Troy has few problems with new dress code
BY MARIANNE EISENBRANDT Correspondent August 29, 2013 9:06PM
Updated: October 1, 2013 6:17AM
JOLIET — School began Aug. 21 for students in the Troy School District and with the new school year came a new dress code.
According to Supt. Don White, the district is settling into the new dress code and school year. He said there were seven “minor” dress code issues at Troy Middle School on Aug. 22, but that was all.
“There have been very minimal problems with the dress code topic,” White said.
The new dress code requires Troy Middle School students to wear solid color polo shirts or Troy spirit wear, and traditional twill, woven navy blue or khaki pants, skirts, shorts or capris every day. Denim jeans and denim-type material are not permitted.
White said all students have been very understanding and have complied with their requests.
Parents’ concerns about the new dress code that the school board approved in April had prompted the board to take another look at the policy. The board revisited the dress code policy again in July, but voted down any proposed amendments to the policy.
Only two parents spoke at a recent board meeting in regard to the dress code; Dawn Thorstad was in favor of the policy but she wanted clarification on the shirt her son had worn to school that day. He was asked to change his shirt and was given another shirt to wear for the school day.
White said he had learned from the administration after the meeting that the issue with the shirt was that it had writing on it.
“I need to seek more information regarding the number of students that we are having this problem with before I can fairly resolve this issue,” White said.
Marla Spivey said she is vehemently against the school board’s decision to change the dress code for many reasons. She had four daughters go through the Troy District; the youngest is now in eighth grade.
Spivey said the new policy has created discord in her home between her and her daughter. While she agrees the previous dress code needed to be addressed, only a small percantage of students were not following it, she said.
She noted that finding clothing that complies with the district’s new dress code to fit her 5’7” daughter has been a challenge. Spivey said she ended up having to buy men’s polo shirts so they would fit her daughter in a way that complies with the dress code, and that cost her more money.
“Fact is, if the schools would have enforced the previous dress code 100 percent for the past four plus years, there would be no need to introduce a new dress code,” Spivey said.
The board did make amendments to the new dress code policy during the meeting, but not the amendments some parents had wanted.
The new amendment states: “Religious exceptions to particular requirements of this dress code will be granted only to the extent actually necessary to accommodate sincere religious beliefs without undermining the purposes of the dress code. A student whose parents or legal guardians object on religious grounds to the student’s compliance with the dress code must present a signed statement of objection detailing the grounds for the objection.”
Also added was the statement: “Exceptions for reasonable but limited periods of time may be granted to accommodate transfer students or students from indigent families in order to allow such students to acquire clothing in compliance with the dress code. To qualify for an exception based on need, the family must qualify for free lunches under the same standards for the waiver of student fees under Board Policy 4:130.
The limited period of time will be no longer than the usual time for the family to acquire new clothing for the student. In the meantime, administrators may require students to wear appropriate clothing acquired by the district or from other sources until such time as the student’s family can reasonably acquire such clothing themselves.”