Blue jeans added to School Board uniform policy

Published 8:11 am Wednesday, July 13, 2022

By Emily Burleigh 

American Press

An amendment to the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s dress code policy was approved unanimously Tuesday night giving students the option to wear blue jeans instead of uniform pants.

CPSB previously instituted a temporary lift on the dress code policy after Hurricane Laura, when finding school uniforms proved to be a difficult task. After being readdressed in April 2021 and earlier this year, it has been determined the change should be permanent.

“It has become increasingly more difficult for parents to find uniform bottoms,” said Mack Dellafosse, District 7 representative. “Not only the fact that you can’t find them but just the sheer cost. We talked about the struggles that parents are undergoing right now… and when you are talking about having to find uniforms as well as just your every day wear these jeans are going to be an asset to these families.”

Dellafosse said the Code of Conduct section that states khaki or navy blue pants, shades may vary, or skirts, shorts, sports, or jumpers must be uniform style in color will be revised. “The point that I am going to question is that we add blue jeans, pants only. The shade of blue may vary. Jeans shall not have any holes, rip, or tears.”

Dellafosse added that blue jean shorts, corduroy or wind suit materials, sweatpants, stretch pants, leggings, jeggings, joggers, bell-bottoms, hip-huggers, baggy pants, side pockets or capris will not be allowed.

The only concerns that were addressed regarded possible behavioral issues.

“I hope the parents out there will help to enforce,” said Russell Castille, District 12 representative. “It could be a trial period. If there are too many violations of it, it might be something we will have to look at. I would encourage the parents and students to look at what you’re wearing and make sure it fits our guidelines.”

Damon Hardesty, District representative, said the administrative responsibility and enforcement are important to maintain this amendment.

“I just want to make sure that when we do this, we allow our administrators to be the judge of what’s OK and what’s not OK at each individual school.”

Superintendent Shannon LaFargue and Dellafosee confirmed the policy gives administrators the autonomy to determine what jeans align with the Dress Code policy.

The next concern brought up included the possible evolution of the dress code policy. “My biggest concern when this came up again is where does it go next,” Hardesty said. “What will our parents come to us with next with what they want? I just want y’all to know that this is not just an open door policy of where are we going to go somewhere else with this next.”

“Just know this is a trial,” Dellafosse said. “We’ll have to watch it and see where it goes, but I think this is a great start.”

There were teachers, students, and parents in attendance to speak in support of the amendment. Public opinions ranged from the support of a strictly enforced blue jean policy to the desire to eliminate school uniforms.

This was LaFargue’s first school board meeting in his new position.

“I want to thank Mr. Brauchhaus and staff for a smooth transition. It is the best that I could have asked for over the previous few weeks,” stated LaFargue.

Other key appropriate actions taken included the adoption of the 2022-2023 Salary Schedules and Head Start Covid-19 Vaccination policy, as well as the consideration to advertise LaGrange High School as a Level 1 and Level 2 Turnaround Principal School.

All members of the board present.