East Longmeadow school committee expected to vote on new dress code

(Western Mass News photo)

The East Longmeadow school committee could vote Monday to change the high school dress code.

There has been much discussion in town over the last few months about whether or not to make changes.

If approved, the changes would be implemented next school year.

The school committee has been talking about this issue for some time, but tonight, they are expected to vote in some way.

A school committee member told us that in the 10 years he's been on, it's one of the biggest issues that's come up.

Changes could be coming to East Longmeadow High School and what students wear.

The school committee is expected to vote on whether the dress code stays the same or changes slightly.

"Some of the changes specifically were taking out measurements in terms of lengths of pants or shorts, addressing the hats. The proposal would allow hats in the classroom and the school," said Gregory Thompson, vice chairman of the East Longmeadow school committee.

Sophomores Matthew Duchesneau and Sean Higgins are happy about the possibility of being able to wear hats, but they said they're okay with the dress code as it stands now too.

"Right now, in our high school, it's not bad. I think we're able to wear a lot of stuff, except hats If you see someone in the hall, a teacher will ask hey take that off. That's the only problem I have," Duchesneau said.

Higgins added, "It's really not that bad. I feel like pretty much get to wear whatever we want and dress the way we want."

The dress code stands now that there are no skirts, dresses, and shorts worn shorter than the fingertips when extended at your side. Also, no hats or headgear unless a religious belief or medical condition.

If changed, there would be no requirement on measurements of shorts, skirts, and dresses and hats, like a Boston Red Sox cap, would be allowed.

"The part about the length and the measurements. It seems appropriate, for me at least, that we're not going to be measuring garments of clothing at anytime, so better to address specifics that they can measure meaning covering up undergarments and things of that nature. Part of the discussion was we do have an older building. The high school is 50-plus years old. It can be drafty sometimes and the point was brought up that maybe hats were worn for warmth other than for style or fashion," Thompson said.

Thompson noted that this is open to amendments and changes as the committee discusses things and issues or problems come up and he realizes it can be sort of a gray area for administrators.

We have reached out to Supt. Gordon Smith for a statement, but have not heard back as of news-time.

We also tried to get in touch with the high school principal for comment, but also have not heard back.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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