It’s time Update the Okaloosa County Dress Code!
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It’s hard to believe that in this day and age that our school dress codes could be sexually bias, dated, gender insensitive and body shaming.
Currently the Okaloosa County Schools Dress Code is all of the above. The code is no longer relevant and should be revised to accommodate our children’s differences in sizes & shapes. We can do this while still maintaining the integrity of the code and our students.
Currently the code holds all students to the same dated codes regardless of the body structure. Therefore, what works for one child may be discriminatory to another.
In example the dress code currently states:
-Minimum length of clothing should be “approximately” five (5) inches above the top of the kneecap. This includes shorts, skirts, and skorts. Shirts cannot be longer than the shorts, skirt or skort.
-Shirts or blouses must be two (2) inches across the shoulder with no undergarments showing.
-Midriff cannot be exposed. When arms are held straight out to the side, no midriff can be exposed.
-Skin tight clothing, swimwear, low cut blouses or tops, clothing with cutouts, (including pants with holes above the 5 inch rule), or any other revealing garments are inappropriate for school.
-Leggings/jeggings/yoga pants are permitted as long as the upper garment meets the 5 inch rule or no curvature of the lower body is exposed when the arms are held straight out to the side.
-Leggings worn under pants with holes or cutouts above the 5 inch rule will not be permitted.
-Garments bearing inappropriate slogans or pictures are not permitted. This includes clothing with alcohol, tobacco, drugs, violence, racial remarks, or sexual connotations.
-Tops or T-shirts with low cut underarms(not to exceed 3 inches from the armpit area) are not allowed this applies to male and female students.
With this said cheerleading and dance teams are not held to the same standards. A female child that’s is 5’3” and 70 lbs may be fully and respectfully covered and not meet the code is scrutinized and disciplined. Yet it’s acceptable for female or male athletes to not adhere to the current codes.
The same can be said for the administration as teachers. All of which should be held to the same code standard and should lead by example.
Here’s the point. Our youth is physically built differently and cannot fairly be held to the current dress codes. Where one student may fit within code and be respectfully dressed, another student may not fit within code yet be equally as respectful.
We’re forced to watch as our youth is forced to adhere to a code that for some is unrealistic. There’s a dated clothing code that is being used.
Students are being removed from class, plucked out of hallways, embarrassed in front of their peers and disciplined because their young bodies grow differently.
It’s as if we’re forcing square pegs in round precut holes. Some of them just won’t fit no matter the consequences.
We as parents understand the idea of a dress code and being consistent across the board. What we’re asking is that the dress code be fairly enforced, be relevant to the students size and shape, and that even those that enforce the code be held accountable.
Okaloosa County School District, we ask that you revisit, revise and update the current code in place. Please keep our students in mind when doing so. Understand that we live in an area where temperatures can reach 105° heat index, students bodies develop differently, and be realistic in the structure of the code.
Parents of Okaloosa County
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