School takes risks with new dress code


Will Anderson, Staff writer

A local high school is having faculty members break the dress code policy that has been implemented to ultimately set an example for the students on campus.

“Why have these kids break the rules when we can just do it for them,” Vice Principal Aaron Westwood said.

Westwood suggested the idea during a district meeting in late October and immediately the school introduced the new policy.

Now, the teacher’s dress code is the exact opposite of the students.       

Teachers are considered “breaking” the new guidelines if their clothing is something that has been “advised as appropriate” for students to wear.

“I’m so relieved Mrs. Thompson wore a low cut shirt,” sophomore Leslie Roberts said. “I no longer have the confusion of what I should or shouldn’t wear – the wrong answer is right there in front of me.”

Mrs. Shonda Thompson, a regionally and nationally recognized honors english instructor, was in favor of the new idea just like her students.

“If my pupils benefit from this innovation, I believe it is best,” Thompson said. “We learn from our mistakes, so by making the mistake for them,we are eliminating a stressor in these kids lives.”

Some reporters found it odd that an overweight 58 year old art teacher was wearing a ripped shirt that exposed most of a tattoo located on his mid torso, but Joanne Christie, the principal of the school, disagrees.

“We see it as positively supporting body image,” Christie said. “Maybe kids will see this as an opportunity to gain some more self-confidence and wear a cut off t-shirt of their own to school!”

MORE: Gazette editor Amanda Prather rants about dress code policy

  The school recently provided their faculty with a varying selection of customizable clothing so they could more easily meet their new expectations.

  After careful consideration, the parent and district board members created a slogan supporting the clothing titled, “Less Fabric, Less Havoc!”

  According to board member Bill Fredericks the slogan is “fun and hip” yet still holds “a lot of truth.”

  Fredericks says this slogan will remind students of the purpose of the entire incitative – remind students what a violation looks like without them having to commit a violation themselves.

  “Even this year for Halloween we all wore masks that overstep our apparel boundaries, but they looked great,” Tom Whiteside, a newly added teacher from the math department, said.

  “Did we break the student dress code? Yes. Conceal our identity? You bet! Jeopardize student safety? Who knows,” Whiteside said. “But hey, Mr. Dunn and I were matching in all our Facebook pictures and on all the pictures for the school website so who cares!”

MORE: Leland High School band teacher stresses dress code during rehearsal 

   Administrators are enforcing dress code even more, exhibiting little tolerance towards any excuses students have for contravening the policy.

  Within the past month there have been a record high 23 detentions, most of which have been related to dress code infringements.

  “That’s a 93 percent increase from last month’s number of detentions,”  office secretary Julie Hargrove said. “Personally i’m glad we are finally trying to do something about all of this mayhem.”

  Board Member Bill Fredericks, again reminded reporters of the reasoning behind his advocation for the innovative method.

  “Say a student says ‘my dog ate my homework.’ That’s reasonable – but – did that same dog cut those shorts too short? I don’t think so,” Fredericks said. “That is where the line is being crossed and that is why we are stepping in.”