Advocate editorial board opinion: Enforcement of dress code not consistent among campuses

By the Advocate Editorial Board
April 4, 2011 at 5:02 p.m.
Updated April 3, 2011 at 11:04 p.m.

One campus shows an enormous amount of enforcement, and another doesn't. We are referring to the Victoria school district dress code, and we think there is an inconsistency in enforcement.

Assistant Superintendent Nancy McCord in March reported 450 dress code violations at West High School while East High School had 50. Also, Patti Welder Middle School had about 175 dress code violations while Stroman Middle School had 50 referrals.

Last year in November, East High School assistant principal Eric Amsler gave the first report on the district's dress code. At that meeting, differences in dress code interpretation were apparent among the campuses.

Both meetings' results seem to support our thinking that there is inconsistency in dress code enforcement.

"I'm not sure I would agree with the notion that the dress code is being inconsistently enforced," said Superintendent Bob Moore. "The expectation of the administration is that the dress code will be enforced. The means to ensure student compliance, however, falls upon the campuses."

We think campuses should network to consistently enforce the dress code. Obviously, there are various interpretations of what is acceptable and what is not, which causes inconsistency in enforcement.

"We seek to make certain that the gray areas that create interpretations are minimized and hopefully eliminated," Moore said. "Students are creative and will seek multiple ways to express their individuality."

Moore said the goal of the district was to "set clear and concise expectations that minimize the fashion distractions that can take away from the learning environment."

We think with some work, consistency will be better achieved.

We realize how creative students can be, and often times they can come up with some combination not covered in the dress code.

"This may mean periodic efforts to refine the standardized dress code to create greater clarity." Moore said.

We agree, and those efforts should be made now to ensure the code and its enforcement is consistent among campuses and their students.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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