Students protesting Standardized Dress Code - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Students protesting Standardized Dress Code

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Students and parents are signing up to fight a new dress code. A petition is circulating Waterloo, asking the Board of Education to reconsider the new Standardized Dress Code policy.

Rachael Schmitt is one of about ten kids who are braving a hot day to fight the hot topic.

"We get a lot of thumbs ups, but we cant really show those to the school board, so we're hoping people actually drive over and sign," said Schmitt.

"It's important to us," she added. "We feel that the school board lately hasn't been representing the community that voted them in."

The teens want to convince the school board to reconsider the new dress code policy. Getting other kids to sign on is not hard, but they're aiming to get more names from adults on this clipboard.

"Because parents and community members can vote," Schmitt explained.

Many parents are glad someone is doing something.

"I don't think that changing the color of the pants that they wear, or a collar, helps them learn any better," said mother of three, Lori Kutz.

"We get a lot of parents that have actually stopped their cars, parked on side roads, and come over," noted Schmitt.

These students are vowing to stand outside area schools for at least another week, trying to get signatures from parents, students, and community members. So far, they have about 300, they're hoping to have 500 by the end of Thursday. Their goal is to get one for every student who attends school in Waterloo, and hopefully that will change the mind of the school board.

"We're just trying to get enough to have them notice us," said Schmitt.

In case you're counting, that's more than 10,000 signatures. District spokesperson Sharon MIller said there is no set number needed for Board members to recognize the petition. She added, the Board is trying to listen to all parents.

"We'll take that as it comes, and certainly the board is always going to take any kind of feedback into consideration," said MIller.

But the teens are skeptical if their efforts will make a difference.

"Most likely, there will be uniforms next year, but at least we tried," Schmitt said.

The new Standardized Dress Code policy goes into effect district-wide in 2011. Principals can decide, on their own, if they want to implement it this fall. Miller said no school has confirmed if they will start early. They will let parents know before the end of this school year.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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