Central Junior High to enforce new dress code for girls starting today

Monday, October 17, 2011

Distraction to classroom learning can come in many forms, but for Cape Girardeau Central Junior High School, it is too-short skirts and shorts, administrators say.

A new dress code policy will be enforced beginning today for seventh- and eighth-grade girls, requiring that the skirts or shorts they wear fall no higher than two inches above the knee. Shorts worn for physical education classes will be an exception.

The policy is not a huge change, according to the school's principal, Carla Fee. The problem is that the whole school policy wasn't specific enough, she said, and students who have been repeatedly asked to wear clothing deemed appropriate by staff have not been compliant.

The policy previously said shorts and skirts must be of modest length and specified no short shorts or short skirts.

"Sometimes what is OK on one girl isn't OK on another," Fee said. "Everyone's body is shaped differently, so it is hard to define what short shorts are."

Fee said the policy for only girls is necessary because boys have been dressed appropriately.

The school had the new policy posted on its website last week and written notices have been sent to parents, Fee said.

The notice said a high number of girls have consistently been wearing inappropriate clothing to school, which has been causing a huge distraction.

"Our focus is academics, and we are trying to preserve the integrity of the classroom," Fee said.

In addition to the dress code, Fee said, other measures have been taken at the school to help eliminate distractions. Shortening the length of assemblies to limit out-of-class time is one example, she said.

Fee said she had received numerous emails from parents who supported the policy.

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

205 Caruthers Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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