Students at Hickman High School protest dress code policy

2 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago Friday, September 01 2017 Sep 1, 2017 Friday, September 01, 2017 3:11:00 PM CDT September 01, 2017 in News
By: Emily Sanderson, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Hickman High School on Friday addressed a Thursday incident regarding several students protesting the school's dress code.

Hickman Principal Tony Gragnani sent a letter to parents explaining that the students came to school "wearing clothing that is outlined in the district and school student handbook and district policy as being inappropriate for the classroom." 

After talks with administrators some students decided to put on appropriate clothing, one student however, was sent home. 

"At Hickman, we provide many avenues for students to voice their concerns and advocate for change.  In fact, we encourage our students to learn how to be engaged citizens through our clubs, free speech activities, student government and classroom discussions," Gragnani said in the letter. 

The student handbook states provisions on clothing including "tight or revealing clothes that overexpose the body" and "clothing depicting or referencing drugs, alcohol, or illegal activities." 

The handbook states it is up to school administrators to determine whether attire is a safety issue and appropriate.  

"As principal, I maintain an open door policy for students to come and talk about their concerns, as do the members of our outstanding faculty and staff.  We want our students to learn about how to utilize proper channels to create conversations, dialogues and change within their communities," Gragnani said. 

KOMU 8 News spoke with some parents and students in the area about their reaction on the school's policies. 

"Simple. Put them in uniforms. Its an education not a fashion show. Khaki or black pants with a simple polo top. Affordable and simple," LeAnna Marie Frechette said through Facebook.

Others disagreed.

"They are ugly, hot, and expensive. Plus it's not fair for kids to have to wear them and teachers get away with it, I wore uniforms and it became a pain in the rear for a single mom to buy," Agnes Lynn Raines said. 

One Hickman student commented on the incident as well.

"How about teach self control? I'm a senior and it's never been a problem till now. It wasn't a problem till someone got offended," Sage Wells said. 

Gragnani said in the letter it is important that we maintain an educational environment that supports our educational program that honors diversity and academics and focuses on the needs of all students.  

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