Newton school dress code sparks discussion

A dress code change for students at Newton High School for the coming school year has garnered a lot feedback from students, parents and other members of the public — feedback the Newton Board of Education has heard plenty of in recent meetings.

Given at least one incident that occurred at the high school this past year, there was a proposal to add bandanas to the list of prohibited head gear in 2019-2020, to make it a more “black and white” issue.

However, members of the public like Fabiola Flores were concerned that taking out the flexibility of interpretation in various situations could make the dress code oppressive and ignore the feelings of a diverse community.

“I want to caution our community and also our board to be careful when we pass things,” Flores said. “Don’t ignore your minorities. That is my call — because I am one, and my daughter is one. Be mindful of that."

The 2019-2020 NHS student handbook was approved on a 4-2 vote. Board vice president Carol Sue Stayrook Hobbs said it should come with a caveat pushing continued work on cultural sensitivity and awareness within district schools.