Some children use their wardrobe to express themselves. Tattoos, Mohawks and extreme colored hair are just a few things you'll see walking through the halls of local schools. However, if it's up to one LISD board member, that will change this fall.
District 3 Trustee Mark Blankenship released a statement Monday demanding a more conservative dress code. Blankenship calls for the banning of Mohawks/faux hawks, oversized/low hanging pants (pants belted above the waist), tattoos (must be covered), spacers, gauges, plugs, ear rings (K-8), extreme hair colors and other similar dress habits that are being seen in our schools. He wants the board to bring this issue to a vote at their meeting on May 24th.
Blankenship believes Lubbock schools should have a dress code that reflects the values of the community.
"I want to see a dress code that is in line with our geographical area… When they come to school, I think we need to teach them how to present themselves and I think it's going to help them later in life when they go out into the world," Blankenship said.
The dress code issue was originally brought in front of the school board back in March. They agreed to have the issue resolved before the end of the school year, however, Blankenship says they need to vote sooner, rather than later.
"We have school out pretty soon, and unless we deal with it soon, we're going to have some problems. You may have kids that run out and spend all their money on baggy pants and then we say you can't wear them," Blankenship said.
Blankenship was appointed to the position in January and is running for the seat against Eddie Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick is a retired firefighter and agrees that the dress code needs to be addressed; however, he thinks LISD has bigger issues that need to be dealt with.
"This is one piece of the pie, but we have a bigger pie right now that we need to deal with. If you go out and talk to the teachers and the parents, most would agree that this isn't the biggest issue right now," Kirkpatrick says.
Kirkpatrick added he was at the March meeting that originally addressed the state of the dress code. He said LISD trustee Dan Pope, spoke out passionately about revising the dress code, but that Blankenship sat silent. Kirkpatrick stated that it was interesting that Blankenship waited until days before the election to speak up and thinks it could be an election ploy.
"My opponent coming out and demanding a vote on this right before now, he had a chance on March 28th and he didn't say a word about it," Kirkpatrick said.
Regardless of the timing, both men agree a more conservative dress code would make for a better LISD.
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