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Franklin County Schools reinforces dress code

The Franklin County Schools have reinforced the importance of the school’s dress code, making several changes to address areas that needed correction.

While the school board still must approve the revised dress
code as part of the code of conduct, Principal Laurence Pender outlined the
proposal with the school board at a June workshop.

In a letter sent to parents this week, Pender presented specifics
in an effort to help parents make good decisions when shopping for school
clothes for the 2021-22 school year.

“It is strongly recommended that parents know the dress code
and monitor your student’s attire each day to ensure compliance,” Pender wrote.
“Your support is a crucial component to the success of our school. “

Among the biggest changes to the dress code is that “pants must have NO holes and should fit appropriately, without sagging, and hide all undergarments. (Underwear, boxers, shorts, etc.).”

Previously, the rule said there could be no holes above the knee, but school officials found that it made more sense to disallow them entirely.

In addition, the new rules reiterate the previous policy that all skirts, dresses, skorts or shorts be no shorter than four inches above the knee for boys or girls. This also includes slits; no “rompers” will be allowed.

In the past, the rule did not specifically address that the rules applied to both boys and girls.

The  changes  further define the policy that all shirts, tops, jackets, dresses or blouses would have to
cover “all aspects of the bosom, chest, stomach, back and sides,” including
when arms are raised above the head.

The school leadership felt that stomach would have to be added,  because crop tops are making a comeback.

The rules continue to be that cleavage should not be visible.

Tank tops would not be permitted, and all tube tops,
halters, razorbacks, cutouts, sheer materials or spaghetti straps would not be
permitted as a primary top.

Also disallowed would be blankets , which has been added to the policy that already prohibited all beachwear and
sleepwear/pajamas/bedroom clothes, unless pre-approved by the principal.

Undergarments are not to be visible at any time, the rules continue to read.

Head coverings continue to be not permitted indoors, although exceptions
may be made by the principal.

Shoes  have to be worn at all times and conform to the
safety requirements of any activity in which the student will take part.

“Open-toed and backless slides are acceptable if they are
sturdy and fit securely,” read the rules.

Bedroom shoes or slippers are only allowed if pre-approved
by the principal.

The new rules continue to limit the manner of accessories
and jewelry could be worn.

They “must not be sexually suggestive or feature crude or
vulgar commercial lettering, printing, or drawings which would be offensive or
insensitive to anyone on campus,” it reads. “They may not depict
drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or be indicative of gang membership.

“Accessories and jewelry must not be capable of causing
physical harm (i.e. fish hooks on caps, hair picks, hair curlers),” it reads. “Suggestive
or offensive accessories are not permitted.”

The rules also continue to be that clothing for special programs,
such as physical education,  is not to be worn in the regular classroom. “Uniforms
for sports and special activities sponsored by the school and district may be
exempt from the Student Dress Code if approved by the administration,” it

“Violations of the dress code are not only disruptions to
instruction but also time-consuming for both staff and parents to correct,
resulting, most regrettably, in lost classroom instruction for students,”
Pender wrote in his letter to parents. “Therefore, the administration, teachers
and staff will complete visual checks for dress code violations each morning
and throughout the day.

A student deemed to be in violation of the dress code and/or
noncompliant, the student will be sent to the clothes closet or to the office
to contact a parent for a change of clothes.

“The student will not be sent back to class until they are
in proper clothing,” Pender wrote. “Violating the school dress code could
result in the placement of your child at short term alternative.”

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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