CISD announces dress code changes
Clothing with graphics no longer permitted
By Richard Zowie
Times Guardian Staff Writer
The proverbial question, "What should I wear?" might become a little easier for Comal Independent School District high school students to answer this upcoming school year.
In late May, the CISD school board approved some revisions to the school dress code policy. Starting this upcoming school year, no graphics-such as "Life guard on duty" or "Surfer girl"-will be allowed on the front or back of clothes. However, an exception to this rule will be graphics that are either school-related or those that pertain to recognized universities.
The new dress code will apply only to the high schools within CISD and will be enforced at Smithson Valley, New Braunfels-Canyon and Comal Leadership Institute.
"Some students are pushing the limits by wearing shirts with lewd, inappropriate graphics that could have sexually hidden messages. The revised dress code will allow us to focus on academic issues."
Students will also no longer be allowed to wear fish-net hose, strapless tops or shirts, garments that either have open backs or are excessively short along with garments that are tight or low-cut.
"The purpose of the dress code is to have a positive learning environment for the students," explained Nancy Cobb, CISD assistant superintendent for administration. "It's important to start the day off under that umbrella. It's not to penalize students and take away choice and there are still choices of what they can wear to school."
Cobb noted that the logos, slogans and other marketing tools of many well-known companies are not appropriate for school since they can be gender, racially or socioeconomically offensive or use profanity.
The principals showed the district shirts they'd confiscated, Cobb said, describing some of the shirts as being "very inappropriate", some "crossing the line to being abusive" and others with meanings that were "well hidden through the wording."
Cobb estimated that about 90 percent of the high school students comply with the dress code, but said the new regulations were needed for the minority who chose to step outside the boundaries of taste.
The proposed changes have been discussed since the spring semester, Cobb said. Once the school officials came to the CISD central office with recommended changes, it was sent to the school board for discussion and approval.
Each campus will have their own way of enforcing the dress code and monitoring students to ensure their clothing is of an appropriate nature. Students in violation generally first face Level 1 infractions, where they are given a warning. Level 2 will then require the student to change clothes. This means they must either go home to change, have someone from home bring them a change or, if they have a change of clothes at school, then they can change on campus. Level 3 involves in-school suspension, where a work program could also be possible.
For now, said Cobb, the school board will reevaluate the new dress code policies next year and see how it's worked out. She added that though the new policy applies only to the high school, they'll look at it from a middle school level if they receive complaints from those schools.
For more information concerning the dress code, parents and students visit CISD's Website at www.comalisd.org.