Lubbock ISD School Board Member Seeks Stricter Dress Code for Students
District 3 Lubbock ISD School Board Trustee Mark Blankenship earlier today issued a statement stating that he is seeking a stricter dress code for LISD students.
"I believe it is important that our parents and students be put on notice as soon as possible of what will be expected of them during the fall term, at least as far as the dress code is concerned. I will vote for a conservative dress code that will be in keeping with our local community values," Blankenship said.
He also states that an item has been placed on the agenda for the May Lubbock ISD Board of Trustee Meeting to discuss and possibly act upon proposed changes to the dress code.
Blankenship is running for the remainder of the District 3 term in the May 12 Municipal Election. His opponent, Eddie Kirkpatrick has taken a hard line against the current standards of discipline and dress code for the students in the district. (You can click on this link to hear Kirkpatrick's interview on Lubbock's First News on KFYO.)
Blankenship was appointed to the Lubbock ISD School Board earlier this year after Chris Comer left the board to take a job in the Permian Basin.
The full text of the statement Blankenship issued, as presented to the media, is shown below. You can also click this link to listen to Blankenship's previous interview on Lubbock's First News on KFYO.
MARK BLANKENSHIP STATEMENT, MAY 7, 2012
As the public is aware, the L.I.S.D. dress code has been under review by the Board of Trustees since March, and was the subject of a recent Board workshop. I have been working on this issue since the first day I was appointed in late January of this year, speaking with parents, teachers, administrators, employers and students. Due to the nearing of the end of the school year, I have made a demand to have this issue put to a vote in May. I believe it is important that our parents and students be put on notice as soon as possible of what will be expected of them during the fall term, at least as far as the dress code is concerned. I will vote for a conservative dress code that will be in keeping with our local community values. I believe that we have a duty to teach our children how to properly present themselves in a structured environment so they will later be prepared for life in the world outside of public school. I believe that local employers will appreciate a more structured school dress code since so many of them have dress codes. I will vote to prohibit Mohawks/faux hawks, oversized/low hanging pants (pants belted above the waist), tattoos (must be covered), spacers, gauges, plugs, ear rings (K-8), extreme hair colors and other similar dress habits that are being seen in our schools, and I will call on the other Trustees to join me on this vote. It will be up to the Board to thereafter exercise its statutory oversight and investigatory duties to ensure that the policy is enforced by the administration across the district, as well as to ensure that we are providing our teachers support they need when they are called on to handle dress code issues. It is my understanding in talking to the Board president that this matter will now come up for vote at the Board's regular meeting on May 24th.