Woodford high school council postpones action of dress code changes

VERSAILLES — Woodford County High School's site-based decision-making council chose Monday to postpone action on changes in the dress code until October at the earliest.

The council scheduled a work session Oct. 14, and, if necessary, Oct. 15, to discuss the proposals submitted last week by a committee. The earliest that a vote could occur is Oct. 19. The aim is to have a new policy in place in January.

Principal Rob Akers said he didn't like any of the proposals as submitted. He added: "I have to go with whatever my faculty is willing to support."

Council member Chantell Depp wondered aloud if a hybrid of various proposals could be hammered out during the work sessions.

Students and parents began calling for changes in the school's 11-year-old dress code at the start of classes in August. Among the criteria in the current dress code is that students must wear a rounded crew neck shirt or a button-down shirt that may have only the top button open. Shirts must not expose the collarbone. Shorts and skirts must be knee-length or longer.

Under a proposal submitted by student Maggie Sunseri, necklines would drop no lower than four fingers below the collarbone. Shorts, skirts and dress hemlines must extend beyond fingertips when hands are placed at the sides. Students overwhelmingly support this proposal.

Teachers and staff overwhelmingly support a modified uniform dress code. It would allow, among other things, a solid-color shirt that may have a school logo; crew neck or V-neck T-shirts with logos approved by the principal; button-down shirts that are patterned or solid; jeans or any solid-colored pants, including capris; and knee-length shorts. Skirts would not allowed except for students whose religion requires them.

Before the October work sessions, parents will be polled to see which proposal they support.

The ad hoc committee also recommended changes in consequences for violating the code: A student would get a warning for a first offense. Penalties such as detention or in-school suspension would become more onerous with each successive offense.

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