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Lorain Schools alters dress code

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LORAIN — Lorain Schools published its updated uniform policies this week, just in time for parents to go shopping as part of Ohio’s tax-free weekend set for Aug. 3 to Aug. 5.

The only changes are coming in the permissible colors of student clothing.

According to the 2015-16 student handbook, students could wear black, khaki, gray or navy pants and skirts as well as white, gray, navy or black shirts. Read that year’s dress code HERE.

For the upcoming school year, black has been removed as an appropriate color choice for both tops and bottoms and gray has been removed as a choice for skirts and pants. Read this year’s dress code HERE.

District CEO David Hardy has said the district plans to strictly enforce the “dress code” this year, although will still try to do its best to keep students in the classroom when clothing infractions occur.

“I agree class and school attendance is a priority, and we will address that as well,” he said. “Dress code will not keep our kids out of class next year, because they will be in it.”

Hardy also has said new supports will be coming to the buildings with the addition of washing machines and dryers for students’ uniforms so children can be in dress code despite not having clean clothes.

“We’re working through finding ways to have additional sets of clothes at school and every school will have a washer and dryer so a kid or a family can actually come to us and say they don’t have uniforms washed,” he said.

Hardy said the uniform piece is part of improving consistency in the district’s culture.

“Some of the expectations are actually a detriment to our kids, and we need to change those,” he said. “For example, a child who is out of dress code being sent out of school for three days doesn’t make a lot of sense. Instead, let’s find a way to get them into dress code, get them into class and on the road for a productive path.”

Lorain High School senior Laporsha Smith said she feels as though students are being unfairly restricted and ultimately, the uniforms don’t help test scores or mitigate bullying.

“Bullying happens everyday for different reasons but, these uniforms are another reason to get talked about,” she said. “I feel like we should be able to express how we feel through our clothes. I believe we should be able to wear what we want to a certain extent because some females and males get a little too carried away.”

Smith said she thinks the district should abolish the dress code.

“If you look at all the other public schools like Clearview, Amherst, Avon, Elyria and all the other schools they’re no different from us,” she said. “They’re getting an education in regular clothing with regular people at their school. Just our school, and I just don’t understand how a uniform is going to help raise test scores.”

Parent Susan Miller said she supported the uniform policy, which the district has had in some form or another since the 2007-08 school year, according to previous reporting from the Chronicle-Telegram.

“This prevents kids from wearing inappropriate clothing and clothes that have offensive language and pictures,” she said. “In every job you have some sort of dress code or uniform you are required to wear. This will help them prepare for the real world.”

Parent Kathy Nichol said she doesn’t have a problem with the dress code policy even though her kids don’t agree with her.

“Although I think anything school colors should be allowed,” she said, referencing the district’s colors of navy and gray. “Along with black and (Lorain Titans) gear. Just my opinion.”

Miller also agreed Titan gear should be included in the appropriate attire.

Parent Barbie Washington said dozens of students and parents shared their opinion on the district’s official Facebook post asking for Titan apparel to be considered, but somehow it didn’t make the cut.

“Why?” she said. “What harm does being proud and wearing Titan gear do?”

Washington said she hopes after Hardy meets with high school students at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Lorain High School cafeteria, 2600 Ashland Ave., he will change his mind.

“Our children feel comfortable and confident in it,” she said. “It is wonderful to walk into the buildings and see all of the Lorain and Titan pride. Many of the students earn Titan gear by participating on teams, in clubs or at events and are proud to show them off.”

Parent Shannon Perry said she thinks the dress code should be thrown out all together because it’s “ridiculous.”

“Parents are forced to buy two sets of clothes for their kids, and it doesn’t take away from kids picking on each other,” she said. “I witnessed kids making fun of a boy because they said he wore the same shirt all week. The dress code is pointless. Making kids dress the same when they are all different at academics, height, weight, sports and hair color doesn’t allow the young scholars to be their own person.”

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Find her on Facebook and Twitter at @KatieHNix.



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