According to new THS Principal Rudy Falana, students should be aware now that dress code changes are planned for next school year.
Some of the changes Mr. Falana has outlined in the student handbook include rules concerning body piercings, showing of cleavage, wearing shirts tucked in and wearing identification.
As it is written in the student handbook, which will be released at the beginning of the school year, students will not be allowed to wear any type of piercing unless it is worn in the ear. This includes belly rings, tongue rings and nose rings. Another addition to the handbook states that "proper and acceptable undergarments" must be worn and not be visible to others. Included in this section is that cleavage must not show.
Beginning next school year, students will also be expected to tuck in all shirts and blouses, and if pants have belt loops, a belt must be worn.
Those changes left some students questioning specifics.
"I think the dress code will most definitely improve what we see here at school," said student Jessica Pasquale. "We wouldn't have such strict rules if other people wouldn't take advantage of the little bit of freedom to dress the way we want now. I understand about the length of shorts and skirts and the thin-strapped shirts, but I don't understand not being able to wear hooded sweatshirts or athletic pants, and I think if your shirt is the appropriate length, it shouldn't have to be tucked in."
In order to provide students and staff members a safe environment, Mr. Falana has also added a requirement to the handbook that insists all students must wear identification badges.
"A key component of school safety is the ability to easily identify staff and students," the handbook states. "To this end...ID badges must be worn and properly displayed at all times during the regular school day."
TeErika Leaks hopes the new handbook will cause administrators to enforce the dress code with an even hand.
"I feel that in some way the dress code may help, for instance some people don't need to show off their bellies. But I do think that if there is going to be a dress code change, the administrators should stick to what they say and not pick out certain people and times to say something to people."
Another change students will have to adjust to is the fact that pants must be knee-length and they must be fitted at the waist and not baggy or frayed at the bottom. Pants with holes in them will also not be allowed.
Students also took issue with the rule banning flip-flops.
"I think the dress code, for the most part, is reasonable," said student Mary Kellye Sparks. "However, I do not understand why flip-flops are against the dress code. They're not a hazard to students, and they aren't obscene. The same goes for hooded sweatshirts and athletic pants."
For Amber Poss, it seems too much emphasis is being put on the dress code.
"Next year's dress code is ridiculously middle school," she said. "I understand about some of the things that are being changed, but others, such as the athletic pants, flip flops and hooded sweatshirts, I don't see how that affects our learning. If everyone would focus more on what we are learning and not what we are wearing, we actually might be a little bit better school."