People protest dress code policy

By Anna Carrera

Published 08/15 2014 05:44PM

Updated 08/18 2014 12:28PM

DANVILLE -- Even with a new dress code on the books, some parents still hope it will change. Friday was the first time new clothing rules went into effect. Freshmen orientation started at the high school. Everyone else returns to class Monday. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera finds out why some people are not backing down.

On one of their last days to sleep in before school starts again, these kids were up early protesting the district's new dress code. Pamella Plecker says her kids make good choices on their own, so she plans to let them wear what they want to class.

She says, "If they suspend my kids because they're going in regular clothes, then that just proves they care more about what they want than my child's education."

"They" are school board members who agreed on the rules earlier this year. Superintendent Mark Denman says he's counting on parents to help make the transition.

Denman says, "While there may be disagreement on the method, I believe everyone agrees that the school district, the school board, the staff, the parents, all want the very best things for the boys and girls in our community."

The standard of dress is most flexible for students at the high school, but some parents say, even those rules are too much.

Plecker says, "We are the parents. We raise these kids. They shouldn't be able to tell us every little thing we can and can't do with them."

That's why Plecker came out here and why she says she'll keep doing it.

Plecker adds, "I'm thinking about doing it every two weeks until they change their mind because I'm just against it."

Denman says, "We're always welcoming any input from parents or the community, but the position is clear that, for this year, this is the policy we're following."

The school board plans to meet next week to evaluate the new dress code. Denman says the rules could change someday, but at least for this year, the standard has been set.

Students at another Central Illinois high school will also have an updated dress code. Teens at St. Joseph-Ogden will still be allowed to wear tight-fitting clothes, like yoga pants or leggings, but now those count as "undergarments," so they'll need to wear something over them.

The assistant principal says they didn't want to cut out those clothes altogether, so students can be comfortable, but they wanted to make sure to create a good environment for learning.

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