Changes made to dress code

REGION 16 — Students will be greeted with a slightly revised dress code when they return to school in the fall.

The Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, approved changes to the dress code at its June 22 meeting.

The list of things clothing cannot promote or refer to now includes violence and weapons specifically. Previously, the list was just drugs, alcohol, as well as offensive signs, symbols or words. The same list now applies to jewelry and accessories.

Spandex is not allowed now, and clothing should exceed the length of students’ fingertips when their arms are resting at their sides, thus providing a guideline for shorts and skirts.

The revisions officially allow middle and high school students to wear flip flops, open-toe shows without ankle straps, clogs and “crocs,” though some high school students had worn these types of shoes in the past. These shoes will still be banned at the elementary schools. The policy specifies that platform shoes and “Heelies,” with or without wheels, are banned at all schools.

Board member Nazih Noujaim raised concerns about students tripping and getting hurt because of wearing flip flops.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said there haven’t been any injuries at the high school over the past five years that officials know about due to flip flops.

“That we know about is the key word,” board member Priscilla Cretella said.

Board members said they have to be flexible with the times and realistic with what children are wearing. However, they felt, the policy has to be enforced to be effective.

“It’s challenging because you want to put policies in place that we’re going to enforce,” Yamin said. “This is not an easy discussion.”

Cretella contended the policy needs additional language to address low-cut shirts.

Yamin said there is language in the policy that gives administrators discretion to deem what is appropriate.

“I think this is a good policy,” board Chair Sheryl Feducia said. “There are some areas that I think are maybe a little bit more general because it does allow for our administrators to say that’s not appropriate.”

Cretella and Noujaim voted against the revised policy. Feducia, David Rybinski and Robert Hiscox voted for it. Board members Christine Arnold, Roxann Vaillancourt and Daisy Laone were absent.