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Principal defends dress code after protests at Colorado Springs middle school

May 11, 2018 Updated: May 13, 2018 at 6:19 pm
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Image courtesy Holmes Middle School via Facebook.

Girls at Holmes Middle School in Colorado Springs School District 11 staged an en masse protest of the dress code Thursday, prompting some boys to show their support Friday by wearing shorts and T-shirts with the sleeves cut off, which are against the code.

Emotions ran high, Principal Rob Utter said in an email sent to parents after school Thursday.

"Conversation and remarks that followed this discussion began to sensationalize and unfairly misrepresent the interactions that took place," Utter said in his letter.

Students were not sent home, said D-11 spokeswoman Devra Ashby.

"They were given the option to change or be supplied with a change of clothes," she said.

Before school Thursday, all girls were called to the cafeteria, so administrators could check for dress-code violations, since it appeared the girls had organized a dress-code protest.

The D-11 dress code policy prohibits exposing the stomach or undergarments, wearing skirts or dresses above mid-thigh, clothes that are too tight or too loose, spaghetti strap tops or tube tops, see-through clothing, sexually suggestive clothing and other fashions.

Parents of the violators were notified, one parent said, and many parents were upset and yelled and cursed as they came to the school.

"Students were upset with our expectations to comply with district policy and thought them unfair," Utter said in his email to parents.

He clarified the district's dress-code policy and requested "students work within these guidelines."

The dress-code policies are "established by schools to define and prohibit students from wearing apparel that is deemed disruptive to the learning environment or to the maintenance of a safe and orderly school," the D-11 board policy states.

Utter asked that parents speak with their sons or daughters about the policy.

"Our ultimate goal is to maintain an environment focused on learning and that everyone works together in this endeavor," Utter said.

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