Administration Focuses on Dress Code Enforcement for New School Year
During the August class meetings, Lakeside administrators made it clear that this year they are going to enforce the first offense for breaking dress code listed in the Dekalb County School District’s 2018-2019 Code of Student Conduct which states that “Students will not dress inappropriately on school grounds or at school events.” “Students should come to school with appropriate attire to get them ready for life outside of school,” said science teacher Annette Parrot. The punishment for breaking dress code on the first offense results in “verbal reprimand, contact parent and In-School Suspension (ISS) until end of day or correction of the violation.” This punishment is the same punishment listed in the 2017-2018 Code of Student Conduct, but has not been strictly enforced until this year. Junior Hanna Baniassad thinks dress code enforcement can be subjective. She described a friend’s dress code violation last year. “My friend was dress coded for having a fingertip length skirt but the previous precedent was fingertip length,” said Baniassad. Junior Sara Van Horn, who interns in the discipline office, described the options for students identified as breaking dress code. “They have a bunch of new clothes like pants and shirts and stuff and if you don’t voluntarily take the stuff, refuse the clothes they offer you, you have to go straight to ISS,” said Van Horn. A survey of 100 Lakeside High School students indicated that 58 students experienced being dress coded. 90 of the surveyed students are aware of the punishments for breaking dress code. “Being dress coded is a silly reason for missing class. Students need to come to school wearing proper attire,” said English teacher Gene Clemons. “I don’t like the process of [dress coded students] getting their school work in ISS, said Van Horn, but she did say the offering of clothes is a good system.
Some students take issue with the dress code and its enforcement. “I don’t like that 95 percent of the dress code applies to girls,” said freshman Andrea Barocas. “Girls are targeted by dress code,” said junior Akash Patel. “It [the punishments] should be way less intense, ISS shouldn’t be a consequence until the 8th offense,” said senior Kate Buxton. “The dress code is very concrete meaning it either is or isn’t appropriate,” said Parrot.