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LISD struggles with dress code

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

A new, stricter dress code introduced at the Lockhart ISD secondary campuses this year continues to cause headaches for district administrators and LISD trustees this week.
During the board”s regular meeting on Monday evening, a concerned parent requested a Level III disciplinary hearing, which she asked to have held in

open session, to address actions taken by certain LISD administrators when her son violated the dress code at a football game.
“He paid his six dollars like everyone else,” she said. “He was at the game with his family, and he was wearing his belt, his ID and had his shirt tucked in when we got there. He untucked his shirt and was told he had to leave the game.”
The existing dress code policy required LISD students to comply with the full scope of the dress code, even at extracurricular activities hosted by the district.
“You say that these rules are to keep my children, and all the other children safe,” the parent said. “But how is it keeping my child safe when we”re enforcing these rules only on the children that we know – the kids that we see every day. When people from the community, or other students come to our games, you can”t enforce [the dress code], and those are the people that we have to worry about.”
In a related item, the agenda reflected a plan to talk about easing dress code restrictions during extracurricular activities. The dress code and enforcement spurred spirited discussion between board members and administrators.
“My biggest problem is that no student, ever, should be sent out on the street at night,” said Trustee John Manning, regarding portion of the policy that indicates that students in violation of the code during extracurricular events will be asked to leave. “We should be able to take their name and information, and deal with it the next school day.” However, Manning also expressed resistance to the idea of changing the rules in the middle of the year.
Trustee Timoteo “Tim” Juarez, Jr. was in favor of easing the restrictions during sporting events.
“I think we would like to teach our children that the clothing people wear… reflects the job they have,” Juarez said. “And they”re kids. I had serious concerns when we passed the policy last year, and I had more concerns about the more restricted version we passed this year… These games and sporting events are their time off, and we should let them blow off a little bit of steam.”
Only Trustee Clint Mohle, who has opposed certain portions of the dress code since his election to the board, stood with Juarez in his apparent desire to do away with dress code restrictions at sporting events. The remaining four board members present voted in favor of changing the policy, still mandating certain dress code policies with fewer restrictions, and still allowing administrators the option of asking students to leave extracurricular events.
Trustee Juan Alvarez, the seventh vote on the board, was absent from the meeting.
In other board business, the board continued discussion regarding a Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) salary survey designed to adjust the district employees” pay scales. For several months since the board accepted the survey, administrators have come back to the table requesting changes. Board members expressed frustration with the additional changes.
“We”re getting this all piecemeal, and it”s hard for us to know what we”re looking at,” said Trustee Gary Allen. “This thing needs to get finished, so we can look at it all at once, and not bits and pieces and corrections. These are the people that are helping us to educate our kids, and we need to make this right.”
Thus far, administration has noted four mistakes, and several other needed adjustments to the survey. The board demanded that a completed, revised version of the survey be presented to the board and employees as soon as possible.
In brief board news:
The district recognized members of the Roaring Lion Marching Band for two place trophies and one second place finish in a recent marching contest. They also gave certificates of appreciation to two volunteers at Bluebonnet Elementary, Norma Finger and Irene Page, and applauded the GED Testing Program for a recent award the department received.
W. Frank Coggins presented information to the board regarding possible participation in the construction of a Lockhart Civic Center, working jointly with the City of Lockhart.
The board approved the 2006 tax roll, reflecting a total levy of nearly $11.6 million.
They approved a contract for $72,952 to have the high school track resurfaced. The board had set aside $90,000 in the budget for the project.
The LISD Board of Trustees meets on the fourth Monday of each month in the Lockhart High School Conference Center.

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