Fifty get week for poor dress
SEVERAL CONCERNED parents and guardians turned up at the Garrison Secondary School yesterday after about 50 children were suspended for a school week because of their uniforms.
Some of those who went to the school later complained to the WEEKEND NATION that students had been sent home without adequate warning and opportunity for explanation.
One guardian expressed concerns that principal Matthew Farley was “rubber-stamping” the children by sending out general letters about their clothing, rather than assessing individual cases.
A foster-parent who spoke to the WEEKEND NATION on condition of anonymity said the Ministry of Education had to make an intervention at the school since children were being deprived of an education over “nit-picking about a half inch here and a half inch there”.
He also provided the WEEKEND NATION with a copy of the document from Farley.
The letter indicated: “The school was forced to take this action, since warnings given since full inspection on 6th September, 2010, and at year and form prayers have been ignored.
“In addition, all parents were circularised at the end of the last school year about our intention to enforce our dress code rules. The action is part of the expression [of] our overall theme for the year which is A Whole New Attitude.”
According to Farley’s letter, the students were suspended for five days because their overalls or skirts did not meet the requirement of being two inches or five centimetres below their knees.
The letter stated that the knees “must be fully covered with an extra two inches below the bottom of the biscuit”.
Farley said students would be able to resume classes on September 30, by which time the “problem” with their attire must be corrected or they would be subject to a further ten-day suspension.
When contacted yesterday, Farley stressed that the school’s dress policy was clear, and had been communicated to [all] in writing.
Farley noted that yesterday morning he met with about 21 parents who mostly showed an appreciation for the dress policy. He added in some instances the suspensions had been reduced from a school week to two or three days. (WG)