Students and parents of Clovis Unified School District could soon see changes to the dress code.
At the Nov. 19 board meeting, CUSD presented their findings after receiving many comments and recommendations to the district’s dress code this past year. The district held 117 meetings at all schools, communicated through 10 different channels, and received an additional 237 comments online from individuals.
When looking into all the statistics, 68% of participants who gave feedback answered that CUSD needs to be less strict in their dress code.
If changes are to be implemented, it’s suggested that the three biggest clothing changes are in regards to leggings, frayed/ripped clothing, and modifying the allowable length of shorts and athletic shorts that are acceptable.
The categories of participants broke it down into three major groups: parents, students, and staff. Other individual comments posted online were evaluated in their own category.
The main three clothing suggestions mentioned were voted as the top concerns for dress code changes in the Parents category. Another clothing option that was brought up in polls was camouflage.
This choice of clothing was previously unacceptable to wear in CUSD. Parents wonder if it still poses threats against safety as per the reason of it’s previous ban.
Another reason for this clothing option to be changed was to allow students to show their support for family members in the military.
In the Students category, those who gave feedback brought up some of the same issues as parents did. Their number one concern about dress code was also consistency of enforcement.
When staff input their feedback, 55% of participants said the dress code should be less strict.
This was due to their similar concern as students about dress code enforcement. The meaning for this was ensuring that staff members were not left to their own judgement regarding an infraction.
Like parents and students, staff also recommended leggings, frayed/ripped clothing and camouflage should be looked at and modified.
In the 237 online individual comments, suggestions were a wide range. 23 specific comments had concerns that the dress code “sexualized” or “discriminated” against females.
Other multiple comments showed a lack of understanding about the dress code’s gender neutrality and/or felt that today’s fashions make it more difficult for female students to be within the code. One student was quoted in their feedback saying, “Styles are difficult to find in stores, especially jeans and shorts without holes or frays.”
After the feedback was received and calculated, a revised draft of the dress code was created. The draft included the major changes that were received from the feedback of those who participated throughout the multiple meetings.
In the draft, camouflage was removed from being a violation of the code. Facial hair and jewelry that can cause disruption in class environments was modified to be less strict on what is acceptable or not. Beards and sideburn enforcement were also removed from the draft.
The biggest changes were the three clothing concerns. Leggings are allowed, but cannot be see-through or have mesh above the knee. Tops worn with leggings must not expose bare midriffs at any time during school or school-related activities/events.
Shorts that have rips/frays must be stitched to prevent more rips/frays. Holes that expose skin or undergarments are not allowed. Shorts must also have an inseam of at least five inches.
According to the timeline provided by CUSD, these findings/recommendations and revised dress code draft will be discussed at the next governing board meeting on Dec 10th. After this meeting, actions will be taken on the dress code on Jan. 12th.
The changes and modifications to the dress code will be effective in the second semester of school.