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Students Warm to New Dress Code

Meriden's school board passed a measure this week to forbid students from wearing clothes that reveal undergarments and "private body areas."

 

The day after Meriden's Board of Education a much-debated dress code change, students interviewed at the city's two high schools seemed mostly supportive of the new rules.

"I kind of like it. I get tired of seeing people's body parts. (We should) try to be appropriate, try to be professional," said Maloney senior Katie Fournier, headed home from school with her sister Sara Wednesday. 

The new amendment to the district's code forbids students from wearing clothing that reveals undergarments and "private body areas."

Though many the administration's proposed changes as an attack on "skinny jeans" or "jeggings" when it was presented at the board's policy committee meeting on Jan. 11 as a ban on "form-fitting" clothes, and students appear to have responded positively to the refined explanation.

"It keeps a positive environment," Sara Fournier, a Maloney sophomore, said of the change.

Some students said that the rule should go one step further – mandating uniforms.

"I think we should have uniforms - that's so much better," said Maloney junior Krystal Montanez, "You won't have people picking on you for your clothes — made fun of if your shirt is not Polo."

Montanez and her friend, Maloney senior Brandy Velasquez had both been reprimanded, they said, for flouting a different dress code rule that disallows holes in pants. Uniforms, they say, would remove the guesswork for students of what's appropriate and what's not. It also, they said, puts the emphasis of school back on learning.

"Kids are late to school because they don't know what to wear in the morning," Montanez said.

Maloney freshman Devon Mulardo said the the change wouldn't really affect him, pointing to his loose-fitting jeans. 

Over at Platt, freshman Jessica Oulette said she was initially opposed to the dress code change, but her mind changed when she heard the specific language.

"I thought they were banning skinny jeans, and that's all I knew," Oulette said. She thought the ban would be a hardship on students like her whose wardrobes were mostly populated by skinny jeans. 

Now Oulette said, she understands what's being forbidden and why the new rules are in place. She and friends Sabrina Statham and Tatiana Hernandez all talked about girls at their school who wear clothing that they felt were too revealing – like leggings with crop tops.

"It's true," Hernandez said, "Some of it is very inappropriate. "My mom every time she drives me (to school)...says 'this is ridiculous.'"

The three also mentioned uniforms. While not necessarily proponents of having them, the girls said they did have advantages. "Some kids think they limit their right to (express themselves)," Statham said.

"If we got 'em, I wouldn't mind," Oulette said.

"It would make my morning quick," Hernandez said.

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