NASHVILLE – A handbook change which modifies the existing punishment for dress code infractions at Nashville High School was approved by a split vote Monday during the board of education’s monthly meeting.
The change, proposed by Principal Tate Gordon and Assistant Principal Kim Slayton, sends students for whom replacement clothes cannot be acquired to in school suspension as opposed to the current policy, which requires the student to spend the day in the high school office.
Slayton said administrators deal with five to six students each week who violate the dress code, which among other things bans vulgar or suggestive clothing, clothing associated with gang membership, clothes which feature alcohol, tobacco or drug-related images, hats, sunglasses and short skirts or shorts. According to Slayton, administrators are often unable to contact parents to bring replacement clothes, or, if they are able to contact them, the parents are usually unable to leave work to deliver he items.
Under the new policy, the first two violations of the dress code would result in either a change of clothes or ISS, with the third infraction being punished by two days of ISS and subsequent violations resulting in detention or suspension.
Board member Monica Clark was the sole objector to the change, arguing that the dress code should also apply to ISS despite protestations from Slayton and Gordon, who said students there are cordoned off from each other and thus less likely to be disruptive.
Other changes approved by the 4-1 vote included the addition of a dyslexia clause in the primary campus’s handbook made to reflect a new law related to the disorder passed during the last legislative session, a slight modification to entrance requirements for students transferring to the campus from homeschool or private schooling, and a new retention policy which calls for a conference between parents, educators and administrators when a student’s ability to advance is called into question.
Neither the junior high nor elementary campuses proposed any change to their handbooks at the meeting.