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BOE: Flannel OK as Long as Skin Is Covered

Board members say as long as bodies are covered, they can't control material of clothing kids wear.

As long as students have their cleavage, navel and butt covered, they should be allowed to wear what they want to school. At least that’s what member Judy Castiglione believes, and several of her colleagues on the board agreed with her.

The discussion came up after a committee comprised of board members, parents and students was formed to discuss the district’s dress code and make recommendations. One recommendation the committee returned with was whether students will be allowed to wear flannel “loungewear” pants to school.

The board voted 6-2 to send the policy back to the committee for further discussion.

The district’s dress code currently allows flannel pants but a change is being considered that would no longer allow students to wear them.

“I don’t see what the problem is with flannel pants,” said board member Stacey Poulas. “We sell them in the school store, so how can we say that we won’t allow students to wear something we sell?”

Board member Cynthia Scott pointed out that hooded sweatshirts are also sold in the school store, but students are now allowed to wear them during the school day.

“I don’t think we have any right to tell people what kind of material they can and can’t dress their kids in, especially in these tough economic times,” said Castiglione. “If a parent can go out and buy several pairs of flannel pants and they cover the parts that are supposed to be covered, we can’t tell them they’re not allowed to do that.”

Board member Jill VanNess agreed, and added that students need to be comfortable to learn well.

“Some kids just aren’t comfortable in jeans. If a student can wear these pants and feel more physically comfortable in school, they will learn better,” she said.

Scott said that this type of pant is often purchased in the lingerie department of stores, and some patterns may be inappropriate.

“What if a pair of pants is pink with little sheep all over them,” she asked.

“So what,” VanNess replied. “What’s the difference if they have sheep or blue and gold plaid on them?”

“Students can be inappropriate in anything,” Castiglione said. “If a skirt is too short, if a top is too low cut or has spaghetti straps, that’s more inappropriate than sheep on a pair of pants.”

Should students be allowed to wear flannel pants to school? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

susan sacino July 18, 2012 at 02:30 PM
When these students enter the business world, they will need to know how to dress. I would not want someone preparing my taxes or assisting me in a store dressed in pajamas. Having a dress code is important. It makes a student accountable to show up ready to learn. Not just rolling out of bed to sleep in the classroom. They should show pride in themselves as well as the school.
Gretchen Wendolowski July 18, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Well said Susan....
Bob July 18, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Business dress is dictated by the business one is in. When you have a Wall St job you are expected to be in a suit. When you have a construction job you don't show up in a suit. Also, many businesses that are driven by creativity and innovation encourage dress that is more comfortable to foster the creativity. Funny, I was at a Seafood restaurant in Cape Cod recently and all the staff were in fish/nautical pajama pants. Their service was excellent. The food was outstanding. The value was reasonable. We also thought the pants added to the atmosphere of relaxed and casual dining tastefully. I returned to this same restaurant multiple times. A strict interpretation of "business world" is very limiting. One of the biggest problems in today's education system is a system that states it wants to create creativity and critical thinking, yet is stymied by limited vision and black and white thinking.
Mark B July 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Pajamas and Hoodies are inappropriate for school. Riveted pants are inappropriate as well. You dont roll out of bed and go to school. It promotes nothing but laziness and that not being prepared is ok. Take some pride in your kids, and your school, ESPECIALLY since your entire town pays for the education. Try sending your kid to ANY private or charter school and see how far hoodies and PJs fly...
Jamie July 23, 2012 at 11:11 PM
The question a parent, a student, an educator should ask, "would you wear this to a church service, a funeral, a job interview?" Parents should be the driving force of getting a child at a young age, to understand appropriate dress. I have never seen someone turned down for a job or sent out of a restaurant because they were over dressed. My parents were great believers that you do not need to have money to have class, be clean, dress appropriately or be well mannered. I hope I got this message through to my children.

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