2018-07-11 / News

RCS revamps school dress code

BY BILL WILLCOX
COURIER-TIMES STA FF WRITER

The Roxboro Community School board of directors voted Monday to adopt a new dress code for students.

Decisions about the RCS dress code were tabled at the board’s June meeting, after staff members presented ideas for possible changes at both the middle and high school.

Board Vice Chair Walt Rogers said Monday he had received feedback from parents since then, and many were concerned about the required dress length for girls. He said parents told him that current styles offer only two choices: either very short or ankle-length. There were no dresses available that fell at the knee, as prescribed in the current dress code, according to the parents Rogers has spoken with.

Managing Executive Director Dave Ebert suggested making the requirement for RCS students’ dresses, skirts and shorts no shorter than two inches above the kneecap.

Board member Beth Townsend said the length of dresses should be addressed early in the new school year so that all students understand that the very short dresses are not appropriate for any school setting, including awards night and other events.

“Those short dresses that the girls are wearing are nowhere near the knee,” she said, “and I don’t like to see that in a school. I don’t like to see that at awards ceremonies. I don’t like seeing that at senior speeches. I don’t like to see that anywhere unless they are going to go out with their friends at a party because it does not belong in a school or setting where they are supposed to be acting like they are leaders in our community. I’m totally cool with it saying two inches above the knee.”

Board Chair Janet Clayton said she had researched neighboring school systems, and most designate dresses should be no shorter than three inches above the knee or fall below the end of the fingertips. Another board member mentioned this was not a good idea because people have different arm lengths.

The RCS board reached consensus on changing the handbook to reflect that dresses, skirts and shorts must be no more than two inches above the kneecap at all school functions, on or off campus.

The dress length policy does not apply to middle school girls on a daily basis. They are not allowed to wear skirts, skorts or dresses except on Picture Day or other special days like 8th Grade Advancement.

The policy reads, “Our middle school young ladies’ pants, shorts, or capri pants are to be khaki-style in the following colors: khaki, navy blue, or black. The girls do not have to tuck their shirts in. Shirts should not be higher than the top of the hip pocket on pants.”

The dress length policy does not apply to middle school girls on a daily basis. They are not allowed to wear skirts, shorts, skorts or dresses except on Picture Day or other special days like 8th Grade Advancement.

Another change affects what students are allowed to wear on “Casual Friday” or Jeans Days. High school students may wear appropriate jeans, and appropriate, non-offensive tops including hoodies, T-shirts and sweatshirts. Jeans should be free of rips, holes, and frays even if skin is not exposed under the rips.

RCS team or school sweatshirts, hoodies and jackets worn over dress code-approved tops are allowed every day in the high school. High school Principal Darkarai Bryant emphasized that dress code-appropriate shirts must be worn at all times.

The middle school students may also wear RCS team or school sweatshirts, hoodies and jackets on Jeans Days but must also wear collared shirts.

Male students in both middle and high school must continue to tuck in their shirttails.

Ebert said the changes would begin with the new school year, as a trial for the first six weeks. If students do not adhere to the rules, the school will revert to the former dress code.

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