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Boonsboro Middle School eighth-grader challenges dress code

August 16, 2011

A Boonsboro Middle School eighth-grader on Tuesday asked the school board to improve the district's dress code.

Madeline Clingan challenged the policy that says shorts, skirts and dresses must "cover the mid-thigh when sitting down, or be at least long enough to meet the tip of the student's longest finger when the student is standing with arms down at the sides."

Madeline said the policy penalizes students with long arms and fingers, like hers.

To demonstrate, Madeline, who is about 5 feet 8 inches tall, and her friend, Emily Anderson, who stands about 5 feet 5 inches, stood side by side, wearing the same type of shorts.

Emily's fingers were about even with the bottom edge of the shorts; Madeline's fingers were a few inches past, making them noncompliant.

Madeline and her mother, Diane Clingan, asked Washington County to consider a more uniform requirement, using a set distance from the inseam.

Board President Wayne D. Ridenour asked Madeline to talk to Abdul Latif, the board's student member, about a possible change.

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— Andrew Schotz

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