Dress policy in Volusia schools under review

There’s a controversy in the Volusia County Public Schools, as students and teachers are not following the district’s dress policy.

Solid-colored polo shirts and button downs, solid-colored pants, un-ripped jeans and no hoodies are all part of Volusia County’s uniform policy. It went into effect in 2016.

But when you ask a high school student if they follow that, Mainland High School senior Shaniya Wilder said, “some people do but we don't. There's a lot of people that don't. Like a lot of people that don't.”

That’s exactly what the Volusia County School Board learned after they had principals fill out a survey recently, finding elementary and middle school students were following the policy, but high school students weren’t.

As for enforcement by teachers, “it's out of control. There's not really much they can do now,” said Wilder.The findings are not completely surprising to the board.

“They're of that age where they really don't like being told what to wear,” said school board chairman Carl Persis.The board is now asking for more suggestions from the public. Based on the surveys and suggestions, Persis expects they’ll change the policy altogether.

He says zip-up hoodies would likely be allowed. The policy would otherwise stay in place in the elementary and middle schools, but be adapted for the high schools.

“I don't think it's worth pushing it at the high school level the way we are insisting it be accomplished at the elementary level,” said Persis.“They should just loosen up on dress code. It’s high school.”

Any policy changes that happen would be voted on before the end of this school year.