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St. Pete High to strictly enforce dress code



St. Petersburg High School has been busy warning parents that it plans to strictly enforce its dress code this year.

In robocalls and newsletters, the high school has directed parents and students to a video on the school's website dedicated to what students can and can't wear. The bottom line: No more short-shorts or tank-tops for girls.

The video - set to festive Spanish-language music, rap and, finally, Beyonce's "All The Single Ladies" - runs nearly 12 minutes, spending most of its time on ladies' attire. It warns that shorts, dresses and skirts must be at least mid-thigh or longer; "mid-thigh" is defined as "halfway between your knee and the upper bend of your leg."

Students will no longer be allowed to wear tank-tops. Male students are reminded to wear shorts or pants at the waist.

Those students who violate the dress code will have to sit in the office until parents bring them a change of clothes. Those who repeatedly break the dress code could be suspended.

Principal Al Bennett tells Gradebook that St. Pete High was caught off-guard by new fashion trends such as short-shorts and spaghetti straps. Administrators decided it would be easier to begin enforcing the dress code at the beginning of the school year, rather than starting mid-stream last year.

"Like anything else, there will be a trial. I'm sure some students will test the limits and we'll have to get through the process," Bennett said. "But our students are very compliant and, before too long, it'll be a non-issue."

Bennett said his daughter told him that it's difficult to find shorts that are as long as the dress code requires. "So the solution is don't wear shorts if you can't find them," he said. "They'll adapt."

While St. Pete High is more strictly enforcing the district's dress code, other Pinellas high schools have taken further steps. Last year, Clearwater High School adopted a modified dress code, while Lakewood High School is doing the same this year.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 15, 2013 9:49am]


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