COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state's second-largest school district is cracking down on baggy pants and bare midriffs with a new dress code students will be expected to follow when they return to classes tomorrow.
Superintendent Gene Harris asked the school board to expand the existing dress code, which only required students to dress decently. The new code, passed on Aug. 16 by the board, gets specific, down to banning pants that are more than 1 inch larger than a student's waist size.
Diante Davis, a freshman at Linden-McKinley High School, said he didn't want to give up his oversize navy blue Dickies work pants that reveal striped boxers and black basketball shorts or the $120 gold "fronts" that cover his upper teeth. Those items would be banned under the new rules.
"We already got school clothes," said Davis, 14, who doesn't plan to follow the new rules. "They want us to change our style."
The dress code will be enforced in the 90 Columbus schools that don't require uniforms.
"These actions will improve the learning climate and assure a safer learning environment," Harris told board members.
The code also bans shorts or skirts that are shorter than mid-thigh, clothes that expose undergarments, low-cut or strapless tops, sleepwear and flip-flops. Principals can add items to the list and make exceptions for things such as recess, proms and physical-education classes.