Parents of students attending Hoisington Middle and High Schools take heed. The USD 431 Board of Education met, discussed, and approved amendments to the district’s dress policy on Wednesday, June 17. These decisions may have an impact on the back-to-school shopping decisions that are sure to be made in the next few months, and the board hopes to avoid complaints by disgruntled parents upset over spending money on clothing that will not be allowed in the school.
Primarily, the visibility of undergarments was a particular point of discussion. Underwear, they agreed, should not be visible, either because of strategically placed holes in jeans or jeans that sag to the point underwear can be seen above the waistline.
“Visible underwear is not permitted,” the new policy states. This, it was decided, addressed a couple of other areas of concern.
One of the latest trends has been “no-sew” alterations to t-shirts, both for boys and for girls. Sleeves are removed, cuts made down the sides, front or back, or in some cases all three, pieces of fabric twisted and tied together again to leave plenty of what is underneath visible.
“This last year, we had several of the underwear type tops,” Hoisington Middle School Principal Reinhardt said. “In that instance, I asked the student to put on a jacket.”
Usually, what is underneath are fashion bras for girls, and nothing for boys. And while this may work for a beach or pool cover-up, as Board President Dean Stoskopf stated, ““In the classroom, lets take that away. We have air conditioning.”
“No spaghetti straps, and no altered outer garments,” thus, was agreed upon.
The length of skirts and dresses will continue to be at least mid-thigh. And if girls choose to wear leggings, their tops must cover them to mid-thigh. Finally, while the length of shorts inseams will remain at least three inches, they must fit appropriately too.
The latest fashion trend, sport shorts, have been very popular, but last-year’s three-inch inseam may be inappropriate this year, so parents need to take the natural growth of their children into account, and make sure the shorts are not riding up.
Keeping the amendments simple was a critical concern.
“You don’t have the time and the people to regulate this,” said board member Ben .., addressing Mrs. Reinhardt.
Ultimately, the principals at either school will make the ultimate judgement call, the policy states. Teachers can send kids to the office to have clothing checked.
If parents aren’t able to bring appropriate clothing to school, they can either wear their gym clothes, or they will be loaned something clean and appropriate from the school to finish out the day.
“We have really good kids,” Reinhardt said. “It’s exciting to see them held to higher standards academically, and we want to make sure it’s fun to go to school.”
Board member Becky Mooney stated she has no problem pointing out to her cheerleaders when they are wearing something inappropriate, she said. Adherence to the policy should ultimately fall back on the parents.
“I’m surprised your parents let you out of the house wearing that,” she has had occasion to tell students in the past. Perhaps, with advanced notice, this will be something teachers and coaches will be saying, and thinking, less often.