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Mom Questions School Dress Code Inconsistencies: Letter to the Editor

Resident Jan Hightower-Woods asks Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education to address conflicting policies.

A letter written by Jan Hightower-Woods to Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education members, then submitted to Stow Patch as a Letter to the Editor:

Hello, Mr. Spangler, Ms Wright, Ms. Powers, Mr. Bonacci, Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Jones,

Below please find an excerpt from the "Code of Conduct" that I took off of the SMFCSD website today at 3 p.m. on May 17, 2012. I want to know if the District Policy overules individual school policies or are the schools allowed to "change" the District policy as they see fit?

The reason I am asking is because as a parent of a child in this District I utilize the District website and count on it to have accurate information regarding school policies for ALL of the schools in the District.

has it's "own policy" and has actually changed the verbage of the District policy and has adjusted the District policy to suit their own agenda (which, by the way, the rules are randomly enforced). See both the District policy ... and Lakeview's policy (below).

When speaking with the school Principal Mr. Yanchunas and Assistant Principal Mr. Muckleroy, I inquired as to why these policies were different and they could not answer my question. I also wanted to know which one was correct because I was told by my daughter's teacher that I should "refer to the district website for district policy."

My daughter missed an entire day of school today because she was singled out and sent home for "NOT FOLLOWING THE POLICY." What is the policy??? I sat outside of Lakeview as the students were being dismissed and saw MANY girls clearly in violation of the so called policy, yet they were allowed to remain in school. Short shorts and short skirts. What kind of message does that send to my daughter, it's ok if you are in a certain teachers class but not ok if you are in your teachers class, really???

I was also told by Mr. Yanchunas that he "doesn't seek out people who violate the dress code, he only says something if the teacher sends them down." How can you miss them? If he stands out in the hall with his eyes open he would clearly see one violation (according to Lakeview's policy) after another.

I would like the board to address this policy conflict between to SMFCSD and the individual schools as soon as possible.

District - Dress or Appearance

A student shall not dress in an obscene or suggestive manner or in any fashion that, in the judgment of the staff and/or administration, disrupts the educational process. See-through or mesh garments, midriff blouses or shirts, tank tops, spaghetti straps, exposure of undergarments of any type, spiked jewelry, chains, cleavage, low-riding pants, hats, and clothing with obscene or suggestive statements or symbols are prohibited. Also prohibited is any apparel that advertises or promotes sex, drugs or alcohol. Shoes must be worn at all times. Coats and hats should be placed in lockers and not worn/carried during the school day.

Lakeview - STUDENT APPEARANCE

A student shall not dress in an obscene or suggestive manner or in any fashion that in the judgement of the administration disrupts the educational process. See-through or mesh garments, midriff blouses or shirts, tank tops, and clothing with obscene or suggestive statements or symbols are prohibited. Also prohibited is any apparel that advertises or promotes drugs or alcohol. Shoes must be worn at all times. Slippers and/or pajamas are not appropriate school attire unless previously authorized as part of a Student Council Spirit Day. Appropriate shorts, fingertip length, may be worn during the school year.

To submit a Letter to the Editor, email Local Editor Amanda Harnocz.

Troy McClure May 25, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Then, perhaps, dress codes need to go back to the way they were many years ago. When I was in school, we weren't allowed to wear shorts -- at all (except for gym or after-school extra-curricular activities). Since it's apparent there are too many parents who can't use common sense (not directly personally at letter writer) as to what's appropriate for school and what's not (these are probably some of the same parents who dress for work like they're getting ready to go clubbin' lol), then perhaps there needs to be a more stricter dress policy district-wide. NO shorts on guys or gals. Skirts need to be a specific length and no shorter. Sadly, there will be plenty of parents who would complain about this and start screaming about some non-existent "right" of their kid being violated.
Troy McClure May 25, 2012 at 01:42 AM
I'm not disagreeing in the least about outfits IN GENERAL. I see how some of the kids dress (on the other end of the spectrum, I see kids going to school like they're heading to gym class). As I stated below, perhaps the dress code needs to be buckled-up (pun intended) a little bit. I'm sure many of us will agree, we didn't have these "issues" about fashion when we were in school. Because almost everything made (for young women back then) didn't resemble like they were hitting the club lol
Mindy Davis May 25, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Shoot-when I went to school, girls weren't allowed to wear pants to school until they finally changed that in 1970. I was in the 6th grade at the time. Since I was a little hippie at heart, I convinced my Mom to buy me an outfit-red and white striped jeans with a stars&stripes jeans jacket, and a blue fringed belt. The teachers were mortified, but I was the hippest 10 yr old on the planet that day!!
Jan Hightower-Woods May 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM
"You are someone who frequently complains about the schools. So, my comment was very much necessary. If you don't want to be criticized, then don't put your issues on display." Troy, first of all I don't know where you get your information about me frequently complaining about the schools...my oldest daughter graduated from SMFHS in 2010 in the top 10% of her class and she received a fine education, so your comment is incorrect. Secondly, I can take criticism, everyone has a right to their own opinion, so let's just agree to disagree.
Jan Hightower-Woods May 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM
After speaking repeatedly with Dr. Jones and Mr. Yanchunas, Lakeview Principal, the school has agreed to enforce and use the District Policy for the remainder of the school year. I was also told that they will be addressing this "issue" over the summer and will hopefully have a policy that will be enforced school wide when the kids return in the fall. Thank you Dr. Jones and Mr. Yanchunas for listeneing and addressing a problem that has needed to be addressed for MANY years. Let's work together to have fair and equal treatment of ALL of the kids, that's all I ever wanted in the first place.

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