Review of dress code for school is appropriate

The Keystone Central School Board and administration are reviewing a dress code for students for updating.

As they should.

In particular, the administration is revising what it calls a “personal appearance” section with the aim of clarifying what students may wear — or not wear — to school.

Some board members expressed support for the changes.

According to Director of Pupil Services Christina Manning, students who are distracted by someone’s outfit or appearance can speak with a school administrator about the issue.

“It’s up to that person coming forth to say, ‘I’m distracted by this person’s appearance.’ That’s a conversation that will be addressed individually,” Manning said.

Manning told the board the district is intent on eliminating body shaming.

“To go around and police short lengths or cleavage lengths … everybody has their own perception of what is appropriate,” she said.

While Manning said it’s difficult for administrators to police what students are wearing each and every day, we believe there must be a consistent effort among administrators and teachers to do just that.

Students need to dress appropriately during the class day, as one board member said.

“School is there to teach you how to be ready for life … the workforce. I don’t think kids should wear things to school that they wouldn’t wear to a job interview … especially in high school,” said Board Member Polly Donahay.

We applaud that statement.

Of course, how students dress for school starts at home.

Parents are responsible for how their minor children dress … for school and otherwise.

We support the district asserting its oversight of a dress code at our public schools and providing for reasonable restrictions.

A dress code promotes a serious and productive school atmosphere that emphasizes academics and promotes good behavior.

School dress codes are a way to teach students the importance of a respectable appearance … thus offering a lesson that can positively impact their self-respect and self-esteem.

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