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School board listens to parents, gives second look to uniform policy

IMG950928The Colleton County School Board is preparing to review a new, amended version of the district’s now hotly controversial uniform policy.

The new, amended policy was issued to school board members last week in preparation of the upcoming Oct. 8th meeting. The issue can be discussed at this meeting, but cannot be voted on until November, in accordance to the district’s voting laws.

The newer, proposed policy is more liberal than what was given to the board at its September meeting. In that meeting, hundreds of angry parents and students poured into the district’s meeting. More than a dozen spoke out against those proposed plans, which included issuing size requirements on hair bows; not allowing any neon-colored shoe strings and prohibiting any hoodie sweatshirts.

According to the newer policy, hair accessories and bows will not be measured, but instead, cannot be so large as to “interrupt” class. Neon shoe strings are not outlawed, but the proposed policy says the shoe strings must match the color of the shoes. Hoodies are allowed, but must be kept open at all times, and no hoods are to be worn inside any buildings. Baggy or sagging pants are not allowed, and exceptions are now being made for pre-school and kindergarten children to have to wear belts. Finally, shirts can have “school-approved” logos, giving way to some subjective discernment from school administrators and officials. Each of these issues were specifically addressed recently by angry parents, many of whom complained to school board leaders that banning small logos on shirts was silly. Other parents complained that finding pants that fit some pre-kindergarten students was a burden.

School board member Paul Haase said these newer, more lax changes to the policy were done by Superintendent Leila Williams at the board’s request. Haase made it very clear following the September board meeting that the many of the board members were surprised at the severe changes made to the uniform policy: he said in that meeting that he “would not vote” in favor of those proposed changes.

Ironically, the initial changes to the policy were made at the request of school board members, who wanted to allow some logos on students’ shirts. “As a parent, I know the value of spending the extra $1 for a shirt with a Polo logo or another brand on it, because they last longer,” Haase said in an earlier interview with The Colletonian.

The next school board meeting will be held on Oct. 8th, at 6 p.m, at the Colleton Annex Learning Center next to the former Colleton Middle School at 609 Colleton Loop. Another meeting is scheduled for Oct. 15th at 6 p.m. at the same location.

Heather Walters (1474 Posts)