Cheer Uniform Dispute Settled

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Cheerleaders present their uniforms while standing behind community members.           Photo by: Darla Wright

Earlier in the month, a student at NHS wore a piece of clothing that did not meet the school dress code. She was sent home to change her dress because she was a “distraction” to other students and staff members. Friday, of the same week, the cheerleaders wore their uniforms as they do every other game day to show school spirit. The athletes’ skirts brought attention to this student as well as a few of our teachers. There were numerous complaints about equality and fairness. Students who had been sent home for inappropriate dresses, shorts, etc. felt that if the cheerleader’s skirt were allowed, so should their clothing.

This soon began a long debate, which led to a school board meeting that was held Monday, September 14th at the Nowata High School. The community, staff, athletes and students gathered to make a final decision as to whether or not the uniforms would be allowed.

Representing the Leadership Committee, Melodie Vaughan submitted a letter to the board stating, “The new uniforms appear to be shorter and do not meet the school dress code specifically when seated in the classroom desks or gathering materials from their locker. The leadership team does recognize that the cheerleaders need the current uniform for competition. We would like to continue the tradition of cheerleaders promoting school spirit while being more closely aligned to the school dress code.”

First to speak was cheerleading coach, Treasure Standeford. Following Standeford, parents of the athletes stood up to voice their opinions. As the meeting came to an end, board members were asked to vote for or against uniforms being worn. One out of five members voted against changing the dress code, but adding an addendum to the policy.

The board’s decision closed the debate allowing cheerleaders to once again show their spirit and pride at our school. As for all other students, principal, Bron Williams says, “There is no new dress code. Our school policy says finger tip length and that’s what we’re going with.”

Story by: Emilea Scharosch