HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Huntsville City Schools Spokesman Keith Ward says several Butler High School Students were temporarily removed from school activities Monday morning and placed in the school’s gym for non-compliance with uniform policy.
Butler may have a new principal in Sanchella Graham, formerly of Chaffee Elementary, but the dress code has already been firmly established.
“They did have several dozen that were found to be not in compliance with the uniform policy and the uniform policy is not something that is new to the school,” explains Ward.
Butler adopted school uniforms last year along with nine other north Huntsville schools. Aside from Butler and Johnson, the other affected schools are Highlands, Lakewood, Rolling Hills and University Place elementary schools and Davis Hills, Ed White and Westlawn middle schools. The newly named Dawson Elementary, formerly West Mastin Lake, also adopted uniforms.
Keith Ward says Principal Graham has made a concerted effort leading up the start of school to remind students and parents about the uniform policy.
“There were reminders on the website,” says Ward, “there have been several school-cast phone calls and they actually had an activity called the Rebel Walk where they actually had the staff and the teachers of the school go out into the community and visit door-to-door.”
In addition to solid white, green or black collared shirts and khakis, Ward says student can on any day don their Butler High School t-shirts and still be in compliance with dress code.
Ward says the school even has resources available to assist families who may not be able to afford the proper uniform items.
He says up to 60 students were taken to the gym and given the opportunity to call home to request parents bring acceptable clothing to the school so students could return to class. The number of students reportedly dwindled over the boring hours as more and more parents showed up to properly outfit their student.
One parent who was called to the school because her daughter was wearing a spaghetti-strap top said, “Kids are at that age where they will do what they want and I know mine is at that stage; kids will be kids,” shrugged the parent.
Ward says the student sequester was not so much a punitive action as a reminder uniform policy is taken seriously and is strictly enforced.
“You know, it’ not really fair to the students who do comply with it if they see students in class that aren’t in compliance.”
Ward says district policy allows school uniform adoption, policy and enforcement specifics to made at the individual school level.
Last year, school board members David Blair and Topper Birney agreed uniforms can be a good thing for some schools but said they would not support a district-wide requirement.
WHNT News 19’s news partners at al.com reported a poll conducted by the school district in the summer of 2010 showed that 55 percent of parents surveyed were in favor of a district-wide policy.
Click here to view the Butler High School uniform policy for 2013-2014.