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Clearwater High parents approve strict new school dress code

CLEARWATER — Students at Clearwater High School won't be allowed to wear concert T-shirts, short skirts, jeans shorts or gym shorts when they return to classes next fall.

Parents approved a plan Friday to tighten the school's dress code after two days of voting, school officials reported.

With a majority of parents favoring the idea, the new dress code will go into effect at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.

The announcement means Clearwater High will be the first public high school in Pinellas County to implement this kind of a dress code. Other local high schools are also considering the change and are watching the effects at Clearwater High.

The new policy requires students to wear long- or short-sleeved polo or dress shirts in the school's colors — red, white, gray or black. Students may also wear black or khaki pants, knee-length shorts or skirts, blue jeans, plain sweatshirts or sweaters in the school's colors, and Clearwater High T-shirts. Students must also wear a belt with shorts, pants and jeans.

Among the items that students may no longer wear are oversized and undersized shirts, items that expose midriffs or cleavage, jeans shorts and hoodies.

Parents met at a forum earlier this week to discuss the changes. Some embraced the idea, saying it helps teach kids proper decorum and better behavior.

Others spoke out against it, expressing concerns about costs and the limits to students' freedom of expression.

Times staff writer Mike Brassfield contributed to this report.

Clearwater High parents approve strict new school dress code 03/16/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 16, 2012 11:29pm]
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