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Florida school board chairman blames parents for stricter dress code policy

"When the parents don't parent, then other adults have to fill that role such as principals (and) school officials," Moss said.
/ Source: TODAY

A Florida school district is tightening their dress code policy and leaders say bad parenting is to blame.

On Tuesday, Bay District Schools in the Florida panhandle approved a strict dress code that prohibits v-neck shirts and graphic tees.

Parents who attended the school board meeting expressed concern that leaders should be focusing on education, not dress codes.

But school board chairman, Steve Moss, said parents should do a "better job."

"If we had parents that did a better job of parenting and holding their kids accountable for what they wear before they left the house, I don't think we'd have the issues we have right now with our dress code," Moss, who has two children, said in the meeting.

Moss stood by his comments to TODAY Parents.

"What we are finding is that parents are simply not holding their kids accountable in regards to what they wear to school each day," he said in an emailed statement to TODAY. "Since the parents are not monitoring what their students are wearing when they leave the house each morning, the school board then looks like the bad guy when we have to tell many of them that what they are wearing is inappropriate and then make them change or send them home."

According to the Panama City News Herald, the policy also states that leggings and yoga pants must be worn with a top that reaches finger tip length, and all tops must be unaltered and appropriately fitted with sleeves and cannot be so sheer or tight as to reveal underwear or body parts.

Moss said that students wearing pajamas, graphic shirts with inappropriate language and slogans, and house slippers prompted the stricter policy.

"Some were (wearing) nothing more than sports bras and leggings," he said. "When the parents don't parent, then other adults have to fill that role such as principals (and) school officials."

Moss, who ran unopposed in the last school board election, said that the district's goal, in addition to teaching core classes, is to teach life lessons and self-respect.

"One way I believe they accomplish that is by how they dress everyday to school," he shared. "I honestly think that if more of our parents took a more active role in monitoring what their students wear everyday, then we wouldn't have as many issues and our teachers and principals could concentrate more on teaching and less on enforcing dress code."

Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt did not respond to a request for comment.

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