Nixa school board updates dress code to ban lingerie, body paint and tweaks PDA rules

The Nixa school board has updated its dress code policy to outlaw lingerie, visible undergarments and body paint at the junior high and high school.

At the June 22 meeting, the board also tweaked rules regarding the public displays of affection involving students on school property or at school events.

Fondling and groping, formerly described as PDA in the student handbook, were reclassified as “sexual activity” and trigger tougher discipline.

The Nixa junior high and high school handbooks have long included detailed dress code rules and the bulk of it remains the same, officials said.

Jared Webster, executive director of secondary education, said the changes were “a response to current trends.”

“What we always say is what is acceptable to wear on a Friday night out is not always acceptable to wear to school,” he said. “Sometimes a specific piece of clothing will become very popular and it’s not appropriate for a school setting and you just have to address that.”

Jared Webster

Jared Webster

Webster, who was principal of Nixa Junior High until June 30, said sheer clothing was popular nearly a decade ago and prompted tweaks to the rules, which are designed to limit distractions.

“More than anything, it is assuring that we are keeping education the main priority,” he said.

The changes this year including banning lingerie of any kind and body paint and noting that “undergarments” of any kind — the rules used to just read “underwear” — could not be visible.

Webster said the body paint question may have come up in relation to what’s appropriate to wear on game day and to make clear that clothing, not just paint, is required to adequately cover up.

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Students who violate the dress code will be asked to remedy the issues. Those who refuse will face discipline, which can include suspension.

Most of the dress code will remain unchanged next year. Here are the rules:

  • Obscene, vulgar, or profane slogans/pictures shall not appear on clothing or accessories;

  • Halter tops, tube tops, tops that allow bare midriffs, backless tops, fish-net mesh style tops, strapless tops, lingerie or single-strap tops shall not be worn. Straps on tank tops should be at least 1 inch wide;

  • Shoes shall be worn;

  • Clothing and accessories which contains advertisements for or promotes alcohol, tobacco, and drug-related products shall not be worn;

  • Clothing and accessories with racially inflammatory or verbally harassing material such as confederate flags or swastikas shall not be displayed;

  • Wallet, neck or clothing chains or cords or studded collars and bracelets and sunglasses cannot be worn on school property;

  • Any type of extremism of dress, or dress that is disruptive or distracting to the educational process (such as short skirts, low-cut tops, clothing that is too revealing, undergarments showing, sagging, or clothing with revealing holes or body paint), will be dealt with on an individual basis;

  • Dress and grooming will not disrupt the educational environment;

  • Athletic competition apparel is designed for performance during the designated sport or activity. Such apparel may only be worn during the school day in accordance with the school dress code.

District tweaks rules regarding PDA

The student handbook spells out physical contact that is inappropriate for the school setting, also called public displays of affection or PDA.

Those include kissing, cuddling and embracing.

For a first-time violation, a student may have a conference with the principal, detention or in-school suspension. Any subsequent violation can result in out-of-school suspension.

Students face tougher penalties for engaging in any sexual activity on school property.

Groping and fondling were listed as PDA but are now listed under sexual activity.

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Nixa school board updates dress code to ban lingerie, body paint

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