ST. GEORGE – The Washington County School District is proposing a change to its dress code policy and invites public comment.
Formally known as WCSD Policy 2200, the dress code was adopted in 1998 and revised four times, in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2006. It is designed to enforce class-appropriate attire among all public school students in Washington County.
The new proposed policy makes several minor changes in “dress and grooming standards” and specifically relaxes restrictions on hair. Section 3.4.1 of the current code states that “Hair, including beards, mustaches and sideburns, should be groomed so that it is neat and clean. Extreme hairstyles are prohibited. Hair color should be within the spectrum of color that hair grows naturally,” while the revised section 3.1.3 states, “…Students must also avoid grooming that is offensive, represents a risk or threatens student safety (extremes in body piercings, hair styles and hair colors may be considered a distraction or disruption.).”
The school district, its dress code and restrictions on hair faced scrutiny in February 2013, when Hurricane Middle School student Rylee MacKay, 15, was suspended from school for dying her hair a reddish-brown shade that was purportedly distracting and in violation of the code. MacKay’s suspension and subsequent battle with the school district received nationwide media attention but ended the following week when school administrators determined that her hair had returned to a more natural and acceptable shade.
Community members are encouraged to read and compare the current and proposed policies, then offer feedback.
WCSD Policy 2200 (currently in force)
Ed. Note: This is a developing story. It is anticipated that the sequel in progress will deliver further insight on the issue presented as the Washington County School District and other entities have representatives available to comment.
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