Poolville ISD board of trustees discussed amending the Student Handbook, particularly items related to dress code, during their meeting on Thursday.
Superintendent Jeff Kirby said the handbook is vague in areas, and administration is reviewing the handbook to make it more specific and consistent. The proposed changes will come back to the board for approval.
During the meeting, Poolville High School Principal Jennifer Shifflett proposed two additions to the handbook, to prohibit students from wearing trench coats and for students to cover up tattoos if they are representing PISD.
The board agreed with the trench coats policy but some felt that tattoos should always be covered at school.
“I don’t have an issue with kids having tattoos, I have an issue with kids having tattoos at school,” Kirby said. “They can have them all they want outside.”
Kirby also brought up the district’s hair policy, which he said is vague and only limits hair covering a student’s eyes. He said that eye-covering hair can be a potential safety issue. Later, he said a “normal” haircut for males at other schools is hair cut above their eyebrows, above ear lobes and down to their shirt collar.
Board members questioned whether that hair policy may anger parents and students.
“If you’re going to leave us because we’re asking you to cut your hair, then you’re telling me that your hair is more important to you than your education,” Kirby said.
Kirby also talked about piercings, saying that they belong on ears for girls but not the face. Currently, he said the rule is that nose piercings are allowed if the piercing is a stud and not a ring.
Board Vice President Bill Blevins asked the principals to submit handbook rules that they feel comfortable with to Kirby to be put on the board’s agenda.
“If you think it’s manageable, whatever you want to change, if it’s in reason, because you’re the ones that have to enforce it,” Blevins said.
Having the policies clarified in the handbook allows the school district enforce rules, Kirby said.
Shifflett also proposed rules to help kids make-up work after missing class because of their attendance at extracurricular school events, including giving those students more time.
The next regular board meeting is on Sept. 12.