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As of Oct. 28, students at Fort Lupton High School are permitted to wear hats indoors and expose two inches of midriff, due to recent changes in the Weld RE-8 dress code policy.
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The modifications come after two Fort Lupton High School students presented their desired changes to the RE-8 Board of Education on Sept. 22.
The students, Anisty Hernandez and Victoria Ingino, asked for hats to be allowed indoors and for students to be allowed to show three inches of midriff.
The board granted these changes to the high school only and decided to permit two inches of midriff instead of the three the students asked for.
The motion passed in a 4-3 vote, with board members Matthew Adame, Michelle Bettger, Cristian González and Jaime Sierra in favor of the dress code changes.
Earlier in the meeting, Fort Lupton High School Principal Doug Gordon spoke about why his administration team supported the dress code adjustments for his students.
“Approving this request will have an exponential positive impact on our students, validating that they are heard, that (we) are responsive to their needs and we are invested in making their learning environment the best it can be for them,” he said.
Gordon said the midriff rule, something he called a “mild modification,” would not objectify the young women at FLHS, but instead would empower them to be leaders and use their voices.
Gordon’s support of the changes was the main reason Bettger voted in favor.
“If we don't approve it, then we're saying we know more and we know better than Doug, who is in the building every day,” she said. “We sit behind this table and we make decisions all the time that affect those buildings that we’re not in every day. And we don't know those kids. And we don't know how our decisions affect their everyday school life.”
Before the group voted, Bettger suggested that the board adjust the district policy even more to allow school administrators to change dress code rules wherever they see fit for their buildings.
LeBlanc said he was in favor of Bettger's idea even though he did not support the specific modifications the students proposed. He said he did not want “school-specific” changes to be made for the whole district, but he liked the idea of giving principals more leeway to adjust dress codes as needed for their students.
“I think that the building principals know best how to manage their students and push for the best learning environments,” he said.
Bovee expressed concern about making the policy more subjective.
“We're already having kids dress-coded based on very clear rules. If we don't have very clear bullet points… are we going to have more kids being dress coded?” he asked. “Are they going to push the boundaries more?”
He also said he didn’t want to vote on a new policy unless it was specific.
“If we're gonna vote on a new policy, it needs to be a total redlined something-we-can-read-and-vote-on-100% — not an idea,” he said.
After approving the changes for the high school, the board agreed to discuss possible further restructuring of the dress code policy at the next workshop on Nov. 10.
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