What not to wear: back-to-school edition

Sydney Schwallie and Walker Thomas model appropriate and innappropriate school clothing

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

The Shelby County Board of Education sets dress code policies each year for public elementary, middle and high schools alike.

While the Board implements the policies, each school administration must interpret and enforce the dress code as it pertains to its students.

Principal Gary Minnick of Vincent Middle High School said the Board of Education’s polices are a minimum standard for the array of schools.

“No matter how you spell it out in writing, it (the dress code) is an enforcement issue because people have differing opinion of what is in writing,” Minnick said. “The board policies are considered the minimum standards, and schools can add other policies.”

All students must wear appropriate shoes. Flip-flops are not allowed. Girls may wear sleeveless shirts, but not spaghetti-strap shirts. (Reporter photo/Jon Goering)

Minnick said he doesn’t want to distract from his students’ academic studies by focusing on dress code enforcement.

“I don’t like dress code and don’t want to deal with it. I want something that’s easy to administer,” he said. “For shorts, dresses, anything that anyone wears, it has to come to the top of the knee when standing.”

“When I’m walking down the hallway, it’s very apparent if it meets it or doesn’t. We just don’t need conflict over things.”

Dr. Campisi-Snider faces different issues for her elementary students at Chelsea Park Elementary.

“We encourage our students to wear tennis shoes every day because they’re in P.E.,” Campisi-Snider said. “Flip-flops are a real problem. We have 800 students, so someone is going to walk on someone’s toes.”

Skirts, shorts and dresses must be mid-thigh or longer in front and back. Boys’ shirts must have sleeves. Also, shirts with skulls are prohibited. (Reporter photo/Jon Goering)

Campisi-Snider said the length of girls’ shorts is an issue, even for elementary school-age children.

“Length is an issue. Above the knee is what you’re supposed to do,” she said. “Low-cut pants show a little too much of the behind. I blame the fashion industry, not the parents.”

Be sure to call your child’s school to learn about the school’s particular dress code policies.