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Triton Parents Question School Board on Students Wearing Jeans with Holes

August 13, 2019

Triton Jr Sr High buildingAn addition to the Triton Jr/Sr High School restrictions on what clothing is considered appropriate prompted six parents to attend the Triton School Board meeting on Monday night. The parents, who did not identify themselves by name, shared their concerns that their children, as well as other students, had been “dress coded” at school. They went on to ask for a clarification of the new wording on wearing jeans with holes in them. They also questioned the restrictions on the length of shorts that the school requires.

Superintendent Jeremy Riffle said, “I think we’ve done a pretty poor job of enforcing in the past.” Riffle said the new language concerning holes in jeans was just approved officially at the board meeting; however, the new rule had been posted prior to registration.

The addition to the handbook will now read: “Students should be neat, clean and well groomed. Pants, slacks or jeans may not have any holes that expose the skin beneath them. If they are patched or there are clothes underneath the tear, they will be allowed.”

According to Riffle, a notice has now been sent to every teacher to refer students to the office if there is a question about how a student is dressed and the office administrators will make the final decision. He indicated that students were not to be “dress coded” in the hallways.

Riffle said that although students had been “dress coded”, no student had been sent home.

Riffle explained that he and the board members want students to dress with modesty. He said, “I want to protect our young ladies.” He included male students in his remarks later in his comments.

Superintendent Riffle gave an example of how different families view appropriate dress saying there are Amish families on one side and least conservative families on the other side; however they need to have an educational environment.

One parent asked what would happen if a student wore jeans with holes in them because it was all they owned and said that 50 percent of the student population is on free and reduced meals. Riffle responded saying the schools would buy them new jeans or offer patches.

In other matters, the Board held Public Hearings on the Superintendent’s Contract and on Collective Bargaining. There were no comments from audience members. The Board took no action on either item.

Riffle shared his appreciation to 1st Source Bank for providing lights to every student that can be attached to their backpacks. Riffle said they were obtained 50 more due to the increase of 50 students at the elementary level.

Carol Anders Correspondent

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