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Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added -  January 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

TISD eyes standardized dress code
Trinity Standard - January 2009

TRINITY – With an eye toward security, reduced clothing costs and developing an atmosphere of pride, Trinity school officials are considering a standardized dress code.

Dr. Bobby Rice, superintendent of the Trinity Independent School District, said input from parents would be sought during the coming weeks to help officials evaluate the proposed policy.

“We won’t be doing anything until we give our parents a chance to look at this and tell us what they think,” Rice said following a recent meeting of the Trinity School Board.

Rice said research has indicated a standardized dress code improves campus morale, reduces discipline violations, increases school price, improves collaboration and teamwork among students and enhances the image of students and the school in the community.

It also minimizes the differences between students from different economic backgrounds and reduces the overall cost of student wardrobes.

Under the police being eyed, the standardized dress code would allow students to choose between a variety of pants, shorts, skirts as well as tops.

Typically, pants, shorts or skirts can be khaki, navy blue or black while polo style tops can be white, blue, black or orange.

No pockets would be allowed on the outside of pants, shorts or skirts and belts must be worn at all times.

Examples of the standardized dress are scheduled to be posted on the district’s website, www.trinityisd.net.

“Standardized dress codes allow schools to more readily identify strangers on campus and reduce chances of students concealing weapons and drugs in loose-fitting clothes,” Rice said.

“With the growing number of violent instances in schools, it is imperative that faculty, administrators and students be able to readily identify anyone who might do harm to our students and teachers.

“Loose-fitting clothes with big pockets are ideal for concealing weapons and drugs. So much so that security companies use demonstrations showing just how many weapons can be concealed within the folds and pockets of loose-fitting clothing,” he added.

Rice noted that a prime concern for parents is the cost associated with a standardized dress code.

“Generally, the cost of purchasing clothes under a standardized dress code is far less than the cost of furnishing the designer jeans, shirts and shoes that today’s students demand,” he said.

An online search indicated clothing that would be acceptable under a standardized dress code is far less expensive than the designer clothing usually worn by students.

The superintendent noted that costs for such clothing from local retailers include:

• Wal-Mart – Tops, $10; pants, skirts, shorts, $10-13; belt, $3-11.

• Alco – Tops, $12-17; pants, skirts, shorts, $15-25; belt, $10-15.

• Target – Tops, $9-11; pants, skirts, shorts, $10-15; belt, $11-16.

• JC Penny – Tops, $15-20; pants, skirts, shorts, $20-25; belt, $19-30.

Rice noted that when the Jasper ISD implemented a standardized dress code, it reported a drop in discipline problems. Officials there said the school environment is “the best it’s ever been” and teachers, administrators, police and community members all feel the school climate’s improvement was attributed to the dress code.

Officials at Central High School in Kansas City, MI, said enforcing a standardized dress code brought a sense of order, pride and discipline to a school that had previously had continuous students fights, poor attendance and a disrespectful student body.

“As we go about collecting data on such a dress code, the administration at Trinity ISD wants to know how parents and the community feel about a standardized dress code,” Rice said.

“The school district plans to use a number of public meetings and surveys to provide and collect data from parents and the community,” he added.

The superintendent added the district will seek to keep area residents informed through the newspaper, radio and the district’s website.

“If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at (936) 594-3569,” he added.


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Copyright 2009
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