Colleton Co. parents express concerns over dress code ahead of school year

Some parents in the Colleton County School District still have questions about a new dress code.
Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 5:30 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 25, 2023 at 11:18 PM EDT
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WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCSC) - Some parents in the Colleton County School District still have questions about a new dress code.

The Colleton County School Board met on Tuesday evening, but after over three hours of waiting, the topic of the new dress code wasn’t even brought up after the executive session. The board approved the new dress code policy on the second reading on June 22, but some parents thought they would talk about it again on Tuesday. Some parents said they thought they still had time to make their voices heard.

“I think we were misled. You know, I don’t think everyone in the county understands how the school board works. I mean, our government is not as transparent as they want us to believe,” Former Colleton County School parent Simon Andrews said.

Under the new policy, students are not allowed to wear hoodies or jeans unless they are without holes or rips, are black, khaki, or navy.

Between the June and July school board meetings, a survey for parents, created by a parent, gathered almost 400 responses to show the board what the community wanted.

“They asked me for all of the information results from the survey, which is also what makes us a little bit confusing too because they asked to see the results and where a lot of parents were against it,” parent Taiesha Whitley said. “So to find out that, what they did the second reading as was the final vote, just kind of doesn’t add up.”

Results showed that 82% of parents thought students should be allowed to wear hoodies and 94% thought the uniform policy does not build student self-esteem.

“I just feel like really, our opinions don’t matter. I mean, you had so many parents saying that they were not benefiting whatsoever from the uniform policy that we have. You’ve seen it on paper,” Whitley said.

Colleton County is a public school system that enforces a uniform policy – unlike other districts in the area.

“And it’s disappointing because you are elected officials, and we want to do something that’s going to enhance our kids’ learning,” Andrews said.

“I don’t think that this is the last time the school board is going to hear something about the uniform policy,” Whitley said.

School starts on August 7 in the district, which means students and parents will have to prepare their wardrobes for the new change.