Do you believe the Caldwell School District is right to impose a dress code on high school students?
CALDWELL -- Some high school students in Caldwell are upset about a proposed new dress code. They say the stricter policy would take away their individuality. Administrators say it would lead to fewer distractions in class.
Under the new dress code, high school students would only be allowed to wear solid-colored, collared polo shirts with dark-colored jeans, slacks or skirts. Navy blue and red gang colors are not allowed. Solid-colored sweatshirts over polo shirts are allowed for warmth.
Some students say the code is too restrictive.
"By taking that away from them, it's kind of taking away who they are," said Amanda Timm, student at Caldwell High School.
The Caldwell School District first implemented the dress code two years ago at its elementary schools and this school year at its middle schools. The district had planned to implement the dress code next school year at high schools. However, more than 1,000 high school students signed a petition against it, which has gotten the attention of the district office.
"We've got a school board that would, of course, listen to them," said White. "So everybody's going back to the table to start the conversations over to make sure we're doing what's in the best interest for the kids and the parents and the education system in Caldwell ," said White.
Caldwell High School student Rider Soran is concerned about the cost of the dress code.
"You have to buy a whole new set of clothes, and then on top of that you're going to have to buy another set of clothes because you're not going to be wanting to wear a polo every single day," said Soran.
"We have had questions about cost, which we have done a very good job at the elementary and middle schools making sure that we can help supply uniforms in case of need if a family can't afford uniforms," said White. "So we try to really cover those bases," said White.
Students at Syringa Middle School said they too had concerns at first. However, they have since come around.
"Everyone didn't like it at first, but I think everyone's gotten used to it," said Michael Orozco, student at Syringa Middle School.
"I already know what I'm going to wear. It's simple," said Ebonique Esparza, student at Syringa Middle School.
But high schoolers seem to feel more strongly about it. They're hoping the district will eliminate the dress code at the high school level.
"No matter what you take away from the high school setting, there's going to be cliques. It'll be. 'Oh you got that from that lower place.' 'Well I got mine from this really expensive place,'" said Timm.
The Caldwell School Board will reexamine the issue. White said a final decision will be made before the start of the next school year.