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School Board OKs student dress code

Tightening up rules on acceptable student dress and prohibiting student bullying and harassment are key features of the East Aurora School District's revised code of conduct.

"It's wordsmithing in a couple of areas," Superintendent James Bodziak said this week in reviewing some changes in the policy that was last updated five years ago.

Now, staff will watch student footwear closely, making sure that it is appropriate at all times. Some buildings may prohibit certain shoes for safety reasons, Bodziak said. An example is the popular Heelie sneakers on wheels, he said.

When it comes to clothing, "extremely brief garments" -- identified as tube tops, net tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, see-through tops and plunging necklines in the front or back -- are not allowed under the revisions.

The district's code is quite specific -- insisting that all underwear be completely covered, cleavage not be showing and bare torsos are not allowed. No "sagging" pants, either. In addition, skirts, dresses and shorts must be an appropriate length, though what that exact length is, is not specifically spelled out in the code.

Student dress also cannot include items that are vulgar, obscene or libelous. Hats, hoods, visors and sunglasses also are nixed inside school buildings, except for religious or medical purposes, with the building principal's permission. Clothing also cannot promote or endorse the use of alcohol, illegal drugs or tobacco.

A public hearing on the changes drew no public comment. Administrators said the tweaked code has been in the works for the last 18 months. The board approved it with no opposition.

Bullying and harassment also are flagged in prohibited student conduct.

"We felt this was lacking in our code of conduct," Bodziak said. Now it has been expanded to prohibit Internet bullying, as well.

Students also could face disciplinary action, possibly including suspension from school, if they run in the halls, make unreasonable noise, use profane language, obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic or trespass.

The revised code also changed some areas of disciplining students with disabilities to align them with changes in federal regulations. Special education students also are prohibited from bringing pocket knives to school.

"We don't support bringing pocket knives for general education or special eduction students," Bodziak said.

e-mail: krobinson@buffnews.com

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