OMS, OHS make changes to dress code

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Changes are coming to the Opp Middle School and Opp High School dress code, officials said Tuesday.

OHS principal Ron Snell said the purpose for the changes serves dual purposes to create a learning environment free of distraction and get the intimidation factor down, as well as to address safety hazards.

“Opp is one of the safer schools in the state,” he said. “But look at what happened in Tuscaloosa last night.”

Snell was referring to a shooting at the Copper Top bar around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, where 11 people were hit by gunfire and 17 people were taken to the hospital.

“We want to make school special,” he said. “Not a place of play, but a place of business.”

OHS assistant principal Jimmy Reeves said the goal is to make students look presentable like they are looking for a job.

“We have addressed the sagging pants and the holes about the knees,” he said. “We will require that they tuck in their shirts and belts be worn. No gym shorts will be tolerated, and students may only pierce their ears.”

Board member Cheryl Graces asked if the piercing rule would hold up, if it were challenged.

“It would hold up,” board attorney Wes Laird said.

Additional changes include no towels, shirts, bandanas, or other objects may hang from pants or shorts pockets. Wind pants and sweat pants are also prohibited.

“The principal and assistant principal shall have the authority to send a student home, whose appearance is such that it will interfere with his/her school work or to distract other students from doing their work,” the handbook now reads. “The student shall be counted as absent until he/she returns to school with an acceptable appearance. Parents will be contacted when their child comes to school dressed inappropriately.”