Photo by Theo Tate
Granite City High School freshmen Calob Sutherland (left) and Tyler Eckhard wait for their ride during after-school hours on April 19.
GRANITE CITY — Granite City School District Superintendent Jim Greenwald already is excited for Aug. 17.
It will be the first day of student attendance for all of the district’s schools. It’s also the first day of the new dress code policy approved April 12 by the School Board.
“This has been a two-year process and I couldn’t be happier that this finally came to fruition with the board,” Greenwald said.
Under the new dress code, students are allowed to come to school with any kind of clothing as long as it doesn’t include vulgar, profane or inappropriate wording or images and pictures of illegal substances, alcohol beverages and violent context.
“If you have a class of 30 kids and you’ve got someone who wants to learn and they’re respectful and they’re getting their work done and they’re in a pair of appropriate jeans and a Nike T-shirt, that’s the direction we have to move in,” Greenwald said.
Clothing must be worn without holes, rips or tears. Students will be allowed to wear school-issued athletic jerseys or shirts per coaches’ guidelines. Shoes with laces must be tied and flip-flops are not allowed.
Also, there’s a rule where the “seven B’s” should not be visible — bras, bellies, bottoms, backs, bandanas, boxers and bedroom attire.
The three-page policy also includes consequences for students who dress inappropriately and religious exemptions.
Greenwald had a meeting with faculty members about the dress code April 19 at the high school auditorium.
“It (the dress code) is going to make it a better atmosphere,” Greenwald said. “I think we’re going to see a student with a better attitude and more comfortable in their skin ... get down to business whenever they walk through the door.”
Greenwald said he talked to numerous students and they really like the new dress code.
“To be honest with you, the students I’ve talked to are clicking their heels and jumping up for joy,” he said. “They are really happy and rightfully so. The bottom line is this: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a kid having a pair of jeans and a Nike T-shirt on.”
The current dress code, adopted in 2007, required students to wear polo shirts, khaki pants and hooded sweatshirts.
Greenwald said high school Principal Daren DePew came up with the idea of the new dress code in 2014, when he became principal.
“We have a principal meeting on the third Thursday of every month,” Greenwald said. “We do a roundtable discussion when we’re done with the agenda items. He said, ‘Jim, can we take a look at the dress code and just start formulating some other possible changes.’ I said ‘sure.’ So we put together a committee of students, parents, administrators and teachers and we actually took this to the board last year. They like some of the ideas but wanted to give it some time. So we resurrected it this past March and took it to the committee three weeks ago.”