Parent Question about student dress code

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by tiffharmon2001, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2009

    My oldest daughter will be going to the middle school this year. I just received an e-mail from the principal about some policy changes that they have made. One of them was for cell phones (if they are heard during school hours, they will be takes away, even if the phone is in the students' locker) which I am a little annoyed with.

    The other change was to the dress code. The P said that shorts are not appropriate for school (even though it will still be in the
    100's many afternoons at the beginning of the year) and so they have decided that any shorts must be to the knee for students. They will be sending them home/calling for a change of clothes and giving unexcused tardies/absences for those who break the dress code. Also, skirts and dresses must be past the knee.

    Is this a normal dress code for middle school? I understand that some kids will push the limits with their clothes, but these guidelines seems excessive. My girls went to a VERY conservative church camp this summer and even there, their shorts could be two inches above the knee. Even for that, my girls ended up wearing boys sports shorts because it's really hard to find shorts that long for girls.

    Anyone else have a strict dress code for their middle school? This is a public school, so I'm really surprised.
     
  2.  
  3. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,391
    Likes Received:
    5

    Aug 3, 2009

    The dress code for shorts in middle school and high school I attended was the same way and that was a while ago. Not sure why you would be annoyed about the phone policy. I would guess that most of the students have cell phones and if half of them go off in a classroom that is 15+ interruptions in one class period. Time is valuable in school and every time there is an interruption the teacher has to start over to ge their attention back. Many schools have policies for no phones at school period, and they are taken up and kept until the end of school after a warning.
     
  4. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,771
    Likes Received:
    53

    Aug 3, 2009

    Our rule for shorts and skirt length is they need to reach the tip of the fingers when arms are held at the sides. I do think some of the girls push this rule and I'd prefer something more strict. I think all the way to the knee is a bit excessive though.

    As far as the cell phone, as a parent and teacher I have no issue with the phone off policy. Kids can bring it to school but it's expected to be turned off during all school hours. That seems fine to me.
     
  5. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2009

    I totally understand that cell phones shouldn't be going off in class. I would have no problem with them not being allowed in the classroom at all. The problem I have is with the being taken from the student's locker. Even I have forgotten to silence mine or hit the wrong key and had it go off when I wasn't intending.

    My daughter will be riding a bus after school to the YMCA for swim practice. She will need her phone to contact me in the event that practice is unexpectedly cancelled or she becomes ill at practice, etc. On the days that she doesn't have practice, she will be dropped off at a public park several blocks from my school and will have to walk by herself. I would hate to think of her being stuck without her phone because she accidentally left her phone turned on in her locker.
     
  6. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,973
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2009

    That was our rule when I was in middle school/high school. (The skirt/shorts rule).

    A good portion of our middle schools are with our elementary schools (we are mostly a pre-k - 8th district) and most are uniform schools. The same rules apply as you mentioned for students out of uniform as it is part of the school rules.

    I've seen plenty of shorts to the knees this year- Land's End at Sears had a lot of what I think are called Bermuda shorts- so maybe you can find them there? They were greatly discounted a week or so ago.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Aug 3, 2009

    Our kids get 5 demerits if the cell phone goes off. It is to be OFF and in the locker during school hours.

    If your daughter's phone is taken away, she can always borrow a friend's to call you.

    I think the problem with "2 inches above the knee" is that some middle schoolers are SHORT!!!!! Two inches on my son would be no big deal. But for some of the kids in his class, those two inches would mean shorts that were significantly shorter..
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,756
    Likes Received:
    1,716

    Aug 3, 2009

    I would have no problem with the dress code. I have a problem with them taking the phone from the locker. Our policy says that phones should be off and out of sight in backpacks during the school day. I would prefer the children not put the phone in their locker. We have lots of bomb threats, pulled fire alarms, etc in some of our more "challenging" schools. Students have to leave the building and very often can't go back that day. I would prefer that my child have a way to contact me if there is a problem.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,040
    Likes Received:
    1,524

    Aug 3, 2009

    That is our policy.

    No pants/skirts above the knee. No cell phones in classrooms. They must be OFF and in lockers during school hours.
     
  10. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    62

    Aug 3, 2009

    Kids can have their phones set to no ringer. That is reasonable for pretty much ANY situation. I can't think of any job I've ever had where a ringing cell phone was appropriate.

    I have to admit I sympathize with allowing them in the class, despite any issues. I was in the building next door to the Tech shootings. We were all in lockdown for hours after--the only way for our parents to know we were ok after the news broke was to call on our cell phones. Thank God I got through to my mom before she saw my building on CNN.
     
  11. Teacher_Lady

    Teacher_Lady Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2009

    I would have no issues with cell phones for students if the parents kept the "emergencies only" mentality. I have had several students this past year get caught "sexting" during school hours. The students would go to the bathroom, take a picture, and then send it to one person, who would send it to another, who would send it to 20 more. We even had some who would take pictures of teachers and send it around as a joke. There are some students who are responsible with their phones, but there is a great number who are not.
     
  12. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2009

    I would definitely not have a problem with a phone being taken for something like that. :eek:hmy: I'm not really worried about my daughter doing things like that with her phone (I know that any kid can get caught up in peer pressure and do something they shouldn't, but she's a good kid...). I just know how forgetful she is. She takes after her mom :whistle: and I can totally see her just sticking it in her locker and forgetting to turn it off.
    Guess we'll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.
     
  13. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2009

    Thank you, beckysuek! That is my problem as well.

    I didn't mean to sound so grumpy tonight. We've had a really long, stressful day at our house. We were having electrical problems which caused our a/c to be out. Doesn't make for a fun day when it's over 100 with 4 miserable kids...
     
  14. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2009

    Some phones have settings that can enable silent mode to start at 8am and ring mode to come on at 3pm, or whatever time you want. My iPhone doesn't do this, but one of my Nokias was able to do this.

    I think that ALL phones should have this feature. It's so handy! Anyway, you might want to check and see if your daughter's phone can do this. I guess I was always a bad kid and interpreted "off" as "silent."
     
  15. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2009

    Thanks heymiss! I'll check into that.
     
  16. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Aug 4, 2009

    I agree with the "emergencies only". Many of our parents deem "come home after practice" or "pick up your little sister" as emergencies. Um, that can be left as a message in the office. Plus, a true emergency should not be relayed to a student via a cell phone in the middle of the day. If grandma has gotten sick, come to the school or call and let someone calmly relay the message to the student.

    Btw, tiff, this isn't directed at you-think general public. I fully understand the need for a phone after school. I live in a farming community, where students have to travel up to 30 miles home. (Although I graduated from this school a mere 12 years ago, and never had a cell phone-I survived).

    I'd wait it out. See if a phone actually gets taken from a locker. Sometimes the policy sounds stiffer than the enforcement actually will be.
     
  17. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2009

    For an alternative view (the case FOR cell phones in school) see this link, which I received via twitter (@ku_alum)!
     
  18. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2009

    Very interesting teachershelly! She makes a good case for allowing phones in the classroom. Thanks for the link.
     
  19. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2009

    Part of having a cell phone is being responsible. Your daughter (as well as other kids) need to learn the responsibility of having a phone. I am sure it would just take one time of not turning the phone off and having it taken away to make sure she remembers to turn the phone off every time!

    As far as the dresscode, you are lucky that the Bermuda shorts are in in fashion. You can find all kinds of knee-length shorts!
     
  20. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,040
    Likes Received:
    1,524

    Aug 4, 2009

    Someone mentioned that as a possible rule for ours, and then I showed them my example. When I hold my arms at my sides, my fingertips don't even go past my butt. :eek:
     
  21. Lives4Math

    Lives4Math Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2009

    Our students aren't even allowed to have cell phones in school. If it's seen it's taken....off or on! Some teachers are nice and if it's off will allow the student to put it in their locker knowing that next time it will be taken. Otherwise, it's taken and given to the office and they don't get it back until the parents pick it up. Repeat offenders get their phones kept until the last day of school.

    I understand it and don't see why a middle school student needs a cell phone in the first place especially not in school. All they are using them for in school is trouble.....we've had them taking VERY inappropriate pictures in the bathroom and sending them out, text messaging in class...you know the deal. Either way, in school why do they need it? If you need the child call the school....if the child has an emergency the school will call you or have the child call you.
     
  22. dcalhoun

    dcalhoun Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2009

    They are getting like that...
    Where I used to teach the shorts had to be long and at one point they tried to get rid of Jeans. The shirts had to be a polo shirt with nothing on it but the shirt logo and that had to be small. So be lucky they haven't gotton to that.

    And with the cell phone when I was in middle school I didn't even have a cell phone. Your daughter can last 8 hours without her cell phone being on.
     
  23. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2009

    If you read my posts, you will see that I'm not asking that my daughter be allowed to carry her phone during school hours or even have it on at school. My concern was that the school had said that they would take the phone from the locker. Her phone is for after school use. I understand that phones are disruptive at school and that kids can use them for things they shouldn't. To me, that is more of a parenting issue than anything else...but that's not the question here. I still think that it's too bad the actions of a few kids using their phones the wrong way have to affect everyone else. I'm not asking that she be allowed to text or call during class or even between classes, but I feel that it would be unfair if a child's phone was taken away because they accidentally forgot to turn it off and went off in their locker while they were in class. I also think it could create a saftey issue.

    Of course she can last 8 hours without her phone being on. She's 11. She doesn't just sit around talking on the phone or texting. All summer, her phone has sat on the dresser in my bedroom unless she has been somewhere without me. I didn't have a cell phone either until I was married, but my situation was different. I didn't have to ride a bus home. My parents picked me up from school and dropped me off at home, where I stayed until they got home from work. Even there, I had neighbors who watched out for me while my parents were gone.

    Call me overprotective, but I want to know that my 11 year old has arrived safely where she is supposed to be when she is supposed to be there. If not, I want to be able to contact her and find out why. If there is a problem, I don't want her to be left without a way to get help quickly.

    As far as the shorts, I have to agree with my husband that it would have been nice to know about the rule before the beginning of August. Lots of kids have already done their back to school shopping. Too bad for them I guess.
     
  24. ILoveGrammar

    ILoveGrammar Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2009

    Call me overprotective, but I want to know that my 11 year old has arrived safely where she is supposed to be when she is supposed to be there. If not, I want to be able to contact her and find out why. If there is a problem, I don't want her to be left without a way to get help quickly.

    I don't think you are being overprotective. That said...if the goal is that she can reach you, then having the ringer on the phone turned off should not be an issue.
    Let's face it - that's the rule - so how can you make it work? Teach her to keep the phone in the Silent mode all the time (she needs to call out, not get calls right?) and ONLY turn it to ring when you want to call HER. Then, it is not forgetting at school, but remembering when Mom tells you. That is your parenting issue. Once the phone is on campus, it IS a school issue.

    At my school, we have the same policy. In my class though (SSSHHHHH!!!! don't tell!) first time is a warning - because you forgot, right?? - after that I follow school protocol.
     
  25. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    7

    Aug 4, 2009

    We have the same cell phone policy at my school, and I will strive to do better to enforce it next year. We have had several phones go off inside lockers.... the lockers were opened by a custodian and the phone was taken. So I do understand this fear, but I think this becomes a cost-benefit analysis issue.

    Is communication, especially before and after school, important? Absolutely. But, the flipside of that coin is far worse.

    While some kids can be perfectly responsible with their phones, the danger and legal liability of those who are not, is far too risky for most schools. For example:

    1. Photos of me are now on several student's MySpace pages because of cell phones in class that I didn't notice.
    2. We had a "sexting" incident where the images were sent to dozens of students.
    3. We have had test answers texted to students in another class period who has not yet taken a test.
    4. We have kids calling each other "just to chat" throughout the day.

    ... I could go on. I'm sorry, but it's just not worth it, and it's totally unnecessary. If a student can't remember to turn a phone off, then what else will they forget? ... that the phone is in their pocket? That the ringer is still on while in the pocket? Etc.

    I'd be more than thrilled if phones were banned entirely from the building. If something tragic happens, or there is a lockdown situation in the school itself, or whatever... parents can get in touch with school/district staff... the way its been done for decades. The need for immediate communication is a very recent, and frankly, unneeded, new trend.

    I know this sounded harsh, and that was not my intent. I'm speaking generally here, and after what I dealt with in the past, I'll freely admit that I deeply hate dealing with cell phones in schools. Honestly... it pisses me off just that much.
     
  26. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2009

    There are many things that have been done "for decades" that are no longer practical.

    My daughter and I have discussed the policy for her phone and made she that she knows how to silence/turn off her phone. I expect her to follow the school rules and she will have a consequence if she breaks the rule and loses her phone. I'm not asking the school to change the rule or to make an exception. We WILL follow the rule. I just find it a bit excessive to go into the child's locker...

    In my OP, all I said was the I was "a little annoyed" with the policy. My main complaint was the dress code (although she WILL also be expected to follow that policy). I'm really surprised that it stirred up this much debate. That wasn't my original intention.
     
  27. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2009

    There are many things that have been done "for decades" that are no longer practical.

    My daughter and I have discussed the policy for her phone and made she that she knows how to silence/turn off her phone. I expect her to follow the school rules and she will have a consequence if she breaks the rule and loses her phone. I'm not asking the school to change the rule or to make an exception. We WILL follow the rule. I just find it a bit excessive to go into the child's locker...

    In my OP, all I said was the I was "a little annoyed" with the policy. My main complaint was the dress code (although she WILL also be expected to follow that policy). I'm really surprised that it stirred up this much debate. That wasn't my original intention.
     
  28. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 5, 2009

    If you're worried about her leaving it in her locker, is there something else in her locker that she brings home every day... coat, backpack (if she doesn't bring it with to class, I know different schools have different rules on that) that she can leave it in?

    I totally understand leaving stuff in my locker, I was terrible about that in hr high especially, but if it's in her coat pocket and the coat is in the locker, she's probably less likely ot forget it :)
     
  29. dcalhoun

    dcalhoun Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 5, 2009

    She has to call you when she gets to school and when she leaves? Its school...the school will call you if she doesn't show up.

    The locker is the school's property. They can open it up whenever they feel like it anyway.
     
  30. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 5, 2009

    I totally feel like I am being misunderstood in this thread-or that people are not reading the entire thing and are just commenting without getting all the info.

    She does NOT have to call me when she gets to school. That would be silly. She DOES however have to call me when she gets off the bus at the YMCA for practice AFTER school. I don't think that's unreasonable. Kids who are left to themselves after school are more likely to get into trouble. If she knows that I will be checking up on her to make sure she's where she's supposed to, it will hopefully encourage her to do the right thing.

    I understand that the locker is the school's property and they can open it anytime they want. Like I said, I WILL expect my daughter to follow the rules. I'm not asking that they change any rule.

    I'm not at all worried about her leaving the phone in the locker. I really would prefer it stay there during the day anyway so that she isn't tempted to do something to get herself into trouble. I will be asking her to leave it in her backpack and in her locker during the day. My issue with her forgetting was that she might leave the phone turned ON and it might go off unexpectedly in her locker.

    It really wasn't that big of a deal, but I feel like I'm being misinterpreted.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 286 (members: 0, guests: 256, robots: 30)
test