Educators in Valdosta city schools may not like the way students dress, but the board of education should not change its policies more than two weeks into the school year.
Students and their parents purchased clothes before classes started, with the expectation that dress codes would be the same as last year. If board members want to tighten up the rules, they need to do it well in advance of the new school year.
At the same time, we understand the concern over sloppy attire, baggy pants and revealing clothes. Students in middle school and high school need to understand that these fashion statements will not get them jobs or respect. There also is concern about concealing weapons or other contraband when shirts are hanging over extra wide pants and shorts.
We like the idea that the "principal's judgment" section of the dress code policy allows administrators in each individual school some latitude in enforcing matters not addressed in the code. For example, the code does not require the wearing of belts or tucking in of shirts. Each principal has the opportunity to assess if this is a problem in his or her school, and to enforce such rules if desired. That seems fair to us, as long as the rules are applied uniformly and consistently.
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