Code unbreakable so far for schools

By Shannon Jenkins

With school under way, it's time for educators to establish a precedent for dress code violators.

School began on Monday in Clayton County and spokesperson Charles White said students and educators are "still in the process of getting comfortable with each other."

"We have encouraged principals to be very flexible with school dress in the first days to acclimate students with guidelines," he added.

During the first week of school, White said students were informed of appropriate attire through the system's handbook, policies published on the school's Web site and day-to-day contact with school leaders.

White said he hadn't heard of any major violations during the first few days of the new academic year.

As for Henry County Schools, which completed its second week on Friday, there have been some dress code issues during the first two weeks of school.

"There were a number of violations on the first day that we enforced the dress code," said Stockbridge High School Principal Eric Watson. "However, the next day was much better. We have been averaging about five dress code violations a day. That is pretty good considering we have over 1,900 students enrolled at Stockbridge High School."

Watson said assemblies were held in the gym for each grade level Aug. 4-5 to notify students of the dress code, along with other school regulations. Notifications were also mailed out to parents.

Eagle's Landing Middle School Principal Jim Davis said parents signed forms regarding the dress code during the first week of school, and students learned about the policies by reading their handbooks.

"We are lucky that our handbook is very clear about what is allowed and what is not," he said. "The administrators clarify anything that comes into question."

Davis said there have been violations so far this year, but he did not elaborate as to how many.

In past years, Davis said the most common dress code violations have been bare midriffs and shoulders, as well as short skirts and baggy pants.

Stockbridge Middle School Principal Vicki Davis said there have been few questions about the dress code at her school.

"Basically, I did a closed-circuit TV telecast of the handbook and reviewed (the) dress code," Davis said.

According to the handbook, baggy pants and extra-short skirts and shorts are not allowed.

"Our students seem to make an effort to work with us on these things," she said.

There are no "dress code police" at Henry County High School, but principal Andy Giddens said violations are dealt with quickly.

"When we see an infraction of the dress code, we handle it," he said. "We don't go out looking for violations."

So far, he said, there haven't been many problems with the policy this year.