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Pinkerton officials opt to maintain current dress code

DERRY — After years of study, Pinkerton Academy administrators have decided to not go forward with a controversial revised dress code and will maintain the high school’s current dress policy.

Known as the Unified Dress Code, administrators conducted surveys, met with parents, staff and students on the issue, Glenn Ahrens, dean of students wrote in a letter to parents and students on Friday.

But after extensive research, the administration agreed in the end to stay with the current dress code.

“After a thorough examination of all the information, the administration, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, has elected to maintain our current dress code rather than implement a Unified Dress Code,” Ahrens wrote. “We believe that our current dress code, though not perfect, meets the needs of our families and students and creates an atmosphere where students can learn effectively.”

Ahrens said there is an expectation that students will follow the current dress code and “come to school dressed appropriately for school and not dressed for the beach or for a party.”

He said administrators wanted to remind all parents and students that there will be persistent enforcement of the current dress code and violators will be subject to disciplinary action.

In recent months, students and parents have reacted with mixed emotions to the Unified Dress code.

At an on-campus fashion show earlier this year, Student Council members modeled clothing that would be allowed under the proposed dress code, including polo shirts and even a sweater vest.

Some students said they liked the proposed options, Ahrens said. Others said, “I wouldn’t wear that in a million years,” he said.

The clothing options under the Unified Dress Code would have included khaki pants, polo shirts or button-down shirts, along with skirts and shorts of appropriate length.

Pinkerton’s current dress code is somewhat broader in its selections. The “Unified Dress Code,” would have narrowed the choices and eliminated denim from day-to-day wear.

Students would have possibly been able to occasionally wear jeans” according to administrators.

They are in the process of working with clothing vendors to have an agreement where parents and students have the opportunity to purchase “good quality clothing through links on the Pinkerton website, if they wish,” Ahrens said.

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