Skip to comments.Tensions flare over Texas school district's dress code, jumpsuit option
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
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 ...
I like it. Put ‘em in a chain gang too, and set ‘em to crushing rocks with hammers.
I don’t like uniforms — period. Parents should be responsible for how their children dress and for them following dress codes.
Or those who have to wear them will somehow figure out to have their underwear show in spite of the policy.
That’s where a good percentage are headed anyway. ;(
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. ;)
Yeah, but their not very responsible...so we have uniforms!
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!
Too many places to hide contraband,ie cell phones, drugs, weapons etc.
I never thought of that because he doesn’t carry that stuff.
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.
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.
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."
It looks like they need to make the jumpsuits the dress code and be done with it. That why how can they rebel.
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. ;)
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