ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — The decision on what changes need to be made to the St. Johns County Schools' dress code within its Student Code of Conduct will no longer have a deadline of June 8.
The St. Johns County school district formed a dress code committee after hearing input from parents and students upset about ongoing issues with the dress code in the county, particularly at Bartram Trail High School, where many students and parents have said the dress code is sexist and unfairly applied.
Two of the student members of the committee were among the 83 girls whose yearbook photos were digitally altered to cover their chests and shoulders.
Now, the school district says a planned meeting for Thursday has been postponed and will be held sometime in the future. The Student Code of Conduct will not be on the School Board's agenda for consideration of approval June 8, a district spokesperson told First Coast News.
The committee is comprised of the following members:
- Riley O’Keefe, Bartram Trail student
- Zoe Iannone, Bartram Trail student
- Paul Abbatinozzi, Senior Director School Services
- Jay Willets, Principal of Tocoi Creek High School
- Laura Barkett, LMHC, NCC, District Social Worker
- Amanda Garman, Principal of R. B. Hunt Elementary School
- Traci Hemingway, Principal of Liberty Pines Academy (k-8)
- Christina Langston, Chief of Community Relations
- John Highsmith, Dean of Students, Creekside High School
- Yanetta Arnold, Dean of Students, Pedro Menendez High School
- Patrick Canan, School Board Chair
- Kyle Dresback, Associate Superintendent Student Services
For months, students and parents have been asking the district to make changes to the dress code policy which has been labeled sexist and discriminatory.
Changes proposed at last month's meeting include the following:
- Remove the term "modest"
- Define the term "distracting"
- Remove 4-inch measurement requirement for skirts/shorts
- Recommends "not any shorter than fingertip length or mid-thigh, whichever is shorter"
- Remove standards on basis of gender
But some parents say, those proposed changes are not enough.
"The proposed changes are a slap in the face to every single female student in St. Johns County," one mother of two girls at Bartram Trail High School told the school board last month. She suggested the school board form a committee to avoid rushing to any changes to the county's dress code, allowing for time to hold town halls and receive feedback from the public.
Meanwhile, parents may request a new, unedited version of the yearbook free of charge. Parents much fill out a form sent to their e-mail and return their current copy of the yearbook by June 11 to receive the new yearbook.
The new yearbook will be paid for by the company, not the school or district.
Parents with questions should email Parker Raimann at firstname.lastname@example.org.