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Charlottesville School Board Addresses Dress Code Policy at Meeting

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The Charlottesville School Board addressed its dress code policy at Thursday's meeting. The Charlottesville School Board addressed its dress code policy at Thursday's meeting.
Superintendent Rosa Atkins. Superintendent Rosa Atkins.
School board member Juan Wade. School board member Juan Wade.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The Charlottesville City School Board addressed a controversial issue regarding its dress code policy at its meeting on Thursday night.

The school board responded to concerns from the public about banning Confederate imagery within city schools.

The Hate Free School Coalition has been asking the Albemarle County School Board to ban Confederate imagery from its dress code for a number of months. At Thursday’s Charlottesville School Board meeting, members of the board said they want to find a solution to the issue.

“It’s probably most pressing for me and my peers and I think it really speaks to what is a student safety issue,” said student Cole Fairchild.

Discussing the dress code policy was not on the agenda for the school board on Thursday night.

“We support the dress code ban of Confederate symbols, because they represent racism and hatred that lives in our community and when you see those in school, it’s just a reminder of all of that hate and everything that came before that,” said student Althea Laughon-Worrell.

“I hope that we can continue that work as a community and not only riding the imagery but rid the systemic institutional racism in our schools,” said parent Andrea Massey.

After several members of the community expressed concerns about banning Confederate imagery from Charlottesville’s dress code, the board addressed the issue.

“I think there is no one who would want a threat against a student or school or a classroom prior to taking action,” said superintendent Rosa Atkins. “I think all of us know that we need to take action prior to and be more proactive.”

The school board said allowing public comment to take place during their meetings is an important part of the process.

“We're going to invite representatives from the local chapter of the Hate Free School Coalition to be in that meeting as well as members from the North Carolina chapter to come up to be a part of our next meeting," said school board member Juan Wade.

“We welcome the public showing up and appreciate their input, their opinions and what they have to say,” said school board member Lisa Torres.

The school board’s next meeting is set for October 4. The board hopes to have a resolution to the dress code policy before then.