Baltimore Co. Schools To Change Dress Code Policy

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — After 40 years, Baltimore County school leaders say it’s time to rewrite its dress code policy.  Gigi Barnett explains why the district fast-tracked the new policy in time for the school year.

The last time Baltimore County school leaders changed their student dress code was in 1968.  The district says times have changed and so has fashion.

“Anything you can think of that would probably not be appropriate for a learning environment, we’ve seen on children,” said Patsy Holmes.

Parents have seen it, too.

“I’ve seen kids coming out of school and they look like little adults,” said Susan Collier.

“They look too much like adults and I don’t like that,” said one student.

School leaders don’t, either.  So the challenge of changing the dress code fell under Patsy Holmes’ office.  She’s the director of student support services. Now anything that’s vulgar, offensive or sexual in nature is out.  So are gang signs on clothes and anything that would suggest drug and tobacco use.  Even bare feet are banned.

“Principals have been trying to enforce this without a policy rule to support it,” said Holmes.

And if it’s not in writing, the district says there’s a loophole around it.

“I remember girls that used to dress one way when they left the house and change when they left the house,” said one mother.

What’s more: Holmes says increasingly younger children are showing up at school with risque and offensive clothing that’s causing a stir in class.

“Oftentimes, it’s viewed by other students as inappropriate or it makes them feel uncomfortable around it,” Holmes said.

Every student will receive a student handbook on August 29, the first day of school.

More from Gigi Barnett
  • t j

    i will tell you why drugs are rampid in this city. i tried to become a drug informant, i was turned down because of my color. i never new drugs had racical boundaires. 20 years in the corp trying to give back to my home town, my service is free, the danger is rewarding knowing i would be making the streets safer,,,, please add your comments on how you feel, issues about baltimore city, baltimore city police

    • rmsbl4

      @tj i alone is I. i will,i tried,i was,i never,i would. 20years in the corp means you should know a little grammar, so you are not a 5/6 yr old.

  • Joppa View Parent

    Well I feel if they don’t have air conditioning in the schools, we shouldnt send them in long shorts and heavy clothing! My daughter shops at Justice and that is just the style! All the short skirts have shorts attached, I have personally asked the office staff if things are too short and they have never said yes once. Get air conditioning in Baltimore County Schools and I will put my daughter in jeans and a sweater!

  • firstladie

    Ummmm how about uniforms that will solve the problem trust me. :)

    • NSB008

      I totally agree with you..uniforms is the way to is lot less headaches for the parents who are driven crazy every start of the school year by them being forced to buy the latest fad and fashion..I just got back after living in Australia for 4 years and all school have uniforms..there are one or two options as to how the uniforms can be worn. No one loses their identity because if your clothes is the only thing that gives your kid an identity,then there are other issues.

    • sevencatdrop

      When I was in elementary school in baltimore city, my school had to uniforms, and it just made us miserable. I agree that s need to be made but not so far that children lose their individuality.

  • Tressa

    An additional change to the dress code should be a minimum length for shorts. Girls wear choochiie cutter shorts with an inseam of about 1 inch. Now THAT is vulgar!!! The inseam for shorts should have at least a 6 inch inseam or be a certain number of inches above the knee.

  • Theresa Swayne

    Children can wear shorts to school, but they don’t need to show their butts. Regular shorts I believe are still appropriat to wear. Why do children need to wear shorts that you see their butt cheeks. That is just wrong. Children don’t need to wear offensive sayings on their shirts either. Children go to school to learn no to see who is showing more skin. Hopefully the dress code means “NO FLIP FLOPS” they are dangerous for many reasons. 1. Another child could step on the back of the flip flop and down your child falls and hurts themselves. 2. Children play on the playgrounds with flip flops on and God only knows what is under the mulch. Parents need to listen to the Foot Doctors, when they say that flip flops were made to wear to the pool only, not for walking around all day in and definately not for walking to and from school. So again, Hopefully the dress code also means NO FLIP FLOPS…….

  • Joppa View Parent

    About the length of the shorts, they should come down to the end of your fingertips, that is how it was in Harford county schools in which I attended, and girls who wear those other types of “hoochie” shorts have no respect for themselves!

  • Monyaee

    Uniforms , because it will stop children from teasing each other and children get focused more on education then what another child is wearing . And this coming from a teenager.

  • Kimberly Schlee Stephens

    ST0P STOP STOP the butt views, where shorts, pants, etc. are exposing boxers/underwear. This should be not just a school ban but a societal ban as indecent exposure.

    Let’s get waist lines back up to the waist. Any lower & you are being vulgar, etc.

  • Ros

    What about the teachers dress code. I think a look should be made also at the way the teaching staff dress. I remember a time when teachers dress looked professional, men teachers either had on a suit or dress pants with a shirt and tie and the female teachers wore a nice dress/skirt and blouse. Now sometimes these teachers look just as bad as the students. If the teachers aren’t dress as professionals why would the students. Yes, I agree their should be a dress code, I wishh Balto. Co would go to a standard uniform. Also, teachers should dress to look like they are professionals.

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