Parish School Board OK’s Code of Conduct changes

Published 9:32 am Friday, June 20, 2014

By Lucy Parker

The Daily News

As part of its business Thursday, the Washington Parish School Board approved several changes to the student Code of Conduct for the upcoming school year.

Under the new rules, presented by Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance Frances Varnado during the June 12 meeting, elementary students will not be allowed to wear steel-toe or work boots, and students in elementary through high school will not be allowed to wear scarves around the neck area.

Other changes include the addition of electronic cigarettes to the policy prohibiting student tobacco use and the prohibition of the “fox fade” hairstyle, which is similar to a Mohawk, for male students in elementary through high school grades.

Additionally, the Code of Conduct will now specify that midterm and final exams in junior high and high school must be taken on the assigned date. If a student is absent on exam day, he or she must present a doctor’s note, Varnado said.

The cellphone policy in place in elementary through high school will now state that only a parent or guardian can pick up a cellphone that has been confiscated.

In the final policy change, students who fail to attend Saturday detention will face one day of in-school suspension upon the first offense and three days of ISS for the second and subsequent instances of not attending detention.

Prior to the board’s vote, Washington Parish resident Esco Burton spoke about the importance of uniform enforcement of the district dress code. He said he has noticed some rules in the Code of Conduct are not followed, while others are strictly enforced by principals.

“If you’re going to leave them all alone, leave them all alone. If you’re going to penalize them all, penalize them all. Or either take it out of the book,” he said.

Later in the meeting, board member the Rev. Bruce L. Brown Sr. concurred.

“When you enforce the rules and you have consistency in your rule enforcement, then your code of conduct will work,” he said. “If you don’t have consistency in your enforcement, it won’t work.”

The next meeting will be held July 17.