SSHS students reminded dress code will be enforced
No changes to rules, but ‘problem’ areas may see more attention this year
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

July 26, 2006 -- Students and parents are being asked to keep in mind the current dress code at Sulphur Springs High School when purchasing new school clothes for the upcoming school year, which begins on Monday, Aug. 14.

While there are no changes to the dress code this year, the code will be enforced, school officials say.

Shorts and skirt lengths as well as the condition of jeans are among the things to keep in mind, as well as printed material visible on clothing, body piercing and hair color.

"This is nothing new -- the dress code is still the same," said Kristin Monk, SSHS academic specialist. "These are just things we keep having problems with."

The dress code is included in the student handbook. If students don't already have one, they can get one when they register or pick up their class schedules.

Violations of the dress and grooming codes will first result in "a warning with the option to change their clothes."

"Beyond that, they'll go to SAC -- in school suspension on campus," according to Monk.

Here's a rundown of the pertinent issues for students and parents planning pre-school shopping trips:

Shorts, skirts and pants

Students are asked to refrain from wearing short shorts or miniskirts. Dresses, skirts, culottes and walking shorts must be of a "full-cut design" which is modest and not tight. They must be no shorter than four inches above the top of the student's knee cap regardless of the student's height.

"Even with the leggings, which are somewhat popular to wear under them, skirts still have to be four inches from the top of the knee cap, even for long-legged girls," said Monk.

Incidentally, leggings fall into the same category as bicycle shorts, which can't be worn as "a principal garment." They are allowed under shorts and skirts, provided the outer wear conforms to the dress code.

Monk also reminds that pants, as with all clothing, cannot have holes, whatever the current fashion trends. The handbook specifies that "clothing that has been modified from the norm for the effect of being revealing or ragged shall not be worn."

"No skin can show through their clothes," Monk explained, saying that clothing must be patched if holes are evident. "No holes means not even in the knees."

No sagging allowed

The dress code also specifies that "there will be no sagging pants/shorts" allowed. Thus, guys are reminded they need to get and wear a belt to hold their jeans up if their pants sag. Students' skin and undershorts also cannot show through or they will face punishment.

Shirts/tops

Girls, put away the spaghetti or string strapped camisole tops -- they aren't allowed, either, as they are considered "underwear type shirts." In fact, tank tops, muscle shirts, sleeveless jerseys and sleeveless shirts all fall under this heading and are not allowed, nor are "bareback, string  or spaghetti straps, strapless, low cut or see-through" dresses and clothing. Also, save the short shirts for the weekends or after hours; any garment which exposes a bare midriff is against the dress code.

Underwear/pajamas

While underwear shouldn't be visible through, sticking out of or worn in place of approved clothing, appropriate undergarments must be worn, according to the handbook. Also, leave swim suit pieces at home; swim wear such as tops, bottoms or shorts are not acceptable replacements for primary garments or undergarments.

For those non-morning people or later risers, school officials still expect the students to take the time to dress appropriately. That means penalties for showing up at school in your pajama bottoms and house shoes. Be sure to wear some type of shoes however, as appropriate footwear is required at all times on school premises.

Legible clothing and body piercings

Students who enjoy making statements with their clothing, particularly with their T-shirts, should keep in mind that if illegal or restricted materials are depicted on their clothing, they will be in violation of the dress code. That includes any clothing exhibiting pictures, emblems or writings which could be considered "lewd, vulgar, morbid, slanderous, offensive or depict violence"; which depict "tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, drugs or other illegal substances and paraphernalia"; or that identify or refer to "satanic, cult or gang activities."

Students are also required to cover up most body piercings, as they violate the rules on grooming and personal hygiene. If a piercing is visible, it must be covered up, and with more than a Band-Aid. 

Male students are not allowed to wear earrings or ear studs, and no student will be allowed to wear "nose rings, studs or visible body piercings," according to the student handbook.

Cell phones

Either leave the cell phone at home or turned off and out of sight, say, inside a backpack, or risk losing it for awhile. 

"We don't check for them, but if we see a cell phone, it'll be taken up and cost a $15 fee to get back," Monk said, urging students to leave them at home or put them away and to refrain from using or having them out in class for any purpose.

Hair and grooming

Students' hair must be neat, clean and well-groomed, and cannot be distracting in any way. Keep sideburns neatly trimmed no lower than the bottom of the earlobe. Hair that covers the eyes should either be combed back or cut. Guys' hair can't touch their shoulders and their mustaches, too, must be neatly trimmed, and no longer than the top corner of the student's bottom lip. Male students should plan to trim off any ponytails or rattails, as those, too, are prohibited. Those with a summer growth of beard should expect to shave it off before school starts, as that is not permitted.  Students with unnaturally streaked hair -- such as bright pink, red or blue -- should also plan to dye it a more natural color prior to the first class day. That type of coloring is considered distracting, as are geometric or unusually patterned cuts, inappropriate colors or color variations, or any "unusual hair designs that may be distracting."

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