School board to review policy on sagging pants, short shorts

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by David Scott - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico school leaders are wondering if the new student dress code is making a difference. They'll meet this week to see if it needs to be tougher.

The school system just came out with a study on the student dress code: What worked, what didn't. Teachers did not hold back on what they think needs to be changed.

Justin Hobson is a rising high school junior, and he's wearing the pants that got him in a little trouble.

"I got in trouble because my pants were excessively skinny one time," Hobson said.

Justin's experience is the new normal at Henrico Public Schools where, for the first time, a student dress code went into effect last year. It sets guidelines for what's acceptable and what's too revealing.

"It keeps students focused on what they should be, which is learning in the classroom," said HCPS Spokesperson Mychael Dickerson.

Now, school administrators are the ones learning how it went. In a new survey, administrators said they had "less issues about clothing" and "fewer distractions". But they also said it's hard to enforce the ban on things like short shorts and sagging pants.

"Actually some guys in our school wear really baggy pants revealing their boxers...nobody needs to see that," Hobson said.

The argument against baggy pants appeared more than once in the survey, prompting one teacher to write, anything less than "pants at their waists" should be "sexual harassment". Another said "school uniforms should be considered", though parents and students wonder if that's "too conservative".

"Dress code is fine with me, but the shorts rule, the 4 inches above the knee, that's a real big  problem," said Sarah Hegamyer, a rising junior.

Overall, the dress code was considered "positive", and students can expect the so-called fashion police to again be on patrol.

As of right now, the student dress code will return in the Fall "as is" with staff working on consistent implementation across all Henrico Public Schools.

The School Board will review the dress code study at a work session this Thursday. The meeting is open to the public. It begins at 12:30 p.m., at the Glen Echo building off of Nine Mile Road.

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