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Van Buren High School: Adjust the Handbook

This petition had 208 supporters


Van Buren High School is a wonderful school system. The students and teachers are kind, academics excel each year, and the athletics program is well known throughout the area. While these are all great characteristics, Van Buren has one flaw; a strict handbook. 

Now, strict can mean many things. For example, the dress code is strict compared to other schools in the area. Even with the most absurd things such as "Clothing shall be hemmed and mended, free of holes, slashes and tears" (pg 12 in the handbook). Now, this rule is partially reasonable. There have been multiple students being sent to the office over holes as big as a penny in their jeans due to this rule. If this rule were to be altered just slightly to allow students to be able wear ripped jeans to school, this wouldn't be a problem whatsoever. This rule could benefit every student if they choose to participate. 

Modification to be made: Ripped jeans should be considered acceptable attire for a student who attends Van Buren High School. Jeans that are excessively ripped, such as the entire thigh or leg, should not be permitted. 

On page 11 of the handbook another rule is stated: "Clothing that is tight fitting such as spandex, tights, yoga pants, or "jeggings" shall not be worn as outer clothing." This rule could also be considered reasonable. Spandex shorts and leggings are thin enough to be worn under another pair of pants. Tights are also a very thin material that's designed to be worn under a longer shirt or dress. Yoga pants and leggings aren't nearly as thin, though. While they could be considered 'tight fitting', what harm would wearing them cause? Would those who wear a pair of yoga pants or leggings to school be that big of a distraction to other students? If that's the case, then those who are being distracted are the problem. No person's body should be a distraction to others. 

Modification to be made: Yoga pants and "jeggings" should be considered acceptable attire for a student who attends Van Buren High School.

On page 12 of the handbook, it states "Shirts containing less than a three (3) inch band from collar to shoulder will be considered unacceptable." This is probably the most reasonable of the three rules discussed. Shirts with little to no shoulder are a bit odd to have in a learning environment, but this rule could be altered slightly to accommodate for newer designs of shirts, such as cold-shoulder tops or off the shoulder dresses/shirts. Technically, the listed garments have sleeves which should make them acceptable. Muscle shirts, at least those that don't expose the entire torso from shoulder to hip, should also be considered with any adjustments that could be made. This rule could benefit all students. 

Modification to be made: Any shirt that does not expose cleavage, partial midriff, or back should not be considered acceptable school attire for the students of Van Buren High School. Dresses and shirts must have a sleeve of at least three inches total. Cold-shoulder tops may allow shoulder exposure without violation.

Also in page 12, it states "Clothing normally worn as outer clothing (jackets and/or coats) is unacceptable attire for classrooms." While it also states that exceptions can be made by teachers and/or principal, some students are still not permitted to wear coats in the building. This rule could be adjusted for the colder parts of the building, such as the science wing. Most students can agree it's much cooler in those classrooms, cool enough for a thick jacket or even a coat. 

Modification to be made: Allow jackets and/or coats to any who'd prefer them in the colder parts of the building. Bulky jackets and/or coats or those with more than one layer should not be permitted unless stated otherwise by the student's teacher or principal.

Clearly, these rules are a bit strict compared to other schools. For example, according to Findlay High School's student handbook, students are permitted to wear ripped jeans, leggings, yoga pants, and shirts with sleeves that measure two inches total. Even with some adjusting, Van Buren High School will still remain a great learning environment. Changing these few rules should not, and will not, effect our academics or athletics. Our students are mature enough to handle these slight modifications without distraction or abuse.



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