The Turlock Unified School Board of Trustees approved an updated version of the district’s dress code at the Board meeting on Oct. 5, allowing students to wear spaghetti straps, crop tops, pajamas and hats to school.
While many students said they are happy to see the dress code changed to allow for more freedom in clothing choices, not all Board members supported the changes.
Board member Mary Jackson voted against the updated dress code.
During the Sept. 21 board meeting, Jackson expressed concern about standards for students being lowered.
“I’m not willing to lower the bar. I’m not comfortable with that — wearing spaghetti straps, crop tops and pajamas to school. My concern running for the school board was to make sure kids are learning reading and writing. I appreciate we looked at this because I think our dress code was antiquated but I want every kid to graduate and know how to dress for an interview. We need to set a bar and I don’t think the bar has been set with this”, she said.
A total of six dress code forums were held from Aug. 17 through 27 at TUSD schools. In addition, all schools in TUSD were sent an online survey to respond to the questions presented at the forum.
The new dress code mandates that students wear tops with straps, shoes and secured clothing that protects and covers personal body parts. Students must also wear pants, skirt, shorts and other bottoms covering buttocks (no micro minis or short shorts where the entire thigh is exposed). Students are allowed to wear sun-protection clothing for outdoor use during the school day. Hats, including religious wear, are also allowed under the new dress code and hooded jackets and sweaters are as well.
These changes allow for spaghetti straps, leggings, crop tops, biker shorts, skirts, pajamas, ripped jeans, tank tops as long as underwear are not exposed, comfortable clothing-sweats, yoga pants, hoods and sandals.
Students are not be able to wear sheer or see-through clothing. Visible underwear, bralettes, bandeau tops, sports bras or backless shirts are also not allowed. Students cannot wear unsecured clothing which allows personal body parts to be visible or revealed with movement or contact. Students also cannot wear anything that has offensive/hateful language or promotes drugs, alcohol, hate, violence or has sexual content.
Students have been reacting positively to the change and some said they feel it has made for a more comfortable learning environment.
“I’m very glad that the dress code was finally changed, it was long overdue. When they finally changed the dress code it actually made me more comfortable to go to school just because in the past my peers and even myself have had teachers make comments about what we’re wearing which made us very uncomfortable.” said Pitman High student Anyssa Fernandez.
“I love that we can wear hats now, I have like 50 of them. And pajamas too, I mean I’m not going to wear them every day, but it’s cool every once in a while. I feel like we could wear stuff that makes us feel comfortable now, and that makes coming to school better,” said Turlock High student Carter Prescott.
The updated dress also has students feeling the district has appropriately designated what can and cannot be worn.
“I think that they did a good job on what we’re allowed to wear and what is banned. I think it’s good that people feel more comfortable now, but they can’t just wear whatever they want,” said Pitman High student Hugh Woodruff.