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Military School Dress Code Can Have Serious Effect On Fort Bragg Families

Posted August 24, 2001

— Col. Tad Davis, the garrison commander at Fort Bragg, says military housing is a privilege, and he maintains that by getting tough on a school clothing policy, he is not ruling out taking away that privilege.

Like many schools districts, Fort Bragg has a uniform policy at two of its schools. Not surprisingly, the colors are red, white and blue.

But there is something spelled out on post, that's a little different from a public school. If a student does not follow the dress code, the entire family can be kicked out of military housing.

"It's not a threat we hold over someone's head. We lay out rules, regulations and procedures that we think maintain order and discipline," said Davis.

Parent Marena Groll thinks the policy goes too far.

"I really think it's unthinkable we would even suggest throwing a child out of his house over the simple issue of what they are wearing," said Groll.

Fort Bragg points out an eviction would be a worst-case scenario. They would first work with the parents, have a conference, even a suspension before they would consider an eviction.

Diane Haskell, the P.T.A. president at Irwin Middle School, is all for the strict guidelines. She believes a parent should be responsible for their child.

"We have rules in housing. We have to keep our house neat, keep the grass cut. It's like any other rule we follow on post, it's already been enforced as policy," said Haskell.

The superintendent of Fort Bragg Schools say a uniform policy was put in place at the suggestion of parents. The garrison commander says there has not been a case so far which tested the rule, and does not expect there will be a case where it will lead to an eviction. He points out that this is just an option.


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