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Board has questions about changes proposed for dress code, seeks clarity

Some proposed changes to the dress code at Lake Shore High School were met with concern by board members during Tuesday’s meeting of the School Board.

“I have some concerns over how it was rewritten,” said School Board President Jennifer Michalec.

Michalec told the board that some of her concerns about proposals brought to the board by High School Principal Julie Hoerner dealt in part with what was not in it.

This included such things as pajama pants and slippers, shirts with spaghetti straps, and halter tops.

She also expressed concern over a section that says that shirts must cover the buttocks area if shorts or skirts are worn. Michalec told the board she wanted clarification over exactly what that meant, including if it referenced sitting down or standing up.

“If you’re going to enforce the dress code, it needs to be clearer I think,” Michalec said.

She said she is not opposed to the idea of a girl wearing a halter top or spaghetti straps if worn properly, it’s a matter of “how it’s being worn.”

Board member Cynthia Lattimore said although she knows some girls would be able to wear halter tops and shirts with spaghetti straps tastefully, she believes it would not be the case for some, and feels the district should leave the current rules in place.

“The rules should be: ‘None of you can wear it whether you like it or not,’ ” Lattimore said. She also said she would be “embarrassed” if high school students were allowed to attend classes wearing pajama pants.

The dress code falls under the district’s code of conduct.

“We do review the code of conduct annually,” Superintendent James Przepasniak said, noting that he intends to bring concerns of the board back to Hoerner to evaluate.

Przepasniak also noted that without Hoerner in attendance, it is difficult for him to say why some of the proposed changes were made and that she should be able to shed more light and clarification.

Board member Richard Vogan said that even before the board could formally adopt any proposed policy changes to the dress code, at least one public hearing would have to be held.

In other news:

• The board honored Vogan, who is leaving the board at the end of this month after not seeking re-election. Vogan has served the board since being elected in 2003.

Kathleen Chiavetta, who was elected to a three-year term in May, will assume Vogan’s seat when the board reconvenes in July.