The Rome High dress code saga has attracted the first television crew from Atlanta as the report was broadcast around midway through Wednesday’s Fox News at 10 on Channel 5. Reporter Denise Dillon and crew spent part of the day on campus and late afternoon-evening on Broad Street collecting comments on the policy announced by new Principal Dr. Eric Holland three days before school started in late July.
It is the latest in a series of updates that intensify following a PowerPoint presentation suggesting “proper” skirt length and adding narrative at key points as to what each length indicated to people. The image was part of the second RHS update during Fox 5’s 11 p.m. newscast.
In the initial broadcast, Dillon mentions students have been sent home and repeats reports that three teachers had been told to change as well. That follows a wildly circulated image of a woman identified as an RHS administrator wearing a red dress above the knee. It also shows a low-cut knee line. We’re attempting to confirm the identity the administator this morning.
Here’s a recap of the story posted on the station’s website; you can access the expanded report and video from here as well
Leah Elizabeth Rogers, a senior, wearing the dress that got her into trouble at Rome High. From Facebook.
There is a dress code controversy at Rome High School. Students and some parents say it goes too far. School officials say it’s not that different from previous dress codes but this year it will be strictly enforced.
Leah Rogers is a senior at Rome High School. She wore a long sleeve black dress and tights to school. She was sent home because the dress was above her knee. “The neckline is high; you can’t see any of my body parts that are inappropriate or a distraction. I don’t understand why women’s bodies are being treated like distractions in the first place,” said Rogers.
It’s not just the girls. Christian Riveria wore his brand new, Bermuda length shorts to school and got a violation. “I got stopped by a teacher, who told me to go to an administrator, then I got a ticket, and I had to leave,” said Riveria. He missed three of his classes and was given an unexcused absence. (see image below from Fox 5 and Facebook).
School Superintendent Lou Byars says the three main changes this year include: no bare shoulders, no piercings except for earrings, and shorts and skirts must be knee length. Byars says there are no exceptions; even the teachers must follow the rules. “We want to have a good environment where the students can learn and be successful,” said Byars.
Melanie Conrad has a son at Rome High School. She says she supports dress codes but this one goes too far and seems to put an emphasis on what the girls can wear. “I’ve heard stories of girls coming home sobbing because they felt humiliated by this. If an educator is doing something that humiliates a child, something has to stop,” said Conrad.
Conrad says administrators should sit down with students and parents to come up with a compromise. “I think we have the ability to work out a policy that would be a model to every other school district,” said Conrad.
There’s a petition circulating calling for a change to the dress code. It has more than 1,200 signatures. Once it hits 1500, there are plans to present it to the administration.
From Hometown Headlines