LISD considers student clothing
LISD considers student clothing
After the Lockhart Independent School District Board of Trustees swore in two new members and recognized two outgoing members on Monday evening, the panel went about the business of determining rules governing LISD students for the next school year.
It was a baptism by fire for incoming board members Juan Alvarez and John Manning a
s the board and administration discussed business topics including the Student Code of Conduct and the food service contract for the coming school year.
Early in the evening, a concerned parent approached the board to complain that her son had been suspended from the LHS Freshman Campus for dress code violations. Later, the board reviewed the Code of Conduct, which included significant changes to the dress code at the junior high level.
“We have a modesty issue at the Junior High that is very hard to enforce,” said LJHS principal Susan Brooks. “This discussion started at the district level when the secondary schools wanted a more standardized dress code… [the committee] chose the Junior High to pilot the standardized dress code.”
The proposal, just short of uniform-style dress, would require LJHS students to wear either tee shirts or polo-style shirts, with pants, shorts or skirts below the knee level. The proposed policy outlaws button-down shirts, turtlenecks or any solid-black shirt.
“We have several students that have been “cutting,” [engaging in self mutilation] this year, as well as several as some potential gang activity,” Brooks said. She suggested that the changes to the dress code could help solve dress code problems on her campus.
“After listening to everyone [at a recent public meeting], we thought this policy might solve our problem without putting the students into a uniform.”
The proposal was met by resistance from some board members.
“When we asked if the Junior High Code of Conduct was the same as at the High School, you said that it was,” said trustee Timoteo “Tim” Juarez. “You said that it was. Now, you offer us this code with more clarifications, that”s more specific than it is at the High School. It”s not the same at all.”
Long-time trustee Carl Ohlendorf noted that, under the proposal, several members of the board – wearing button-down shirts and ties – would not be dressed appropriately for class at LJHS.
The board opted not to take immediate action on the Code of Conduct, based not only on the dress code, but also on concerns about testing at the Discipline Management Center (DMC/Delta School) and worries over the weight granted to certain classes when calculating grade point average and class rank. The board will revisit the conversation during meetings in June, and encourages students and parents to contact their board members to discuss the issues.
However, Brooks and her staff had already sent a memo to parents of LJHS students outlining the changes, in the event the board adopted the new policy.
In other business, the trustees considered options for cafeteria food service next year.
Aramark, the contractor that has been providing service for the district for several years, submitted a bid that promised to increase student meal service and generate upwards of $50,000 in food service revenue next year. Aramark was the only outside contractor to submit a bid for food service, and their figures bested the proposal for in-house food service by several thousand dollars.
The board approved the contract with the caveat that administrators examine a number of factors, including in-house food service for next year.
In brief board news:
The board heard a complaint lodged by a LISD parent regarding her child”s participation in the Talented and Gifted (TG) program.
The parent expressed concern that TG students were not being served at the junior high level, and offered as proof statistics showing that TG numbers dwindled from around 60 at the sixth grade level to fewer than 10 at the seventh grade level.
The trustees opted not to take action on the parent”s specific concern, but vowed to look into the Talented and Gifted program at the junior high level to see if adjustments could be made.
The parent vowed to take her complaint to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
The hearing was conducted during an executive session because complaints against specific district employees were involved.