School shuns teeny tanks and skimpy skirts
Lincolnville — An "updated acceptable dress policy" will take effect at Lincolnville Central School when the school reopens for the 2012-2013 school year. According to a June email from LCS principal Paul Russo "the biggest changes reflect our concerns that some students are coming to school with their underwear and/or bra straps showing and with shorts and skirts that are far too revealing and inappropriate for school."
The guidelines of the policy are as follows:
A. Articles of clothing promoting tobacco, alcohol or other drugs may not be worn on school grounds (when school is in session) or at any school function.
B. Clothing, footwear, insignia or accessories that are intended to identify the wearer as a member of a particular gang are prohibited.
C. Articles of clothing with displays that are sexual, vulgar, lewd or indecent or include insulting words (e.g. racial/ethnic slurs) are prohibited.
D. Clothing that is destructive of school property is not permitted. (Such as chains, studs or sharp objects.)
E. Hats, bandanas, hoods and visors are not to be worn inside the building during instructional time. Exceptions may be made kitchen helpers, or for religious or medical reasons.
F. Heavy winter jackets, snow pants, and boots are not to be worn inside the building, unless the building temperature necessitates.
G. Skin-tight shorts of stretch material should not be worn except under acceptable shorts. Shorts are not to be any shorter than mid-thigh (touching fingertips, when arms are held straight at the side).
H. Skirts and dresses should be no shorter than mid-thigh. Skin-tight skirts and dresses should not be worn to school.
I. Clothing that exposes a bare midriff, bare back or having “spaghetti” or halter straps should not be worn to school.
J. Undergarments should not be visible.
K. Pants should not be so loose around the waist that they drag unsafely on the floor.
Russo said the new dress standards are the result of work by the school committee and subcommittees that have been "updating school policies." Russo explained that the previous dress policy "left a lot up to the principal" and that there was "some gray area."
Russo said he and the school committee wanted to integrate education into the implementation of the new dress policy. Russo explained that learning appropriate dress for school will aid students in making good choices when the time comes to dress for a professional setting.
"We wanted to make sure we had a good educational lesson, school is work," Russo explained.
Russo said the biggest clothing issues at LCS have been shorts and skirts that are inappropriately short for school. He said the new dress standards outline what — exactly — inappropriately short is, rather than leaving such determinations up to the discretion of the staff and principal.
"Some kids were pushing it," he explained.
Within minutes of releasing the policy — Russo said he sent it out via email to his list of parents on June 8 — he had received "5 or 6 emails that were so positive." Because LCS is a K-8 school he said parents of younger girls are especially supportive of the policy since their children "look up to" the older girls.
Russo said he "has not heard a negative word" since releasing the updated dress standards.
Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org