A leader of the Northern Orange NACCP asked the Orange County school board this week to keep students from wearing Confederate flags this school year.
“There are dress codes for inflammatory or derogatory clothing,” said Elvira Mebane, the group’s first vice chairwoman. “Whether it is Black Lives Matter or the Confederate flag, we want to make sure it is very clear that we are not favoring one group over the other.”
Mebane’s request Monday night came after about 600 people rallied in support of the Confederate flag in Hillsbrough last weekend.
On Thursday, three days before the rally, state and local NAACP leaders and others gathered in Hillsborough to hold a counter-rally.
“Afterwards, several parents came forward and said that students were wearing Confederate flags in the 2014-2015 school year,” Mebane said. “It was at one of the high schools, and this is against the dress code.”
According to the Orange County Schools’ dress code:
“No student’s appearance or clothing will be acceptable if it is deemed disruptive, provocative, indecent, vulgar, or obscene, or if it endangers the health or safety of the student or others.”
School board members did not respond to Mebane’s request Monday night, which is customary when people bring new matters to the board.
The next day School Board Chair Deborah Piscitelli said new Superintendent Todd Wirt will follow up with Mebane.
“It is important for our students to feel safe and welcome,” Piscitelli said. “So we need to ensure that we equip our schools and principals with the knowledge and support of our laws and policies.”
In other news
▪ The board met for the first time under Wirt, who started in June.
▪ Cindy Daniels from the Durham County Public Schools system was welcomed as the new principal of Cameron Park Elementary School.
▪ The board approved a $296,450 auxiliary gym for Cedar Ridge High School. The completion of the new gym is projected for the winter of 2016.
▪ The board approved two new comprehensive Internet resources to supplement teacher’s core curriculums in math and reading. The Ten Mark Math program for $76,500 a year and the Istation Reading Program for $75,500 year. The programs provide lesson plans and support for the teachers and support work for the students on all their different skill levels.
▪ Chief Human Resources Officer Teresa Cunningham Brown brought to the board new packets, signs and an updated brand for Orange County Schools, stating that recruitment and automated back ground checks will be a priority this year. She discussed members of her department and the board going to as many recruitment events as possible and doing a stronger job of supporting new teachers with mentors and a more comprehensive orientation process.
Orange County Schools Dress Code
No student’s appearance or clothing will be acceptable if it is deemed disruptive, provocative, indecent, vulgar, or obscene, or if it endangers the health or safety of the student or others.
Hats, sweatbands, hoods (or other head coverings), or sunglasses are not to be worn inside school buildings.
Clothing that shows affiliation with a gang or promotes gang affiliation, including bandanas, is prohibited at all times.
Any adornment such as chains or spikes that reasonably could be perceived as or used as a weapon, and any symbols, styles or attire frequently associated with intimidation, violence or violent groups will not be permitted.
Clothing bearing lewd/vulgar or offensive themes/remarks (including tee-shirts advertising alcohol or tobacco products) is prohibited.
Clothing must not reveal underclothes or lack thereof, midriff, backs, cleavage, or chest/torso area. Shirts and blouses must cover the waist and go past the waistline.
Pajamas or nightclothes may not be worn to school.
No sagging pants are allowed. A belt is required if pants do not remain at the waist.
Tight clothing such as knit or spandex bicycle/biker pants or overly tight pants are not allowed.
Skirts, dresses, and/or shorts may be no higher than mid-thigh.
Proper footwear is required. Shoes that have laces must be laced, tied and fit properly. No bedroom slippers or shower shoes are allowed.
For elementary schools, high heels and platform shoes are dangerous for young students and are prohibited. Students are not able to walk well in them and may trip when trying to run.