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TUSD Board of Trustees Set to Approve Dress Code Changes Tuesday

TUSD Board of Trustees Set to Approve Dress Code Changes Tuesday


A revision to the Tucson Unified School District's dress code, up for approval Tuesday, would eliminate the requirement that students' chests, torsos and buttocks be covered.

Rules stating that see-through clothing is not permitted and that underwear must be covered remain intact in the revision. But this language would be striking: clothing must cover the chest and torso, and must cover the buttocks when standing and sitting.

Elizabeth Rivera, principal of Tucson Magnet High School, was among the public who submitted comments on the proposal and said that line should remain intact.

Students wore bikini tops and shorts cut so extremely short to school that they only covered private areas. Buttocks and torsos will be visible with this revision,” Rivera wrote to the TUSD board, which is scheduled to vote on the change at its 5:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

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Rivera also said that girls wear bralettes as tops and other underwear as regular clothing. “We had a student wear her thong bikini under a pair of regular underwear to school with a silk lingerie top, claiming that her briefs were her bottoms and her underwear was underneath.” writes the director.

Faculty: Unfairly applied to girls

A sample of students indicated that most do not believe the current dress code is fairly enforced for all genders, the TUSD Student Relations Department told the Board of Trustees during a November presentation.

Stakeholder feedback included more than 1,800 TUSD students from every high school and some middle schools.

Additionally, the majority of TUSD faculty and staff consulted felt uncomfortable enforcing the current dress code, the department told the board. Additionally, teachers interviewed indicated that the dress code was unfairly applied to girls.

TUSD Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo told the board in November that it was a sentiment he had heard throughout the district, particularly from male faculty and staff.

This created overcompensation on the part of female staff members to fill this gap. You see women wearing a dress code more generally, because a lot of those contacts are women administrators, teachers with female students, which creates the perception that there is this, there is an inequity, in terms of enforcement, Trujillo said.

I think removing this language, as proposed here, will go a long way toward actually solving this problem of overcompensation, he added. This will make everyone more competent when it comes to dress, so that no single segment of our workforce will bear the burden of law enforcement.

“We should not monitor our students”

From the board's perspective, it's about developing an actionable policy, board Chairman Ravi Shah said in November, when the board moved forward with the revisions.

Four of the board members have daughters in TUSD schools, Shah noted.

I don't think any of us would want them to go to school if they were unprofessionally or inappropriately dressed. But the question is: do we want to have a policy that is not enforceable? Do we want to have a policy that is useless because it is not enforceable?” he said.

Board member Jennifer Eckstrom said, “We need to be very thoughtful in how we approach this issue. I think saying that clothes should cover underwear is enough. We should not monitor our students. If they are there to learn, then they are there to learn.

We need to stop making policies on the backs of these girls. We should not target them. This is not the right thing to do.

The Tucson Unified School District Board of Trustees will review the district's dress code on Tuesday, February 13. This document includes revisions approved in November 2023.

Shah said: It's not about saying, “It's okay, everyone goes to school in crop tops.” We don't say that. I don't think any of us think that's appropriate, but our goal is to see what a policy will be in terms of what will be enforced.

Rivera wrote: Crop tops are OK for school, but lingerie and bikinis are not. Children will go to extremes if it is not clearly defined. We have successfully enforced the dress code at THMS this year with the current policy in place. »

A standard needs to be set, board member Sadie Shaw said in November.

Everywhere you go in the world there is a standard dress code, whether it is written or not, whether it is school, work, weddings, funerals, court, there is a standard and to say that we do not have a standard in our public schools. I think that's wrong.

Schools can develop their own

The revisions also include adjusting the hairstyle and glasses policy and making it easier for schools to come up with their own dress codes.

There is some degree of local control for TUSD schools. Under the revised policy, it could be easier for district schools to implement a standardized school uniform or dress code, if that policy is approved by the district's board of trustees.

This process is led by a school council. In the event that a school wishes to develop its own uniform or standardized code, the school council must gather broad public input and then develop a code based on the fundamentals of the district's dress code.

To move forward, a school's code must be voted on by parents/guardians, receive 60% or higher approval, and be presented to and approved by the TUSD Board of Trustees.

Get your morning recap of today's local news and read the full stories here:

Reporter Jessica Votipka covers K-12 education for the Arizona Daily Star and Contact: [email protected].




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