Parents polled yet again on uniforms

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / April 29, 2000

LULING – Yet another survey went out Friday to parents in St. Charles Parishregarding the issue of school uniforms. Sent to every household were thenewly-revised student dress code policy and enforcement procedures.

A stamped postcard on which parents may respond is also provided, according to Regina Benoit, public information officer for the school system.

Deadline for returning the cards is May 5.

The response options on the postcards are whether parents agree or disagree with the proposed policy. The school board hopes to take action onthe matter at its May 10 meeting after responses have been compiled.

This survey follows on the heels of the April 12 meeting during which board member John L. Smith moved to seek more parental input once proceduresare ironed out and more parents are polled. “The superintendent should bringit back up only when it’s ready,” Smith said.

On the other hand, board president Clarence “Sonny” Savoie voted against Smith’s motion, and commented, “How long do we need to continue to get input?” The issue has dragged on since the initial surveys in October, which prompted development of the policy. Critics, however, say many parents never saw thesurvey forms and their views were not heard.

At the March 22 board meeting this objection, raised by board member Mary Bergeron, prompted the superintendent to provide response forms at every school, public library and on the internet.

Dr. Juanita Haydel, administrative assistant to the superintendent, said 413responses were received since that board meeting, with roughly 250 favoring uniforms and the remainder opposing the move.

The newly-revised and simplified policy states that beginning with the next school session, all students K-12 would be required to wear school uniforms.

The boys’ uniform would be a collared white or designated school-color shirt, either a dress-Oxford or golf-style shirt. Accompanying pants or shortsmust be Navy or khaki in color, no shorter than 2 inches above the kneecap.

The girls’ uniform would be a collared white or designated school-color blouse, either a dress-Oxford or golf-style blouse. Pants, skirts, shorts orjumpers would be Navy or khaki in color, no shorter than 2 inches above the kneecap.

Reasonably sized logos or labels which are not distracting would be permitted. Banned clothing items would include the following: visibleunderwear, tank tops or halter tops, see-through shorts or blouses, bare shoulders, midriffs, sides or backs, torn clothing, jeans, baggy or oversized clothes, immodestly small clothing, trenchcoats or starter jackets, leggings or biker shorts, sunglasses, body-piercing jewelry (except earrings) and any headwear or waist pouches.

A six-step enforcement procedure includes in-school detention for the first four steps and out-of-school suspension in the last two.

Financial hardship cases would be handled through the supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance.

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