Waterloo Board of Education to appeal dress code ruling - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo Board of Education to appeal dress code ruling

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- On Friday, an Iowa judge recommended the Waterloo Board of Education reverse its new Standardized Dress Code policy. Monday night, board members debated what to do next.

After an hour of public comment and about a half hour of discussion, the board opted to move ahead on three things. They will appeal the judge's decision to the State Board of Education and support legislation to give school boards more rights. But first, they are going to re-write the dress code policy.

At Monday's meeting, several parents asked the board to listen before they write. Here are just a few of the many comments heard at the meeting:

"What you all seem to have forgotten is Gary Norris is at the bottom of the food chain, he answers to you, and you answer to us."

"I think a dress code needs to be worked out that will work."

"Get a group of parents, teachers, and students together before you do any changes to the dress code. Because otherwise you're just going to end up like this again."

"You need to realize that the policy is not only unpopular, it's illegal."

"I'm ready to take back our schools."

"It is time for us to come together as a community and take back our schools."

It's evident in this meeting, a group of parents is forming, and asking the school board to listen. They're calling themselves "Take Back Our Schools." They were hoping the judge's decision would be the end of the current dress code.

"It's not that we're against a dress code. We've never been against a dress code, what we're against is that somebody else can tell me what I have to do and how my kids have to dress, is what I guess it comes down to," said Teesha Peters, one of the parents involved in the dress code appeal.

However, school board members are not ready to let their hard work go to the wayside yet. They decided to appeal the judge's decision, and at the same time revise the Standardized Dress Code to make it legal.

Moving ahead, those who are for the current code and those who are against seem to agree, this much parent involvement is a good thing.

"The board meetings have never had so many people at them, except when it came to the dress code. And they all talk of getting to the real issues, and I hope that when we get to the real issues that they will be involved as they are now and help support our kid," said school board member Sue Flynn.

Many parents also said, they believe the community no longer trusts the school board. As the meeting wrapped up, Superintendent Gary Norris asked those parents to speak with him directly. He's encouraging all the parents who attended the meeting to keep up this passion on other issues in the future.

The current dress code will remain in place at least until November 17th, and could last longer as the Waterloo Board of Education appeals to the State Board of Education. The State BOE will affirm, deny or modify the proposed decision on November 17th.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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