Parents try to crack the code of the earring


A parent couple pleaded for the Orangefield school district to “change with the weather” on Monday night.

Ashley Petty and Scott Rollins want their sons allowed to wear earrings in class, they said during the public forum portion of the October school board meeting.

Currently, the dress code for the school in the Orangefield Independent School District states that earrings are prohibited for male students.

“My 10 year old little boy has his ears pierced,” Petty told members of the board.

But the school dress code does not allow her to wear earrings.

“He asked me ‘Mom, if you and daddy say it’s okay [to wear earrings], why is school forcing me to remove them? ‘”

Petty, who said she and her family moved to Orange County a few years ago, said she learned Orangefield has had the same dress code ban on boys’ earrings for 30 years .

“I was told, ‘This is how things have been here for the past 30 years.'” Said Petty.

“Society has changed a lot in 30 years. Things change, people change, communities change and evolve and grow. It’s just natural.

“Actually, I’m a very conservative person, a youth minister for a church, and to me an earring seems like such a small thing. But it matters to my son, and I think he should. have the right to express themselves. “

Rollins said he had a 16-year-old boy who wore earrings.

“It’s an outdated form of sexism,” he posted on the school district dress code on Facebook ahead of the meeting.

At Monday night’s meeting, he suggested that the ban on boys wearing earrings was “a relic of decades-old thinking.

“Just because it’s what we’ve always done doesn’t mean we always have to do it.”

Orangefield’s local code of policy says: “The district dress code is established to teach grooming and hygiene, instill discipline, prevent disturbance, avoid safety hazards and teach respect for authority. “

It also says, “The student and parent can determine the student’s personal dress and grooming standards – provided they comply … with the student’s dress code.”

Found in the student manual, the dress code includes many prohibitions in addition to earrings for male students. Piercings (except earrings for girls) are prohibited. Hair length is not an issue, as long as it is clean, not Mohawked or dyed a hair color that “causes disruption”.

Tops for both sexes should cover the shoulders, chest, back and stomach. Dresses for girls – and shorts for boys or girls – should come down almost to the knees. No underwear should be visible, but jeans with holes are fine as long as the holes are not higher than the bottom of the thigh.

Although board members were not allowed to speak at the public forum, a director’s son, Donovan Weldon II, did.

“I am often asked why Orangefield is so sought after. “Is this property? Is it the accommodation? “To which I respond, it’s the school district,” Weldon said.

“While teachers, principals, and other faculty and staff are a big part of our success, I believe it was the conservative leadership of the board and administration that made OISD the only place to be. “

Weldon denounced the “slow process” of not holding people accountable for their actions, which has created “a society where good is bad and vice versa”.

Before urging the school board to “stick to your morals and conservative values ​​and remember that Orangefield’s silent majority is backing you,” Weldon complained about the “Keyboard Warriors” ‘express online “but fail” to speak in a meeting where It matters. “

Weldon said his appearance at Monday’s meeting was the result of a Facebook thread on October 8 in which Petty asked for his support in his attempt to change the minds of the board members.

The response was around 50-50 between people saying the change was good and those saying the change was bad.

Dean Crooks, another Orangefield parent, said he garnered 101 favorable comments out of a total of 110 responses when he asked on Facebook if OISD fans would prefer the district to resume accepting money for them. sports tickets.

“The PAYK-12 app does not have the ability to pay in cash,” he said of the phone app that stakeholders have been asked to download to purchase tickets.

“A lot of people are unhappy that they cannot pay with cash.”

Crooks also called on the school board to set up an advisory committee of parents who want to make sure the district stays on track.

Dave rogers

Orangefield parent Ashley Petty, center, listens to Scott Rollins on Monday night supporting his appeal to the school board to allow boys to wear earrings to school.

“Our board’s mission statement says,“ We ​​selflessly serve our students while serving the values ​​of the community, ”said Crooks.

“How can you know what this is about without getting feedback from the community?” “

In other cases on Monday, the council certified the county’s calculation that the 2021 tax roll for the district was $ 7.4 million and approved the purchase of 134 campus wifi clocks at cost. of $ 30,503.

Superintendent Shaun McAlpin said the clock renovation was needed since Hurricane Harvey.

McAlpin, an Orangefield High graduate in 1996, said he interviewed teachers and administrators at the end of each spring term about issues raised by students regarding the dress code.

“Over the summer we are reviewing the list,” McAlpin said. “If it’s something in the dress code, we decide how best to approach it.”


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