Local News

Wilson Authorities Recommend School Dress Code To Prevent Trouble

Posted August 17, 2004

— Wilson school officials recently met with local law enforcement about preventing violence and spotting gang activity. Officers said sometimes it comes down to what kids are wearing.

"Bandanas, long-sleeve jerseys, long, white T-shirts that have homemade gang graffiti painted on them," said Sgt. Steven Stroud, of the Wilson Police Department.

Wilson County's school superintendent said law enforcement officers recommended a dress code that would require kids to keep their shirts tucked in at school. Stroud said that could help school resource officers spot trouble.

"For individuals who wear really long T-shirts, usually we have found in working patrols, there are ways of concealing weapons or contraband," Stroud said.

Most parents seemed to agree with the idea.

"It sounds like a good idea," grandparent John Ellis said. "You can hide a lot of stuff under baggy clothes."

"It would look nicer. It would look nicer and neater," parent Sarah Cameron said.

Wilson police had a busy summer, handling several cases of teen violence. Julia Briggs, 17, was recently shot and killed as she walked by two brawling groups. So far, no problems have trickled onto school campuses.

There are no immediate plans to change the dress code. The Wilson County School board plans to discuss the issue at next month's meeting.

Most middle schools in Wilson already require students to keep their shirts tucked in on campus.

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