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Nazareth School Board Member Proposes Revised Dress Code

Chris Miller, a member of the Nazareth Area School Board, is concerned that the district's dress code -- which he would also like to see revised -- is not being enforced.

member Chris Miller wants the district to institute a revised dress code for district students -- and enforce it strictly.

Miller, in remarks at Monday's school board meeting, noted that he does not like what he sees when he observes students walking around Nazareth Area schools or getting on or off school buses.

“I don't know how well the dress code in Nazareth is watched,” Miller said. “I have observed students not dressed according to the dress code.”

Do you share Miller's concerns? If so, what revisions would you propose? The current dress code is located to the right of this article.

Miller recalled one day last month, near the end of the school year, when he saw a girl at a school bus stop who was wearing a skirt far shorter than the standard outlined in the district's current student dress policy. He also recounted a story he heard about a recent college graduate who was not hired for a job in his field of expertise because the president of the company at which he applied saw that the young man's shoes were untied.

Miller emphasized that learning to dress well as a matter of habit will help students succeed later in life.

His fellow board members did not reflect the same sense of urgency over the student dress code that Miller exuded.

Board President Lorin Bradley several times asked Miller to direct his comments to the board rather than the public. Board members reminded Miller that the school board is the body authorized to amend the district dress code.

Bradley eventually cut off Miller's remarks before Miller had a chance to share specifics of his proposed dress code.

District Superintendent , in remarks after Monday's meeting, said the administration will explore possible revisions to the district's dress code.

“It's something to look at,” said Riker, who took over as district superintendent earlier this month, following the retirement of .

“We're going to survey all the districts in Intermediate Unit 20,” Riker said, adding that once the administration gets hard facts about dress codes in neighboring districts, it will report its finding to the school board next month.

When asked what he thought of Miller's remarks, Riker replied: “It's always good to respect each other's opinions.”

Under the district's current dress code policy, building principals are responsible for taking disciplinary action against students who violate the policy, Riker said.

Kathleen Unger July 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Chris Miller is absolutely right. Today's kids dress like they going to the beach. The district MUST clamp down on the outrages dressing habits of the kids.
Rosemary B July 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM
“We're going to survey all the districts in Intermediate Unit 20,” Riker said, adding that once the administration gets hard facts about dress codes in neighboring districts, it will report its finding to the school board next month. Why can't Nazareth be a leader here with a stricter more professional dress code or possible uniforms and not a follower of what other districts do?
ann schmidt July 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Why do we need to survey other districts? The dress code isn't that hard to follow...it just seems that the personnel responsible for upholding it isn't doing their job!
Frank DeRosa July 24, 2012 at 01:37 PM
I personally think the teachers need the dress code more than the students. Business casual is one thing but some of the teachers could easily be mistaken for the students. The dress code should be re-examined for both teachers and students.
SLR July 24, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I agree with Miller. My daughter is 9 and, luckily for me, very modest right now. But what happens as she gets older and sees these other children wandering around in skintight mini-skirts and tiny tank tops? I grew up in south Florida. If you look around, standard issue is jeans or shorts and a tank top for adults. But in school, we were required to dress appropriately. Amazingly enough, we had a 98% graduation rate, very low drug use, and almost NO teenage pregnancies. Can the Nazareth school district say that? I think not. It's time the teachers and staff stopped trying to be "cool" and the kids' "friends" and acted like it matters that these kids are wandering around dressed like prostitutes from the 80's. I certainly don't want my daughter thinking that's acceptable behavior just because her friends get away with it nor do I want my sons growing up objectifying females because of this lack of restraint on the way these kids dress. I've done my best to raise them to be respectful and modest, but it does concern me to see what's waiting for them beyond my front door. It's ridiculous.
sherry July 24, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I agree that the dress code should be enforced. I took the time to read it and it seems very clear what appropriate dress is and what it is not. (The only thing I didn't quite understand is why a girl's purse can't be large enough to hold a notebook.) I don't think we need a stricter code but just enforce what we have. Having to call home a few times when they don't follow the code should show that your serious. I also agree with the person who said appropriate clothing needs to be for BOTH students and faculty members.
NASD PARENT July 24, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I believe they need to simply enforce the current dress code. If you take a look at it, it's genreally reasonable and straight forward. When I was in school (NAHS), if you weren't dressed within the dress code guidelines, you wore your gym uniform or had to call home for a change of clothes. No one wanted to wear their gym uniform all day. It was embarassing! I saw something last week about "slacks and shined shoes"...that's taking it a little too far in my opinion
stacy pittenger July 24, 2012 at 03:25 PM
uniforms !!!!
Deborah Rizzotto July 24, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I don't know if uniforms are the answer..but we need some type of dress code. Listen I am a child of the 70's...and we girls fought to wear pants to school, which we won when I was a junior, and clean, non patched, or tiedyed jeans my senior year. Our views were that you didn't need to be dressed up to learn..and I got sent home once or twice...However...I have seen girls now entering the school in shorts so short that they barely covered anything and flip-flops. They do need to enforce the dress code!
Crazy Lizard Lady July 24, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I don't feel that uniforms are the answer. This is a public school. If you want your child to wear a uniform, send them to Holy Family or another catholic school. If the schools would inforce the dress code, this would not be a problem. However, I check my daughter every day before she leaves for school and if there isn't something I like, then she turns around and goes and changes her clothes. I don't care how old they are, the parents are responsible for these kids before they leave the house.
Mallory Vough (Editor) July 24, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Just playing devil's advocate: I recently attempted to buy shorts at Kohl's. I'm pretty tiny, so even in my mid-20s, I have to shop in the Misses section. Otherwise, I'm drowning in fabric. I could not find a single pair that wouldn't break a school's dress code. I had two options: buy UBER short shorts or admit defeat and head for the capris.
lovebeingamom July 24, 2012 at 05:28 PM
No matter who enforces what (which I agree we should do as parents and school district) there will always be someone who makes such a stink about it and cries hence the rules not being enforced. Our society does not like to follow any rules and it always finds a way to bend, twist or readjust the rule. I have children in public and private and yes, I love the idea of uniforms and /or would be ok if NASD would truly just enforce it... BUT don't back down when a student gets sent home and the parent comes to the office crying b/c they feel their child's outfit was ok. Get a backbone and this wouldn't even be an issue.
Jeff Carlton July 25, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Regardless of the details of the dress code - whatever happened to parental guidance? We made sure our kids wore appropriate attire (and we had LOTS of discussions about the proper level of pants - we did not want to see our son's underwear!) and behaved appropriately. In other words, we were parents; not their best friends and not their lawyers; we expected them to do what is right. When did this obligation fall on the shoulders of the schools?
Rachel G July 30, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I attend the high school, and I'm going to be a senior this year, and I don't see how making us wear uniforms is going to fix things. And someone said that we shouldn't wear flip flops, why? They have nothing to do with our education. Anyways back to the topic of uniforms. Albeit it may stop the 'drama' of popularity that's all it will stop. Popularity contests will still continue about who has more money, whose doing what at parties, whose have the parties, who has the best car, etc. Guys who always wear there pants down low will still wear the uniform pants down low. I've seen countless times where the guys at school have been yelled at multiple times to pull up their pants, and they do, but pull them down again after the staff leaves. You can yell at them give them detentions but, they will still do it because it is their style. As for the girls if you give them a skirt most will probably roll it to the length they want and continued to get yelled at. Besides you guys as adults tell us that we need to express ourselves, being all in the same clothes isn't expressing ourselves. Also uniforms aren't going to makes us study even more or become more in tune with our academics. People CHOSE to not follow through with their academics or slack off. It has nothing to do with what we wear. Also as a female, with past years styles coming back, we don't have much of a choice to but 'short shorts' because that's all they're selling.
Rachel G July 30, 2012 at 10:19 PM
You want us to wear uniforms, send us to catholic school or make our school private, because otherwise you'll have about every single student in this school fighting against them.
Rachel G July 30, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Also for a female like I am, I'm tall and have long arms, it's impossible to find shorts long enough to buy to where to school, not with the fashion coming back where everything was short. Also the school plays a major role in what we wear, because the allow the sports players to where their uniforms and for tennis and cheerleaders they consist of short shorts and tank tops, which other students can't, so we wore what ever we wanted to within reason and what is being sold. Oh and also they let the sports players where whatever they want even when it's not their uniforms. The school shouldn't allow the sports players to wear what ever they want and not the rest of the school. So the school is selective as to who can wear what.
Nazareth Student August 03, 2012 at 07:26 PM
I totally agree with that. I attend the high school as well, and I've noticed how the athletes basically just get away with breaking the dress codes when they wear their uniforms. It aggravates me so much.

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