BOE: Flannel OK as Long as Skin Is Covered
Board members say as long as bodies are covered, they can't control material of clothing kids wear.
As long as students have their cleavage, navel and butt covered, they should be allowed to wear what they want to school. At least that’s what Jefferson Township board of education member Judy Castiglione believes, and several of her colleagues on the board agreed with her.
The discussion came up after a committee comprised of board members, parents and students was formed to discuss the district’s dress code and make recommendations. One recommendation the committee returned with was whether students will be allowed to wear flannel “loungewear” pants to school.
The board voted 6-2 to send the policy back to the committee for further discussion.
The district’s dress code currently allows flannel pants but a change is being considered that would no longer allow students to wear them.
“I don’t see what the problem is with flannel pants,” said board member Stacey Poulas. “We sell them in the school store, so how can we say that we won’t allow students to wear something we sell?”
Board member Cynthia Scott pointed out that hooded sweatshirts are also sold in the school store, but students are now allowed to wear them during the school day.
“I don’t think we have any right to tell people what kind of material they can and can’t dress their kids in, especially in these tough economic times,” said Castiglione. “If a parent can go out and buy several pairs of flannel pants and they cover the parts that are supposed to be covered, we can’t tell them they’re not allowed to do that.”
Board member Jill VanNess agreed, and added that students need to be comfortable to learn well.
“Some kids just aren’t comfortable in jeans. If a student can wear these pants and feel more physically comfortable in school, they will learn better,” she said.
Scott said that this type of pant is often purchased in the lingerie department of stores, and some patterns may be inappropriate.
“What if a pair of pants is pink with little sheep all over them,” she asked.
“So what,” VanNess replied. “What’s the difference if they have sheep or blue and gold plaid on them?”
“Students can be inappropriate in anything,” Castiglione said. “If a skirt is too short, if a top is too low cut or has spaghetti straps, that’s more inappropriate than sheep on a pair of pants.”
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