Brentwood Middle/High School officials take look at dress code
Forget the old “fingertip length” rule. Brentwood Middle/High School officials are clarifying measurements that acceptable skirts or pairs of shorts need to meet this year.
The 2013-14 student handbook updates school dress policy, putting more precise definitions into clothing restrictions that in the past were vague, high school Principal Jason Olexa said.
“It was too subjective,” he said. “We tried to make it less ambiguous.”
Discussions over the summer about simplifying the code policy led to the updates, which were explained to students at class meetings during the first week of school, officials said. Parents contacted school officials in the first week of classes to express concerns, but once the reasoning was explained, they seemed to understand, Olexa said.
One rule that required sleeveless tops to have straps at least two finger widths wide was changed, to require that straps measure at least three inches, or the size of a standard Post-it note.
“My fingers are different from yours, which are different from Sally's. We changed it so that it was the same for everyone,” Olexa said.
The same went for the requirement that skirts and dresses be at least “fingertip length.” Now, hems must be four inches above the knee, and in the mid-thigh range, or longer.
“Fingertip length can be very different from one kid to the next, depending on their stature,” middle school Principal David Radcliffe said. “Our goal is to create an environment that's good for learning. We want the kids to be able to focus on education while they're here.”
Undergarments, sleepwear and clothing that “appears provocative” or contains profanity or violent words are not allowed, the handbook states.
“We'd like to have everything covered,” Olexa said. “We're not a night club. We're not the mall.”
School officials put new restrictions on purse sizes this year. Book bags have been banned in middle/high school hallways for many years, Radcliffe said, noting they were not allowed when he started in the district in 1999.
“The purses were just getting larger and larger,” Radcliffe said.
“We tried to get away from those giant suitcase type things,” Olexa said.
The concern was that purses, if left in an aisle, could cause someone to trip, and there also were worries about items that could be brought to school in the bags.
“We've spent a ton of money and have done a lot of upgrades to make sure this building is safe, so we just want to make sure we're doing everything we can,” Olexa said.
Brentwood Borough School District has an over-arching dress policy that has not been updated since 2006. The district-wide policy allows each building principal to create his or her own dress code rules.
Students who violate the Brentwood Middle/High School dress code could be given one to five demerits, the handbook states. Administrators also can send a student home to change.
Brentwood school officials stressed they did not make many changes, but clarified rules.
“There were certain things in the dress code that were more clearly defined,” Superintendent Ronald Dufalla said. “It was to give students more direction.”
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Brentwood businesses have chance to shine with Oktoberfest
- Community rallies around ill Pleasant Hills woman
- First truancy class at West Jefferson set to begin this month
- Consultant to look at Baldwin chase incident
- Baldwin Borough man accused in police chase to stand trial
- Fundraiser to mark Pleasant Hills library’s 69th anniversary
- Glass Run Road work to continue through November
- Police seek Baldwin Hockey Club coach wanted in theft
- Suspension upheld for Brentwood police chief