After months of discussion and stakeholder feedback, the Flagler County School Board voted to advertise a new relaxed student dress code as part of the Elementary and Secondary Code of Student Conduct.
The Code of Conduct is brought to the Board annually for updates and revisions that include changes required by state statute. The Code of Conduct, with the dress code proposal, must be advertised for 30 days before the Board can approve it. Based on feedback during that time frame, changes can be made to the final document.
"There's been a lot of work put in to making these adaptive changes (to the dress code) by a lot of different people including community members, our students, staff, and I'd like to support their efforts," Board member Cheryl Massaro said at a special meeting, June 8. "I think it's a great compromise. It's not perfect, and it never will be, but I think it's a great compromise and we're moving forward."
In separate votes, the board unanimously agreed to advertise the dress code recommendation for secondary and elementary school students. The district is accepting comments on its "Let's Talk!" platform at flaglerschools.com.
John Fanelli, the school district's coordinator of student supports and behavior, said the district has previously received over 300 responses from families on Let's Talk! with about 3 to 1 in favor of the recommended dress code.
The proposal is based on recommendations from a dress code committee made up of parents, administrators, community groups and the two Student School Board members. Opinions were also solicited outside of the committee from teachers, staff, parents and students.
"It was a very diverse committee," Fanelli said. "What you see before you with this recommended dress code is a collaboration of all of the feedback we got from all of the different perspectives that we had. There was some good dialogue about being comfortable not only in the learning environment, but being comfortable in their own bodies and being able to wear clothes that made them feel comfortable around their peers."
There was some good dialogue about being comfortable not only in the learning environment, but being comfortable in their own bodies and being able to wear clothes that made them feel comfortable around their peers."
JOHN FANELLI, district coordinator of student supports and behavior
The School Board made changes throughout the process. The latest tweak was added during the June 7 workshop when Board member Jill Woolbright suggested that a rule prohibiting garments with slogans and statements also ban graphics.
The elementary and secondary dress code proposals are identical other than footwear requirements which differ for elementary, middle and high school students.
At the June 7 workshop, Board Chair Trevor Tucker questioned whether elementary school parents wanted to change the current dress code.
"The secondary students were the ones who wanted to rein it in. I feel the elementary schools were great," he said.
Board members Colleen Conklin and Janet McDonald also questioned whether elementary school parents wanted a change. Massaro suggested to advertise the policy and then assess the feedback. Woolbright noted that some families are already shopping for school clothes and are eagerly waiting for a decision.
Here's a look at the recommended dress code:
Shirts: Midriffs shall not be seen.
1. Any solid color or pattern.
2. Trademark logo is acceptable.
3. No lace or sheer materials, including cutouts.
4. Any Flagler Schools approved/sponsored shirt, team jersey or club shirt.
Bottom attire: Worn securely at waist; no shorter than mid-thigh; no rips or tears above mid-thigh.
1. All solid colors or patterned pants, shorts, skirts, skorts or jeans.
2. small trademark logo is acceptable.
1. Any solid color or patterned zip-up, button-up or over-the-head sweatshirts or sweaters are acceptable.
2. If under layer is visible, it must be within standard dress code.
3. No trench coats.
Footwear: Footwear deemed a safety hazard (for example, wheels or slippers) are not allowed.
1. K-5: Must wear flat, fully-enclosed shoes or athletic shoes. No flip-flops, sandals, slides or Croc styles.
2. 6-8: May wear enclosed shoes, athletic shoes, sandals with a back, strap or Croc styles. No flip-flops or slides.
3. 9-12: All of the above are acceptable including flip-flops, Croc styles, slides and sandals.
Key general rules:
- No garments shall have slogans, statements or graphics.
- No sheer or lace top or bottom.
- School may alter dress code for special events.
- Head coverings including bandanas, sweatbands and hoods not allowed inside buildings.
- No sunglasses in building.
- Jewelry or accessories that present safety or health hazards or cause disruptions are not allowed.
- Footwear determined to be unsafe for school, recess or PE classes may be prohibited by administration during the activity or class.
- Tattoos deemed inappropriate must be covered.
- Contact lenses that alter appearance of eyes are not allowed.
- Students in grades 6-12 are required to wear school IDs at all times.
1. Students who enter the district after the start of the school year have a 10-day grace period.
2. The Superintendent, in consultation with the principal, may waive the dress code on a case-by-case basis for reasons such as medical necessity or sincerely held religious belief, documented by a physician or religious leader.
3. Students may wear a uniform of a nationally recognized youth organization, such as the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, on regular meeting days.
4. Student may wear a costume, special clothing or dress attire necessary for participation in a school-sponsored or extracurricular activity provided the clothing complies with district policy.