The Ottumwa Courier


June 5, 2013

OHS dress code lengthens

OTTUMWA — School is an inappropriate place to don your butt-hugging, skin-baring clothing, Ottumwa school administrators say.

The OHS dress code has been updated with eight new rules for the upcoming school year, clarifying those that were enacted in August.

Students are no longer allowed to wear sleeveless tops; leggings and yoga pants that are not worn without an appropriate length skirt; athletic shorts that are more than 5 inches above the top of the knee; pants with any holes, frayed or otherwise; and pajamas.

The additions to the dress code are honing in on the high school's "10 Standards for Success," one of which is dressing in a school-appropriate manner.

"We're just looking to raise the standards and prepare students for success," said superintendent Davis Eidahl. "We've seen an incredible change [over the last year]. Of course we still have progress to be made, but the students really responded to the expectations, and Ottumwa High School looked totally different this year than in previous years."

With some of the new requirements, such as the rules concerning leggings, yoga pants and athletic shorts, it's not the type of clothing that's the problem — it's the fit or length.

"As new trends come in, we have to adjust," Eidahl said of the "leggings as pants" trend.

The same goes for pajamas and sweatpants, he said. They're inappropriate in a professional school setting.

"If you get out of bed on a Saturday morning to go to the state fair, what you put on ... is probably not what you would put on to go to work," he said. "You have to dress appropriately for the situation, and we feel school is a professional atmosphere."

For the most part, students responded positively to the new dress code this school year, he said.

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