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Dress Code

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The district’s newest policies were brought forth by the school board’s policy committee, which is headed by Trustee Bob Ramus, above. File photo

Port Jefferson’s school board approved district policy changes on Tuesday night that mostly regulate student behavior.

After having a first reading of the 14 new or updated policies at a meeting two weeks ago, the board of education finalized the new language regarding the dress code, substance abuse, and student conduct and discipline, among other areas, at their meeting this week.

With the adoption of the new policies, the board also deleted five old ones — the outdated versions of some of them.

One of the most significant changes is in the district’s policy on school building visitors. Previously, visitors had to report to the school office and get a visitor’s permit. And “whenever possible, entrance to the school buildings shall be restricted to entryways most effectively supervised by building staff.”

But under the new policy, visitors will be allowed inside during classes only “through the designated single point of entry, have a clear purpose and destination, and report to the designated visitor sign-in area.”

Those visitors will have to surrender their photo identification while they are in the building and wear a school-issued badge at all times.

The student dress code policy has been changed from the original to specifically list inappropriate types of clothing, leaving the language less open to individual interpretation.

“Extremely brief garments such as tube tops, net tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines … and see-through garments are not appropriate,” the policy now reads. “Underwear [must be] completely covered with outer clothing.”

Previously, the policy said only that clothing could not be too revealing, a health hazard or obscene in any way.

The restriction on obscenity will remain, as the updated policy bans vulgar or obscene items on the clothing, and things that denigrate others or promote illegal activities like drug use.

Much like the dress code policy added specific banned clothing, the updated policy on substance abuse adds language to the district’s list of prohibited substances.

The list already contained substances like alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, LSD, cocaine, PCP, heroin and steroids, and now it also lists synthetic versions of those substances, regardless of whether they are illegal.

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Port Jefferson High School. File photo by Elana Glowatz

Officials are working toward updating Port Jefferson school district policies for the coming school year, largely in relation to student behavior.

The board of education accepted first readings of 14 new policies or policy changes, regarding the dress code, student conduct and discipline, and substance abuse, among other topics.

If adopted, the policy on student dress code would change to specifically list types of inappropriate clothing, whereas the current policy leaves it more open to interpretation, saying only that clothing cannot be obscene, too revealing or a health hazard.

“Extremely brief garments such as tube tops, net tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines … and see-through garments are not appropriate,” the proposed policy reads. “Underwear [must be] completely covered with outer clothing.”

It would also rule out, like the current policy, vulgar or obscene items on clothing, as well as items that denigrate others or promote drug use or illegal activities.

More changes would be made to the district’s policy on visitors to the school buildings. Under the current policy, visitors must report to the school office and receive a visitor’s permit, and “whenever possible, entrance to the school buildings shall be restricted to entryways most effectively supervised by building staff.”

But if the new policy is adopted, all visitors to the schools during classes would enter only “through the designated single point of entry, have a clear purpose and destination, and report to the designated visitor sign-in area.”

The visitors would have to surrender a photo ID for the duration of the visit and receive a badge to be worn at all times.

In the policy regarding substance use and abuse, the school board might add language to the list of prohibited substances — which currently includes alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, LSD, cocaine, PCP, heroin, steroids and other drugs — to also ban synthetic versions of them, whether or not they are illegal.

Trustee Bob Ramus, the head of the board’s policy committee, said the 14 policies could be adopted upon a second reading later this month or next month. Five old policies — the outdated versions of some of the new policies — would be deleted at the same time.