Proposed APS dress code calls for modesty, fair enforcement


Students still can’t wear super-tight clothing under proposed changes to the Atlanta Public Schools’ dress code, but suggested policy revisions make it clear that rule enforcement should be “consistent and equitable.”

The Atlanta Board of Education is scheduled to consider updates to the policy Monday, before deciding final approval at a later meeting.

In recent months, students have gathered a couple of thousand signatures on online petitions protesting the dress code the district last revised a decade ago. Critics of the current clothing rules say girls are unfairly targeted and that discipline for violations has caused some students to miss class.

The suggested changes still require clothing to be “modest and of appropriate length.” And “extremely tight clothing,” saggy pants and visible underwear remain off-limits.

But, revisions to the two-page policy include a new section that stresses the need for fair enforcement.

“Students at schools without uniform policies should be able to choose their attire for school and participate in the educational environment without fear of unnecessary discipline,” says the suggested language. “Enforcement of this dress code should not result in unnecessary barriers to school attendance. Dress code enforcement shall be carried out in a clear, consistent and equitable manner.”

The reworked policy also specifies that students are allowed to wear the clothing that “expresses their self-identified gender.”

How the policy is interpreted would still be up to each school’s principal, who decides if a student is appropriately dressed.

The North Atlanta High School student handbook takes a firm stance on leggings. Girls may wear them, but only if the hem of the item covering the leggings is deemed long enough.

“Leggings are like legs and must be appropriately covered,” states the online version of this year’s handbook.

An online petition circulated around the start of the school year said girls at the high school wear leggings to be comfortable, not to be a “distraction,” and contended dress code enforcement had been handled unfairly.

“Reprimanding females for dress code gives the notion that they are responsible for prioritizing boys’ focus in school. Our school system is so focused on boys education that they are willing to take females out of important classes and give them a disciplinary action for dress code,” the petition said. “Girls need to be equally treated. If girls are getting dress coded for outfits that cover all their skin, then boys — who sag their pants or wear shorter shorts than girls — need to be dress coded too.”

Nearly 1,100 people signed the petition.

Another online appeal seeking to change the APS dress code has collected more than 1,000 signatures. The organizer urged students to wear leggings Monday to show solidarity with the cause.

APS spokeswoman Latisha Gray released a statement late last month saying officials are aware of the petitions. She said the district worked with students and others “to craft revisions that work for students, parents, teachers and administrators.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

FRIDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Severe storm risk returns before expected rainy weekend
FRIDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Severe storm risk returns before expected rainy weekend

Friday: High: 88 Friday night: Low: 72 Saturday: High: 84 Did you miss all the rain, thunderstorms and risk of severe weather? Well, it’s all expected to return Friday, whether you missed it or not. It’ll also set the precedent going forward for the weekend and beginning of next week, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad...
Gunshot from above leaves Gwinnett family shaken
Gunshot from above leaves Gwinnett family shaken

A Gwinnett County family only needs to look up to get a fearful reminder of a shooting that “hit home,” according to Channel 2 Action News. A gunshot in an upstairs apartment at the Amber Mill complex in Duluth ripped through their ceiling, inches from where Crystal Rios and her stepmother were sitting. “I was over there sitting...
Domestic violence: Why the deaths don’t tell the whole story in Georgia
Domestic violence: Why the deaths don’t tell the whole story in Georgia

If she felt like she was in danger, Claudine Rosalind-Angelique Hargrove didn’t let on. Not even to her sister. “We had that closeness where she knew that she could come to me and she wouldn’t have to hold back,” Karen Hargrove told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The two sisters planned to spend a recent weekend together...
Teen pleads not guilty to shooting, killing 3-year-old boy in DeKalb on Easter
Teen pleads not guilty to shooting, killing 3-year-old boy in DeKalb on Easter

A teenager pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge in connection with the shooting death of a 3-year-old boy in DeKalb County on Easter Sunday, Channel 2 Action News reported. Christopher Cullins, 15, requested bond, but he was denied by the judge, Channel 2 reported.  On April 1, Rashonda Craig was driving on Eastland Road near Bouldercrest...
Victor Hill rival says Clayton sheriff arrested wife to intimidate him
Victor Hill rival says Clayton sheriff arrested wife to intimidate him

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill had the wife of a political rival arrested after she said she penned emails to the department supporting her husband’s campaign. Wednesday evening’s arrest of Gerrian Hawes, which was streamed live on Facebook by her husband, has some questioning whether the arrest was an abuse of Hill’s power as...
More Stories