Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando high schools' dress code enforcement varies widely

It's a classic high school situation. Teacher calls you out on a dress code violation. Big trouble.

For years, the code in Hernando County, too, has been classic. Leave those cut-up jean shorts and Budweiser T-shirts at home. Cover up those skimpy halter tops. Lose the miniskirt.

But even before the Hernando County School Board last week postponed plans to require an even dressier standard — collared shirts and slacks or skirts for all the elementary and middle schools, plus Springstead High in Spring Hill — it was clear that some high-schoolers were getting called out a lot more than others.

Last semester, 406 students at Springstead were cited for violating the code. Seven miles away at Nature Coast Technical High, officials found just one violation.

Hernando High cited three students, while Central High caught 63.

"Sounds to me like someone is over-addressing this issue, or the other schools aren't addressing it at all," observed School Board member Pat Fagan.

At some schools, it's all about jeans.

Kids at Nature Coast can get away with ripped jeans, said freshman Libbie Sowder. Not so across town at Springstead.

"Any rips in your jeans, you get a dress-code violation and you have to go straight to in-school suspension," said Springstead senior Amber Sieni.

"Even if it's at your ankle, a little rip in the jeans," junior Victor Latty added. "I think they're a little too strict."

Officials at Springstead referred all questions on the matter to superintendent Wayne Alexander. He said the school has been particularly diligent, and that's a good thing.

"I think the explanation for Springstead is they monitor it twice a day," Alexander said. "They attend to it in great detail. (But) it should be applied universally."

Nonetheless, he said, Springstead's plan to test-drive the dressy look on behalf of the county's high schools next fall will be postponed indefinitely.

Schools with existing uniform policies will keep them. But board members agreed an economic downturn is no time to be sending parents out to buy new clothes.

Still, several members voiced concern over enforcement of the existing code.

"In visiting some of the schools, I have a strong feeling that some schools are just not paying attention," said Sandra Nicholson.

Gender also seems to matter when it comes to dress code violations. Of the 63 students cited at Central High last semester, 55 were girls, according to district data. At Springstead, more than five girls were cited for every boy.

Hernando High saw an even split of 16 male violators and 16 female last year. But by the fall, the student body appeared to have cleaned up its act substantially, with just one girl and two boys in trouble.

A few Nature Coast students were puzzled to learn that just two girls dressed inappropriately last year, and one more this year. Teachers enforce the dress code with great vigor, they said.

Well, sort of.

"They do sometimes, but not all the time," admitted freshman Gabby Solorzano. "It depends what teacher."

Tom Marshall can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431.

Dress code violations

High school

1st semester 2008-092007-08 school year
Central63204
Hernando332
Nature Coast12
Springstead406222
Source: Hernando County School Board

Dress code report

For an in-depth look at findings from a Hernando County School Board dress code committee, visit links.tampabay.com.

Hernando high schools' dress code enforcement varies widely 03/28/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Recall petition targets two Madeira Beach commissioners

    Local Government

    MADEIRA BEACH — A petition to recall two commissioners who won their seats in a highly contested election in March began circulating in the city last week.

    John Douthirt
  2. Trigaux: Amid wealth inequality, is middle class losing habit of giving to charities?

    Business

    In the slow economic recovery since the nasty recession a decade ago, researchers are wondering if the hard times back then broke middle class America's habit of charitable giving.

    Dr. Kiran Patel and his wife and fellow doctor Pallavi Patel rank among the most generous philanthropists in the Tampa Bay area in recent decades. Their most recent giving: a $200 million pledge, consisting of a $50 million gift to Nova Southeastern University, plus $150 million to buy and build a Nova-affiliated medical education complex in Clearwater. The Patels also have given considerable sums to the University of South Florida and area hospitals. In this 2014 photo, the couple pose for pictures on the green carpet prior to a 15th International Indian Film Academy Awards event in Tampa. [Times file photo]
  3. The celebrities who have said #MeToo about sexual assault and harassment

    Perspective

    #YouToo have seen #MeToo.

    Stories of sexual harassment and assault have dominated the cultural conversation for the past week. Hundreds of thousands of women have taken to social media to share that they have been harassed or assaulted by men. Celebrities have used their platforms to hold men accountable for …

    CHUCK GONZALES   |   Special to the Times
  4. Bahá'i faith celebrates 200th anniversary of birth of divine messenger Bahá'u'lláh

    Religion

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG — Farah Khorsandian-Sanchez was born to Iranian parents in India, in a Bahá'í home. Her husband was born in Spain, grew up in Venezuela and is Catholic.

    Patrick Norado (left), Thomas Alexander and Sepideh Eskandari talk after praying at the St. Petersburg Baha'i Center in St. Petersburg on Saturday. A group on Saturday gathered to study the teachings of the Baha'i faith.EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times

  5. Rick and Tom podcast: Who will be the Bucs' QB on Sunday?

    Blogs

    Who the Bucs' quarterback will be Sunday against the Bills became clear as mud as Jameis Winston hasn't thrown all week but will take all the practice reps today.

    Will Ryan Fitzpatrick start for the Bucs Sunday in Buffalo?