Many students here at University High School may still be unaware of the recent dress code revisions. The Volusia County Schools dress code policy was adopted on June 28th 2011 and altered on May 8th 2012 when additional text was added to address more current dress code violations. The modified dress code is the one we follow currently at UHS.
The modified dress code is more strict in some areas and explains into slightly more detail what is and isn’t appropriate for the school environments. Shorts are still required to come to the mid thigh or longer, if they are shorter than mid thigh then they are breaking dress code. Another rule that is both in the past dress code and this one is shoulder to shoulder shirts and blouses; this rule prevents students from wearing spaghetti straps or tank tops at school. Blouses with low cut necklines are still not allowed and are also a violation of dress code if worn. All the same major rules are still enforced, but with less leniency.
I spoke with Mr. Jenkins, a campus advisor who deals with all disciplinary actions including dress code, insubordination, drugs on campus, disrespect, tardies, fights and campus disruption, in order to find out how the dress code has affected our school. The biggest dress code changes made at UHS are the length requirement for shorts and the restriction of holes in pants. The reason holes and rips are prohibited is because they display skin above the length requirement for shorts. Mr. Jenkins explained that holes in shorts, along with the length of shorts, boys sagging pants, and inappropriate blouses are the types of clothing that have been worn on campus the most and are out of dress code policy. Due to students dressing out of the dress code, between five and fifteen students are sent to the discipline office everyday.
When asked if the changes to dress code have made a positive improvement among UHS students Mr. Jenkins replied, “It’s pretty much been consistent, the students continue to dress the same whether in or out of dress code.”
Other disciplinary actions have been taken to assure that students are aware of the dress code and to minimize the amount of students who continue to ignore it. At the beginning of the year, teachers were instructed to search their first period class for any dress code violations. When asked if more dress code issues were brought to attention after the first period teachers were notified to check, Mr. Jenkins explained “No, it seems like teachers tend to ignore it [the dress code violations] even though we ask them to.” The students that are in violation of dress code are sent to the discipline office.
When students go to the disciplinary office because of dress code, they will be asked if they have a replacement clothing to wear so that they are then dressed within the dress code, appropriate for school, and can go back to their classroom. If they are unable to get a new piece of clothing so that they are no longer breaking a dress code rule they will have to either be sent home or spend time in ISS until a school appropriate article of clothing can be brought to them. Dress code always applies to students, “We strictly enforce the dress code which sometimes we bend a little, but not often to keep the district policy in tact,” Mr. Jenkins informed.