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Chambersburg Area School Board delays decision on dress code

After hundreds pour into meeting room Wednesday, the policy is sent back to committee

October 24, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Speakers line up Wednesday night to address the Chambersburg (Pa.) Area School Board about the proposed districtwide student dress code. The meeting room at the district administration building was packed.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The Chambersburg Area School Board failed to approve a districtwide dress code policy, deciding late Wednesday to send the policy back to committee.

The vote was unanimous. It is scheduled to be back on the board’s agenda for the Nov. 14 meeting.

Several hundred people poured into the board’s meeting room in the school district’s administration building to weigh in on the controversial dress and grooming policy.

The original policy banned shorts and jeans, but after dissension from many in the community, those are now permitted with some restrictions.

The revised policy is still sweeping and bans shirts with stripes, hooded sweat shirts, cutoffs, pajama bottoms, flip flops, T-shirts and leggings.

After a contentious public meeting on the issue last month, parents, students and even teachers took full advantage of their three-minute public comment session to express their opinions.

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Parent Karen Herman told the nine-member board that she would have to buy a whole new wardrobe for her daughter if the new dress code is approved by the board.

“I urge you to vote no,” Herman said about the policy that she called too restrictive.

Jack Sharpe, a local attorney and parent of a seventh-grade student, supports the policy.

Sharpe said soft skills, which are attributes that enhance an individual's interactions, are a major issue for students, and the biggest is the way they dress.

Tom and Rebecca Trgovac disagree on the dress code issue.

He supports a dress code, but wants the community to be involved.

“Why do you have to shove these changes down our throat?” Rebecca Trgovac said.

She questioned why the district is prohibiting anything but solid color shirts with collars.

Former board member Bill Fasnacht said the dress issue was discussed 20 years ago with nothing done.

“There is a dress code it has never been enforced,” he said.

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