Students in the North Putnam school system would no longer be permitted to wear flip-flop sandals or certain styles of short pants if rules discussed by the school board Thursday night are eventually approved.
The school board was set to vote on a list of routine updates to the corporation's student handbook for next year when one school board member voiced his concern about the student dress code.
Board member Andy Beck told fellow members Jon Buser, Debbie Sillery, Carl Blau, Mark Fordice, Charlie Boller and Dale McGaughey that he thinks the student handbook lacks specificity when it comes to what students are allowed to wear to class.
"It's not strict enough," Beck told the BannerGraphic after the school board meeting.
He told the board he has observed female students and teachers at the school wearing shorts that he believes are too short.
Also he said he has a safety concern for students who wear flip-flops, which are sandals that typically have a single strap over the foot and a thin, rubber sole.
The student handbook, in its current form, states: "students are required to wear shoes at all times." It does not address types or styles of shoes.
In matters of student dress, the handbook states: "pant/shorts are to be fitted and worn at the waist. The pants/shorts are to be no shorter than knee length and not long enough to drag the floor."
Based on what was said at Thursday night's meeting, enforcement may be an issue for the school as well. Pride said, during the meeting, that the students dress code is not enforced once classes are let out for the day.
"My stance is, if we have a code we need to follow it," he said.
After the meeting, Sillery told the BannerGraphic that she shares Beck's concerns about student attire and hopes school officials will consider administering a change in the future.
Both Sillery and Beck voted against approving the list of changes to the 2007-08 handbook Thursday night. They said later that it was because of their concerns about the dress code.
The board also briefly touched on cell phones and their use among students, but there were no recommendations made Thursday night.
The board went on to vote on the handbook, which they approved by a majority vote of 5-2.
The superintendent said it is possible to set up a committee, at the beginning of next school year, to discuss the board members' concerns about the student handbook.
However, the board did not take any action to that end.