Dress code changes get support of SSISD board

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

July 10, 2007 - Parents of Sulphur Springs high school and middle school students might want to hold off on buying school clothes for their children for at least another week. That's when school officials indicated they should have policy revisions to the dress code drafted and ready to print.

Some of the dress code changes for secondary students will be in regard to holes in clothing, girls thinly strapped and revealing tops, "tall T" T-shirts and oversized sports jerseys, tuck-in shirts.

The changes could also require violators to wear jumpsuits to class.

Sulphur Springs Middle School Principal Glenn Wilson and High School Assistant Principal Rusty Harden discussed the dress code with school trustees during the regular July board of education meeting Monday night. The board showed support for the changes, which administrators said should be drafted within the week.

Assistant Superintendent Randy Reed and Superintendent Patsy Bolton indicated that the panel of secondary administrators, which also included SSHS Principal Jon McCullough, agreed upon the proposed dress code changes, which will be included in the student conduct book which is generally distributed to all students when they pick up their schedules. 

The administrators said they are asking for the changes based on the philosophy that there is a direct correlation between the way a student dresses and the way they conduct themselves at school.  They said they were recommending the changes as means to limit distractions and get and keep kids in classrooms for learning.

Wilson said McCullough expressed interest in getting more students interested in school and instilling in them pride for their school, including in appearance and how they act.

"We're going to support you on the principles," board member Jack Chubb said.

When board member Jackie Brice asked how the new policies would affect students who may not have money to replace clothes, Wilson noted that fund has been set up to assist them. He also said school personnel generally know who those students are and will address the situation on a case-by-case basis.

Brice indicated it is the hope of administrators that, by starting policies at the middle school level, the students by the time they are in high school will be more than familiar with the rules and won't violate them.

Board president Foy Williams said he thought such dress codes should be implemented as early as Douglas Intermediate School.

Wilson indicated that school administrators anticipate releasing dress code information to the media and press by the middle of next week.

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