to school and he wouldn’t be caught dead with droopy drawers!


11 posted on 08/12/2008 8:13:56 PM PDT by Califreak (Time to give the empty suits a one way ticket to the cleaners!)
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To: Califreak

“cargo pants?”

Too many places to hide contraband,ie cell phones, drugs, weapons etc.


12 posted on 08/12/2008 8:21:57 PM PDT by swmobuffalo ("We didn't seek the approval of Code Pink and MoveOn.org before deciding what to do")
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To: swmobuffalo

Good point.

I never thought of that because he doesn’t carry that stuff.


13 posted on 08/12/2008 8:24:07 PM PDT by Califreak (Time to give the empty suits a one way ticket to the cleaners!)
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To: Daffynition
I know what you mean we have a certain group of older women who dress like Saigon street walkers.
14 posted on 08/12/2008 9:03:27 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom)
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To: GOP_Lady

Where I live all the schools have uniforms. I love it. They are simple and cheap. Polo style shirt and khaki pants,shorts or skirt.


15 posted on 08/12/2008 9:04:28 PM PDT by BBell
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To: guitarplayer1953
LOL! I get a kick out of those older women (and men) who sport tattoos and body piercing.
16 posted on 08/12/2008 9:07:27 PM PDT by BBell
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To: BBell
these are painted ladies of the night looks like they should be in 1968 Saigon.And the years have not been good to them
17 posted on 08/12/2008 9:25:57 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom)
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To: guitarplayer1953
As is usually the case, I wonder how many parents went to the original board meeting to discuss the new policy? So often, the protests come after the fact.

After a little poking I found a photo:


July 31: Gonzales School District deputy superintendent Larry Wehde holds a jumpsuit that will be offered to violators of the district's dress code.

And more to add to the article:

The outfits aren't just styled like prison jumpsuits — they're actually made by Texas inmates.

"We're a conservative community, and we're just trying to make our students more reflective of that," said Larry Wehde, Gonzales Independent School District deputy superintendent.

The new policy in Gonzales, about 70 miles east of San Antonio, has drawn plenty of criticism — along with some speculation that all the district will accomplish is to set off a new fashion trend.

Kids wearing spaghetti-strap tank tops, extra baggy pants, cargo pants or T-shirts may find themselves finishing the school day in the drab one-piece outfits. Boys with earrings or facial hair, girls in miniskirts and anyone in clothes that show underwear face the same fate.

Some parents and students are crying foul.

"They're not little prisoners," said Mary Helen Douglas, who has a 17-year-old son starting his senior year.

The 2,650-student district has ordered 82 coveralls, which are most often sold to county jails, state mental institutions and juvenile prisons. School districts have bought lunch trays and similar items from inmate labor, but no other school district has ordered the jumpsuits in the last year, said Michelle Lyons, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The jumpsuits aren't the only option for dress-code violators from fifth through 12th grade. School board President Glenn Menking said parents can still bring a change of clothes, or they may request that the student go to in-school suspension instead.

"We're not going to force anybody to wear it," Menking said. "It is an additional option to allow us to keep kids in the educational classroom."

Menking said the idea was to put students' attention on education, not clothes.

But students who oppose the jumpsuit idea say the dress code will be Topic No. 1.

The senior class president, Jordan Meredith, said some students plan to turn the policy on its head — instead of considering the jumpsuits a punishment, they'll make them cool.

Meredith said he's already heard from some who plan to deliberately violate the dress code to get a jumpsuit to wear. Meredith is considering buying a jumpsuit of his own to wear for the entire school year.

"I don't think that jumpsuits are going to work, because my friends actually, instead of it being a punishment, they'll see it as an opportunity to be like, rebels," said Meredith, who also isn't sure whether his hair, dyed bright fire-engine red, will pass muster. "I don't think there's going to be enough jumpsuits for everyone in the school."

Menking said the new policy was approved in July on a 5-0 vote along with an even stricter dress code that banned T-shirts in favor of collared shirts.

He said most objecting parents have been mollified by the notion that the jumpsuits are just one option.

Wehde, the deputy superintendent, said the point of the jumpsuits is not to embarrass the students, but to cover them up. Although the jumpsuits are of a style worn by prisoners, Wehde noted that people in a variety of jobs wear similar outfits.

"By calling ... work coveralls a prison outfit I think is rather insulting to all those people that work out in the economy every day in some kind of business that requires them, because of the nature of their work, to wear a coverall," Wehde said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is concerned about infringing on students' rights to free expression.

"Public school dress codes should be limited to what's necessary to guard against actual disruption to the educational process and threats to safety," said Fleming Terrell, an ACLU of Texas staff attorney. "The jumpsuits may be just as distracting as the clothing they're replacing."

Yet the idea may be catching on. Cuero Independent School District, 30 miles down the road, plans to make coveralls mandatory for the remainder of the day when a student hits multiple offenses.

"We want the kids in class," said Superintendent Henry Lind. "That's the only way they're going to learn. If you sit them in (a suspension) room or sit them in a corner just because they're not complying, who's winning? Really nobody."

18 posted on 08/13/2008 12:44:39 AM PDT by Daffynition (The quieter you become the more you can hear.)
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To: Daffynition

It looks like they need to make the jumpsuits the dress code and be done with it. That why how can they rebel.


19 posted on 08/13/2008 1:09:20 AM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom)
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To: Califreak; swmobuffalo; GOP_Lady

Cali I think swmbuffalo answered your concern correctly.

GOP_Lady, speaking from personal experience, while uniforms stifle individual expression, they are also less expensive; they eliminate competition [like wearing the latest over-priced rag from Abercrombie]; and they eliminate the age old question “what do I wear today?”

We hated them in private school, but it was a lot easier getting ready for the school day and less expensive for our parents. In the scheme of things, we survived. ;)


20 posted on 08/13/2008 1:14:21 AM PDT by Daffynition (The quieter you become the more you can hear.)
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To: guitarplayer1953

LOL ... there ya go! ;)

And the manufacture of the jumpsuits will keep the Texas prisoners busy. A win-win.


21 posted on 08/13/2008 1:16:32 AM PDT by Daffynition (The quieter you become the more you can hear.)
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To: Daffynition

My daughter wears a uniform to school.

There are good things about uniforms.

As you stated, they are inexpensive and they eliminate all this obsession and competition over status clothing or brand names.

She doesn’t mind uniforms so much, but my son did.

He’s kind of a non-conformist.

He doesn’t want to be like everyone else, especially in the SF Bay Area. : )


22 posted on 08/13/2008 5:34:15 AM PDT by Califreak (Time to give the empty suits a one way ticket to the cleaners!)
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To: Califreak

LOL ... and when we can look back at it, the experience doesn’t destroy us, even if we thought so at the time. Perhaps uniforms were good because they made us develop inwardly, instead of emphasize our outward appearance. ;)

Then explain ... why men in uniform look so delicious?


23 posted on 08/13/2008 5:45:30 AM PDT by Daffynition (The quieter you become the more you can hear.)
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To: Daffynition

That they do!


24 posted on 08/13/2008 6:01:44 AM PDT by Califreak (Time to give the empty suits a one way ticket to the cleaners!)
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