Bay District School Board votes 4 to 1 in favor of changing school dress code

Schools

BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Bay District School Board members voted 4-to-1 in favor of changing the school dress code. 

The changes passed despite many community members complaining the changes aren’t fair. 

Before Hurricane Michael, students were required to wear solid collared or crew neck shirts, tucked in. They also had to wear khaki or solid jeans with a belt.

After the storm Bay District Schools relaxed their dress code.

But now two and a half years later administrators say it’s time to strengthen the rules again.

Some parents, teachers, and students, like Emma Lassiter, disagreed. Lassiter voiced her opinion to the board referencing her own clothing. 

“Am I distracting you right now,” Lassiter said. “Right now I am breaking the school dress code.”

Lassiter is a senior at Arnold High School. She was specifically upset over the regulations involving leggings.

The school board proposed girls sixth through 12th grade could only wear leggings if they are under shorts, pants, or a dress. Lassiter does not agree. 

“It definitely targets women with the leggings and the shorts and the tops especially,” Lassiter said. “It was definitely targeted and I didn’t appreciate it.”

Other concerns included banning all graphic tees since there isn’t a single definition for appropriate, and only allowing solid or printed shirts. The only exception to this rule would be shirts with the school logo. Parents said they cannot afford to buy the new clothes. Plus all shorts and dresses must be longer than fingertip length. 

In the end, the board voted in favor of their changes four to one allowing a few revisions. 

School Board Chairman Steve Moss said this isn’t as strict as they wanted but it was a good compromise.

“6th grade through high school those females can wear leggings if they wear a shirt over them at least down to their fingertips,” Moss said.

Moss hopes this makes it easier on all parts and teaches the kids a lesson. 

“Personal accountability, especially for our middle and high schoolers they’re old enough where they should know what is appropriate and what is not,” Moss said.

The decision is not official. The school board will advertise it for 30 days, then take a final vote at their July meeting. 

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