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Palmerton boardto hold special dress code meeting

Published July 16. 2012 05:01PM

Palmerton Area School District hopes to tie up any loose ends associated with its embattled dress code policy.

To that end, the school board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, at which time it is expected to discuss Policy #221, Dress and Grooming, accept the second reading, and approve it.

Contacted this morning, Superintendent Carol Boyce told the TIMES NEWS the board's rationale behind the meeting.

"It is my understanding that one or perhaps more of the board members had additional input for the topic and they wish to act on it prior to most people doing their school shopping," Boyce said. "The August meeting would be too late to be convenient for parents."

The policy has continued to be a source of consternation for district administrators, teachers, and students who routinely clash over what dress is considered to be appropriate versus inappropriate.

Last month, the board debated the issue as part of a lengthy workshop session, as board members, administrators, teachers, and parents weighed in on the matter.

At that time, high school Principal Kathy Egan told the board prior revisions made to the policy hadn't helped the situation.

Instead, Egan said the matter was "so open to interpretation", and was a "nightmare to enforce."

The matter was also discussed at great length at a workshop session in May, at which time a consensus of the board said a change to a standardized dress code was unlikely, and that the current policy should be fine-tuned.

Previously, the district implemented a dress code districtwide in the 2011-12 school year.

Two years ago, the then-school board formed a committee comprised of parents, school board policy committee members, and administrators to review the policy.

A series of meetings were held, and numerous revisions were made to the policy at that time.

In the end, it was ultimately decided students were to follow the dress code as listed in their student handbooks.

Since then, the matter has continued to spring up at various times throughout the past two school years.

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