School security, student attire, adolescent suicide, and video surveillance, were addressed at last night’s Laurens School District 55’s monthly board meeting.
During The Laurens Middle School Report, Principal Dr. Rhett Harris introduced the subject of school uniform attire. Two parent’s meetings have already been held on this issue, but this is the first time that it has been officially presented at a board meeting.
Harris included the dress code in a power point presentation to inform the board of steps he feels are needed to meet the challenges presented with the new curriculum core standards.
Some of those steps include behavior tool training, rewards for positive behavior, high expectations for teachers and administration, and a visual change that signifies commitment to a more positive learning climate.
The visual change Harris referred to would be a uniform dress code in the order of a polo type shirt of any color, with dark neutral slacks, skirts or shorts.
Harris stated that in 2008 15% of schools in the country had such a code, as compared with 45% in 2011. “I will not make this a hardship on anyone and we will work through any issue,” said Harris, who also gave assurance that local business and churches will assist in the efforts.
After the presentation, the board raised the issue of why the code would involve only Sanders and Laurens Middle Schools.
Board members mentioned that this issue was rejected in the past, and that it would require board approval to be implemented. Dr. Strickland said that he would come to a decision on where this will go before the next meeting.
Public participation contained comments from parents, including Laurens Mayor Sharon Brownlee, all in support of the proposed dress code.
The calendar for another new school year was also approved, and it was noted that due to popular request Memorial Day will not be considered a makeup day.
Before the meeting, the board met in executive session to discuss contract renewals and the superintendent’s goals for the next school year.