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Wilson schools defends dress-code policy

Posted November 13, 2009

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— A Wilson County Schools spokesman on Friday defended the school system's policy that has resulted in 207 middle school students to be suspended for violating a dress code.

On Thursday, 166 students, all first-time offenders, were suspended for three days, mostly for wearing low-riding pants and having un-tucked shirts. Forty-seven were suspend Friday for dress-code violations.

Parents received prior notification about the policy in the form of three phone calls and messages, schools spokesman Bob Kendall said. Students were also reminded about it in class.

Still, some parents, like Jennifer Anthony, are upset that a three-day suspension is the punishment for a first-time violation of the policy.

"I don't care if they have a dress code. That is fine with me," she said. "It is just a matter of them suspending on the first offense."

Her son, Jacob, an eight-grader at Springfield Middle School, was suspended Thursday less than an hour into school.

"Evidently, he did not get (his shirt) tucked in fast enough, and the teacher said, 'You have to got the office. You are suspended,'" Anthony said. "I was fuming. I was beyond mad."

Now, he is concerned about his grades and work he will miss. Kendall said students will be allowed to make up missed work.

Kendall defended the policy's stricter enforcement, calling the dress code violations a learning distraction and a danger.

"You want to be able to see a student's waist and a student's pockets to make sure there is no contraband or a weapon," he said.

The stricter enforcement – previously, students received detention on the first two violations – has had proven results on the high-school level, Kendall said.

On Oct. 7, for example, 102 high school students were suspended for violating the dress code. The following day, 21 students were suspended.

A few days later, the number of violations peaked again at 31 but has continued to decline.

"The dress code problem in high school has essentially disappeared," Kendall said.

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  • teacher101 Nov 13, 2009

    It's called, parents dress your kids properly and they wouldn't have to worry about being suspended. They were told the rules ahead of time, obey them. Stop buying clothes that don't fit. Even better, they try looking for a job, who wants to hire that? Not me.

  • If the shoe fits.... Nov 13, 2009

    I support Wilson County Schools. At this point, any student who is in violation of the dress code is being willfully defiant. If students continue to break the dress code rules, the next logical step is that they all be required to wear uniforms - which I support 100%.

  • anonemoose Nov 13, 2009

    What's to defend? They created a policy, gave notice and enforced it.

  • due_whats_right Nov 13, 2009

    Jammerdog - no you get 10 days for fighting - 1st infraction. Schools have gone to a zero tolerance policy for fighting. They hit you in the head with 10 days quickly these days!

  • due_whats_right Nov 13, 2009

    Understand that this was middle school. For the most part, most middle schoolers want to be in school, if for not other reason than social, so they don't view it as a time to sit home, chill or get a few extra hours at work. For majority, I would venture to guess this was an inconvenience on the parents b/c these kids most likely cannot be left at home alone.

    Latinagirrly - girls were included in this. You have just as many girls who sag these days as well as guys.

  • ugottabkiddinme Nov 13, 2009

    Keep up the good work!!.they were warned more than they should have been...once shouldve been all it took...go by the rules ya dont get suspended, pretty simple concept. had someone gotten a gun onto the school grounds and killed one or multiple students and it had been this lady complaining son...she would have wanted to know why the system didnt enforce the rules!kids need discpline...most dont recieve it at home!

  • Barrackawack Nov 13, 2009

    Suspended for lack of suspenders, ain't that special !

  • wolfpackgirl88 Nov 13, 2009

    These kids were just given a 3 day vacation by their principals. If they don't respond to rules at school then their parents probably don't enforce rules at home. The schools just gave them this vacation to go cause problems in their homes and communities while their parents are at work. Awesome plan.

  • 1WakeCitizen Nov 13, 2009

    KUDOS to the school system. Everyone of the offenders should be expelled. And the parents that complain need to accept BLAME for not controlling ....yes, controlling their children.
    Parents need to step up and control their kids. No one wants to look at this sloppy look on any kid. GO SCHOOL!!

  • saywhaaaaat Nov 13, 2009

    I agree.The pants hanging down the leg and one hand holding them up is NOT a nice site to see. But what about the ladies?What kind of dress code did they get? Also what's up with the three day VACATION these kids are getting?

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