After a month of classes, Franklin High School Principal Chris Baldwin said that students are adjusting well to the new dress code. Beginning the first day of school (Aug. 9) students were faced with several changes to the school's dress code including new length requirements for shorts and skirts as well as a “no hole above the knee” rule for pants.
Although students were charged with following an entirely new set of rules, Baldwin believes that the implementation process has been fairly smooth. “Students are adjusting to the new dress code,” said Baldwin. “We are seeing fewer and fewer noncompliance violations.”
Baldwin noted that to date, FHS has had 22 students sign the book as first time offenders. First time offenders are given a warning and given loaner garments to be worn if the student is unable to correct the problem with a different garment. Baldwin noted that the 22 students who had to sign the book did not reflect all offenses because students who were warned about their attire and were able to correct it by first bell, did not receive any disciplinary action. Violation consequences range from varying degrees of detention to out of school suspension, with parental notification with each infraction.
Surprisingly, learning the new dress code or experiencing interference with students refusing to comply has not been the most difficult part of the implementation process. “The biggest challenge for administration has been dealing with students who state that they don’t have any other clothes to wear,” said Baldwin. “We do provide loaner garments, and duct tape to cover holes above the knee in pants or jeans.”
Students are not the only ones who are expected to follow suit with the changes. The entire faculty and staff are being held to the same standards as the students, and according to Baldwin, they are adjusting well. “Staff members have adjusted their attire once they have realized that their dress does not meet the student dress code,” said Baldwin. “Teachers have adjusted very well.”
Whenever teachers have questions about whether or not a student is in violation of the dress code, he or she is sent to the office and the final decision falls to Baldwin.
Parents have also been fairly receptive of the changes, according to Baldwin. “We have had both positive and negative comments from parents,” he said. “The comments have been overwhelmingly positive with most parents thanking us for supporting the type of behavior that they want to see in their child.”
In August, a week before school started, Baldwin explained the changes will ensure an overall better learning environment for all students. “These changes were necessary for three reasons,” said Baldwin. “First, the faculty, staff, students, and parents of Franklin High School expect our students to have the opportunity to learn in a safe and healthy environment. There is research to support the fact that school dress codes have a positive impact on the learning environment. We also expect our students to exhibit good taste and wholesome behavior befitting of the Franklin community. Finally, student styles of dress are constantly changing and updates to our dress code are necessary on a regular basis.”
“I would like to thank the parents, students and faculty for their support of, and compliance with the new Dress Code policy,” said Principal Baldwin.”
Dress Code changes
Clothing must be able to pass the “card” test in order to be appropriate for school. A driver's license, ID card or debit card are all acceptable and can be used for self-checking a student's attire.
Shirts: The card must cover any exposed skin between the shirt and base of the neck. No sleeveless shirts will be permitted to be worn. Students' shirts may not be strapless or have any open back (partial or whole). Shirts may not be see-through.
Shorts: A card placed vertically from the bottom of the shorts must reach the top of the knee in order to be worn to school. Shorts must be worn securely around the waist and cannot show undergarments. Holes will not be allowed above the knee in any shorts.
Pants: Pants are only allowed to have open holes below the knees. Leggings are not permitted to be worn underneath pants to camouflage holes. Pants will be worn at the waist and cannot show undergarments. Capri pants are acceptable. Leggings, pajamas, and/or fleece material pants are not allowed.
Skirts/Dresses: Skirts and dresses are required to pass the same card test as shorts. Skin is not to be exposed above the knee more than a vertical card length. Leggings or shorts may be worn underneath skirts or dresses as a personal preference, but wearing leggings or shorts under a skirt or dress does not exempt the skirt or dress from having to comply with the card test.
Shoes: Bedroom shoes are forbidden.
Clothing should completely cover all undergarments. Clothing cannot have logos or symbols which refer to or promote tobacco, drugs, alcohol, violence, gangs, lewd conduct, or anything offensive.
Presenting a bodily appearance or wearing clothing which is disruptive, provacative, revealing, profane, vulgar, offensive, or obscene, or which endangers the health or safety of the student is prohibited.
Sunglasses are not permitted at any time in the building.