Home News Local News LHS TIGHTENS DRESS CODE
LHS TIGHTENS DRESS CODE
By Dick Mason
Observer Staff Writer
Fewer students are making fashion statements today at La Grande High School.
The school has reinterpreted its dress code policy.
The new guidelines, which went into effect March 10, prohibit students from wearing revealing clothing.
The guidelines prohibit bare midriffs and do not allow students to wear saggy pants that reveal undergarments. The rules prohibit halter or tank tops which have less than one-inch straps or are strapless. Clothing logos and symbols that are sexually suggestive also are banned.
LHS Principal Doug Potter said that the school's existing dress code needed alterations to address changes in teen-age fashion.
"It is not a change in policy. It is a change in the interpretation of the policy,'' Potter said. "We believe that certain fashions don't belong in schools.''
Some students have objected and over the past week about two dozen were found in violation of the policy, Potter said.
"We knew there were going to be students who would test it,'' he said.
LHS social studies teacher Jerry Sebestyen said there has been less of an outcry from students than he expected.
Sebestyen said that some of the young people are relieved. Before they felt pressure to dress a certain way; now they do not.
"It was almost as if they were thankful that we revised the policy. Kids were tired of the pressure of having to wear that kind of clothing,'' Sebestyen said. "This took some of the pressure off them.''
Students who object to the new guidelines include freshman Kenny Forsythe. He said the school is expecting students to change their wardrobes.
Freshman Taylor Gregory also said he was opposed.
"What we think is appropriate and what they think is appropriate are different,'' Gregory said.
Students who support the changes include freshman Andrew Spencer. He said that girls who wear skimpy clothing are insecure. These girls in turn "make us feel insecure,'' Spencer said.
LHS senior Dana Woodruff believes that some of the school's male teachers like the new dress code guidelines because the way some girls dressed made them feel uncomfortable.
Work on reinterpreting the dress code was started a year and a half ago by a student management committee comprised of school staff, students and parents. About three months ago the committee's recommendations were presented to LHS's student senate. Input from senate members was taken, and some changes were made based on their recommendations.
Potter emphasized that LHS's staff did not have anything against the students who had been dressing in revealing ways.
"It is not that they are bad kids. They are just trying to follow fashion. We understand that,'' Potter said.
Students found in violation of the rules are spoken to by teachers and administrators. They are asked to adjust their apparel to conform to the new guidelines. If this is not possible, the students will be given shirts from the school.
In some cases, students may be asked to go home and change.
THURSDAY: LHS's water bottle policy.