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In Quiet Coda to Controversy, School Board Unanimously Approves Uniform Policy Details

| February 7, 2012

It could be worse. (Luca De Vito)

No throngs, no placard-waving, no last-minute please for reconsideration. On a cold, drizzly evening that kept most seats before it vacant, the Flagler County School Board Tuesday approved a 1,000-word rewrite of the district’s dress code, all but officially instituting what it calls a “uniform policy” starting next fall, but that really only dresses up the existing dress code in somewhat stricter guidelines.

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The board had been divided on uniforms, with Andy Dance and Trevor Tucker opposing uniforms and Sue Dickinson, Colleen Conklin and John Fischer favoring the switch. On Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to move ahead with the new policy.

Tucker and Dance hadn’t changed their mind so much as they were displaying the more collegial nature of the board: they’d lost the battle against uniforms, but they’d also agreed to support the majority beyond that point and remained an integral part of the crafting of the policy. So they joined their colleagues in approving it.

Tuesday’s action approved advertising the policy for 30 days. Theoretically, advertising it allows for public input, presumably to allow for further deliberation by the board and, based on that input, the possibility of a change of mind. In reality, advertising the policy is a formality. The advertised policy appears in fine print in one newspaper in legal advertising columns few people read, and few people, least of all the board members, expect to see the matter revived before the final vote formalizing the policy adoption at the board’s second meeting in March.

The uniform policy can be summed up this way: only collared shirts may be worn, but the shirts may be of any of three district colors (black, white and gray) plus two additional colors that each school may choose. Khakis or jeans may be worn (shorts or long pants). So can some accessories, and a allowance for a variety of shoeware–for high school students–too long to list. (See the full policy below.)

There was a more substantial development: the school board had been reconsidering whether and to what extent middle and high school students would be required to wear their school identification cards. Right now the decision is left up to principals, who can themselves choose whether to require students to wear IDs or not. The board was considering making the ID policy more universal by incorporating it in the uniform policy. That’s what it approved Tuesday evening, thus making ID wearing a requirement at both high schools and both middle schools–and removing principals’ discretion from that equation.

And yes, there are medical and religious exemptions: “The Superintendent, in consultation with the principal, may waive the school uniform policy on a case-by-case basis for reasons such as, but not limited to, medical necessity or sincerely held religious belief, documented by a medical physician or religious leader.”

Only a handful of people spoke to the board about the policy, none with the sort of passions that had attended previous meetings on the matter. One individual made the odd analogy that American soldiers are “in foxholes” and in uniform in Afghanistan protecting Americans’ freedoms–to wear uniforms, though it’s more likely that those soldiers have been defending an Afghan culture that forbids its adult women to appear anywhere public without the mother of all uniforms: the head-to-toe burqa.

Flagler County Schools Uniform Policy, as Advertised

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36 Responses for “In Quiet Coda to Controversy, School Board Unanimously Approves Uniform Policy Details”

  1. Nancy N says:

    “No throngs, no placard-waving, no last-minute please for reconsideration.”

    Yeah why waste the effort when you know the fix is already in. As it has been since the moment this was brought to the board by Mr Fischer.

    You know where else they are required to wear blue uniforms with their ID’s on the outside of them at all times? In our state’s prisons. Way to go Flagler schools…you’re doing an excellent job of preparing our students for life in one of the state’s fastest growing “occupations” – prison inmate.


  2. roco says:

    Parents who are responsible parents will make sure their kids are dressed appropiatly when they leave for school. The other 95% have no control over their kids or don’t care..


  3. Lori Cooke-Young via Facebook says:

    So fits thrown regarding Thanksgiving getting an entire week off means the issue gets shelved, but fits thrown regarding uniforms means the vote to wear uniforms is shoved down the public’s throat?! This school board truly has its priorities messed up.


  4. comment says:

    Now that we have the students dressing respectfully, let’s work on uniforms for teachers! Bet they won’t like THAT idea!


  5. PCer says:

    Had parents made sure their children were in compliance with the dress code to begin with, the uniforms would never have been needed. Some blame the administration for not enforcing the current code, I blame the parents for not disciplining their children.


  6. judyv says:

    Let’s stop dumping on the teachers. My guess would be that the majority of them are not excited about this policy. And if a teacher is not dressing properly, the principal needs to address it.



    Again I wonder where our school board’s focus is…not on the rankings that is for sure. As Flagler County Residents we have truely let our children down by voting for these clowns. They in no way shape nor form have our childrens best interest at heart. Dickenson and Fischer should really leave the county after their reign on the school board, they just aren’t the kind of people we need in Flagler County. Conklin has not been in reality for a very long time. We need parents to represent our children, not people who live in their ivory tower. My wish for Flagler County would be that what a child is wearing is the biggest problem we have, but at this point that is not the case. Getting these kids into college without extra prep classes is the goal we should be looking at, fine tuning their skills and succeeding in life. Flagler County we have dropped the ball with our representation. GET RID OF THE CLOWNS, THIS NO LONGER A GOOD OLD BOY TOWN.


  8. FlaglerNative says:

    YAY one more fail on the part of Education that I just wanted to share:
    Ten states are being granted waivers to free them from some requirements of the No Child Left Behind education reform law, with President Barack Obama explaining Thursday that the move aims to “combine greater freedom with greater accountability.”

    Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee will no longer have to meet 2014 targets set by the law.

    LMAO can the school system get any more busted???


  9. A high school student says:

    I find it funny how you parents are bashing uniforms, when i bet afew of you work where uniforms or a stricked dress code is inforced. This is to get students ready for real world jobs. If it were up to me high schoolers should be professional dress; slacks, tie,button down shirt, coat. Parents stand behind the school system, the school system wants pride through out the schools. This will help with less bullying, security purposes and the kids focus!


  10. FlaglerNative says:

    @high school student….LOL……..evidence my dear..evidence.The “proof is in the pudding” uniforms DON’T DO what you think they will. If you think kids having a strict dress code is going to keep kids focused more..think again. Dressing like an adult is just going to make them lose focus, by thinking of ways to alter the uniform.
    If you want to dress like that then you shouldn’t be going to a “public” school.
    Don’t be in a hurry to grow up…trust me, when you do, you’ll wish you were back in school.

    Maybe if laws didn’t take the rights away from parents to punish children how they see fit, and give the rights to the kids, then maybe this uniform issue wouldn’t be one.

    Better kids begin with better parents.


  11. rl says:

    I also wonder if the code will be followed equally at all schools? Many kids know that this year ID’s are equally enforced.


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