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Birmingham City Schools Amends Dress Policy, Gives Students More Freedom

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By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times

Birmingham City Schools students will now have more freedom to wear clothing they want during the upcoming school year, which begins Aug. 6, school officials said on Wednesday.

The Birmingham City Schools board voted Tuesday to change the uniform policy for the upcoming school year. Under the new policy, effective immediately, K-12 students will have the option to continue wearing uniforms such as the solid blue, white, black and khaki shirts, pants and skirts or clothing that meets the dress code such as jeans and other items.

“Giving students choices in what they wear will free up administrator’s time that has previously been spent on enforcing the dress code policy and will give them more time for instruction . . . as well as student achievement,” said Adrienne Mitchell, Strategy and Communications Officer for BCS.

The board’s decision was influenced in part by students and parents asking to change the policy for the last few years. The BCS has required students to wear uniforms since 1996.

Though students will now have more freedom to choose, some of the policies will remain in place such as having students wear closed-toe shoes, no clothing with obscene writing and no tight fitting clothing, Mitchell said.

“This is a year of transition so families and students that choose to wear uniforms, can still wear uniforms, however families that choose to follow the dress code policy can make some choices in the clothes they wear but there are still guidelines that all students must follow,” Mitchell said.

This decision means that some families, parents, can take advantage of shopping for clothes during the Tax-Free weekend starting Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22.

Reaction on social media to the change has been mixed. Many have applauded the change while others expressed concern that the new policy may lead to bullying.

Mitchell said she doesn’t see that happening.

“Our administrators are extremely watchful about behaviors that occur in schools and we fully expect them to continue to enforce the rules and the guidelines in school,” Mitchell said. “We anticipate that students will take this freedom and flexibility and use it responsibly. Making choices are a part of what we’re teaching students because it’s going to be a significant thing that they are going to have to do in life.”

For more updates on the dress code and additional announcements parents can download the Birmingham City Schools app through the App store on any Apple device and on Google Play for any android device.