Where do we draw the line?
May 18th A non-isolated incident occurred where students were held for over one hour due to not wearing a uniform. This infraction caused them to be completely absent from their first period. Many come close to violating attendance as we near the end of the school year.
Amendment 14 Title IX states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Said title has become a large debate within the subject of uniform and the district attendance policy.
As the year comes to an end the school, through Dr.Winstead, has found it necessary to begin enforcing full uniform policy even though this entire year the school has picked and chosen on whom to enforce said rules. Students that have a history of skipping or have made friends with their CITS are blatantly excused from uniform policies. Some of them are treated as if arriving at school alone is somehow an accomplishment or something to celebrate when the same students can be found across the street smoking in front of staff while they walk past.
Lines continue to be an ongoing battle causing students that arrive at school early to be consistently late to their first period class or the class following their lunch periods. Attendance has proven to also be an issue with many teachers marking their students absent for being merely 5 minutes late. But also administrators don’t seem to work with teachers to excuse the lateness caused by the line as evidenced by the many complaints from students who have violated attendance and believe it is because of the line and the uniform policy which has extended the line.
“Should students report to school in clothing that does not conform to the Dress Code, school staff will review the circumstances and determine the measures to be taken to properly address the violation.” With over 2000 students, enforcing a perfect policy is undoubtedly impossible! Even so, when students are withheld from attending class due to the lines at the metal detectors or not being in uniform it infringes on students constitutional right to a quality education. Although it suggests it is up to the school staffs discretion, the JCBOE Student Code of Conduct also states:
“...the Jersey City Board of Education hereby reaffirms its Mission and Mandate to ensure that every student, regardless of gender, ethnicity, language, culture, or economic status has equal access and equal opportunity to a rigorous, research-based, comprehensive education and its Constitutional obligation to provide equal access and opportunity regardless of race, color, national origin, citizenship, immigration or visa status of the student pursuant to the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution and New Jersey State Law.”
Being mindful of the 14th Amendment, school staff, teachers and administrators CANNOT infringe on a students Constitutional or Code of Conduct right to a proper education. Dickinson administrators and faculty need to reassess said school policies, inform students and hold their word!
Parent/guardian bringing a change of clothes to school. Students will be required to change into said clothing.
The face of the issue is Dr.Winstead. She has been the main person interacting with students and is believed to be the person who prevents students from entering the building for not being in uniform. However, she is not alone in being responsible for this problem.
` Arguments have risen throughout the years of whether uniform is beneficial at all, some state it is a matter of safety as students of this school year were not provided school ID’s, others argue that one's choice of personal expression in fact improves one's behavior as they are comfortable to express their inner self and are more comfortable. Regardless, students need and deserve consistency. There can no longer be a double standard and students should not have to wait around for someone to know their rights for there to be change.