At least one Columbia County high school administrator says he has experienced little difficulty with a stricter dress code imposed by the school board in May.
Officials at Evans High School say they have experienced little difficulty this year with a new dress code which allows untucked shirts but forbids such things as excessive hair styles, body piercings or tattered clothing.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"Actually, students have been pretty good this year," Evans High School Principal Don Brigdon said. "There are some holdouts here and there."
The new systemwide dress code bans "excessive" hairstyles, hair coloring, body piercings, and torn, tattered or ripped clothes.
Other clothes Brigdon prohibits at Evans High include shirts with plunging necklines, excessively short skirts and shorts, shirts exposing midriffs, low-cut pants exposing underwear, baggy pants and ragged clothes, he said.
"Anything that's so different that it causes a disruption in class, a distraction," he said. "That's what we concentrate on."
Only one student, out of 1,890 at Evans, has been verbally warned about an "excessive" hairstyle, Brigdon said.
"We only had one student that had hair pretty spiked up there," he said. "We talked to that young man, and he understood.
"Of course, he said, 'It's going to take a while for the orange to grow out.' It was mohawked way up there with blue tips. But he's a nice kid and he understood."
The most common clothing problem at Evans High so far this year has been students wearing hats.
"We don't allow kids to wear hats in the building," Bridgon said. "The first week of school we had boxes and boxes of hats. We give them back at the end of the day. Now, we only have two or three hats."
One laxing of the dress code is the rescinding of a rule that students tuck in shirts and blouses.
The rule was implemented after the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. School officials worried that weapons were too easy to hide inside baggy clothes and untucked shirts.
Now, Brigdon is glad to see the rule become a thing of the past.
"I understand what they were doing, but it was a case where the cure was worse than the foul," he said. "We were swamped dealing with kids with untucked shirts."
First offenses of the clothing ban come with a warning. Further offenses might result in detention or in-school suspension. Students are made to change banned clothing, even if it means calling parents and having them bring clothes to school.
Periodically, students wanting to push the limits of the ban might wear something excessive, but come prepared to change, Brigdon said.
"There have been occasions where we would get onto a kid and ask them to change," he said. "They say, 'Well, I've got something in my car.' It's almost like they know, so they bring extra clothes in case they get caught."
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