Friday, November 16, 2007

Suspended for wearing a tie

Austin Perkins, 17, thought he was going one step above what was required of him. The Golden Gate High School senior wore a jacket and tie to school Wednesday and the act sent him to in-school suspension.

His violation? He wasn’t following the dress code.

“I thought it was better than a polo shirt,” he said. “So, my friend and I thought why not take the extra step? It says business dress. A coat and tie are business dress. Instead we were thrown in a room where we couldn’t talk.”

Principal Bob Spano said Perkins and several other students had been warned before Wednesday that they were not following the dress code.

“This was a group of students who had been talked to before,” he said. “Because there was a group of them, it sort of brought more attention to it.”

When they didn’t comply again on Wednesday, Spano said the students were brought to the office, where they were given the option of calling home and having someone bring them the appropriate clothes or going to in-school suspension.

“They chose not to call home,” he said.

Golden Gate High approved a professional dress code for students last year, making it the first high school in Collier County to do so. Under the policy, students are required to wear collared or polo shirts that must be tucked in. The shirts must be in a solid color of white, gray, green, pink or khaki. The shirts must be 3 inches below the waist, which is school board policy.

Students are allowed to wear long pants, walking shorts, skirts or dresses in black, khaki or denim fabric. Belts are required. Athletes and cheerleaders are allowed to wear their uniforms on game days.

Spano said 95 to 98 percent of students have been in compliance with the dress code since school started Monday. “It went way beyond our expectations,” he said. “Those who weren’t in compliance were not aware because they were new or we had a few students who chose not to follow it ... We are proud of our students,” Spano said

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