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High school relaxes its ban on wearing clothes with numbers

Uniforms are still a topic of discussion
by: Juanita Sierra, You may now wear most numbers at Sandy High School, but 13 isn't one of them. Neither is 18, due to perceived gang links.

Administrators at Sandy High School have loosened dress code restrictions to allow certain numerals on clothing that were banned earlier in the year. Numbers still associated with gangs continue to be banned, including the 13th and 18th Street gangs.

'The numbers that we know of that are inappropriate, we'll keep an eyeball out for those,' said Principal Jim Saxton. 'As new things change and things become emphasized, we'll keep communicating with the kids and parents with what we're doing.'

All other provisions of the dress code adjustments are still in effect. That includes bans on hats, hooded jackets and sweatshirts, clothing with 'New York' or 'Los Angeles' references and sunglasses.

Last week, dozens of students wore T-shirts with barcodes in protest to a suggestion that students wear ID badges. Reportedly, none of the students faced punishment for the protest, but their actions are being noticed.

'It is exciting because adaptations have been made to the dress code,' said junior Annalisa Peterson, one of the organizers of the barcode protest and an earlier T-shirt protest.

At the Feb. 12 Oregon Trail School Board meeting, Saxton reported that three non-student teens had been caught on campus thanks to the dress code, but there have been no further incidents since then, he said.

Student Body President Megan Murphy said she thought the debate over the dress code changes - which were implemented Jan. 29 - has settled down.

'I still think that people aren't as upset as they first were when they issued it,' Murphy said. 'I was upset at first, but now it's oh well, I can understand what they're doing.'

School Board member Dan Thompson still anticipates raising the prospect of uniforms for the school district in the future, although he noted that the subject was tabled due to other district concerns, such as the recent pool center agreement and the potential new high school bond campaign.

'I haven't lost my courage,' Thompson said. 'You can wrap your students in a brand-new high school, which helps them study, and you can wrap your students in uniforms, which does the same thing.'

Board Chairman Terry Lenchitsky sees the high school's dress code changes as a possible alternative to uniforms there but thinks there still could be potential for uniforms at the elementary and middle schools.

'The uniforms would never work in the high school,' Lenchitsky said. 'That's a big adjustment for the high school. A middle school or grade school, possibly.'