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ACPS Puts Emphasis on Education, Rather than Punishment, with Revised Dress Code

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Albemarle County Public Schools is making a change to its dress code policy after public comment ran for over an hour during the school board meeting on Thursday, July 12.

The county has ruled violations to the dress code will result in a teachable moment, rather than a punishment.

Both county officials and parents agree there needs to be further discussion of the policy.

"I think there are some constraints that we have, Supreme Court law is pretty clear that student speech, which can be reflected in clothing, is protected,” says Kate Acuff, the school board chair. “Unless it’s disruptive or lewd and obscene or promotes criminal activity, so I'm not sure what we can do there."

"Albemarle County needs to take a stand as a public school system to be anti-racist,” says Amanda Moxham of the Hate-Free Schools Coalition. “And what we heard last night was some really fabulous and robust discussion around that topic."

The county is set to discuss the dress code policy further at its next meeting in August, but it may not come up for a vote until after the new school year has begun.