School dress code policy will go unchanged

By Sarah Meyer: PNT Staff Writer

The Portales Municipal School Board voted Monday to retain the school dress code as written.

During the September school board meeting, Superintendent Randy Fowler said the board would review the policy in response to a parent complaint.

Nkoshe Seales had asked the board to revise its policy on piercings so her daughter and other students would be allowed to wear clear plastic studs in facial piercings while at school.

Seales said her daughter, Kierra, who is in eighth grade, had been taken out of class and asked to remove a plastic stud in her lip or cover it up with a Band-Aid several times.

She said the piercing was a First Amendment issue, dealing with freedom of expression.

Monday, Fowler said school officials had reviewed policies of several school districts and found, “Ours is middle of the road.”

He said some policies are much stricter than the Portales policy, many are similar, and some are particularly vague. In regard to the vague policies, Fowler said he didn’t see how administrators could make a decision as to what was reasonable.

Board policy states, “No student shall wear nose rings or nose studs or any type of visible body piercing with the exception of ear rings in the ears.”

“I think our policy is reasonable,” he said. “I recommend it stay the same.”

All board members agreed.

The next school board meeting will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 10 in the board room of the administration building.

In other business, the school board:

• Heard a report about a proposed school funding formula.

• Heard a report about online classes at Portales High School.

• Approved obtaining a debit card for the school district to use on a limited basis, such as making hotel reservations for school staff who must travel or for emergency situations, such as a vehicle breaking down during travel.

• Discussed the proposed Portales Ram Choir Booster Club constitution. Action will be slated for the next board meeting.

• Discussed an administrative grade change policy. Action may be taken at the next board meeting.

• Approved budget adjustments for 10 items.