A state administrative law judge is recommending the state board of education strike down the dress code enacted by the Waterloo Schools last spring. Judge Carol Greta handed down a ruling Thursday saying the Waterloo School Board exceeded its authority in imposing the dress code, that went into effect this school year.
Waterloo School Superintendent Gary Norris says the dress policy’s language will need to be modified. “Her opinion is that the Iowa statute says that we can say what you can’t wear but should not say what you can wear,” Norris says. School board president Mike Young says the board will take a look at options to modify the code.
“The policy was put in place because we want the best environment possible for our schools and it’s been very successful in its implementation,” Young says. “We do not want to upset that policy or take it out.” He says they’ll quickly consider ways to modify the language so that it meets the judge’s ruling and so parents and students and staff know what to expect.
Young says the policy was put into effect as a commitment to making Waterloo schools safe and to have the best learning environment possible. The policy is to go before the state board for its review of the judge’s ruling on November 17th. Until then, Norris and Young say the dress code policy will remain in effect.
By Scott Fenzloff, KCNZ, Cedar Falls