Debate over Amarillo Dress Code

Anette Carlisle, Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees
Anette Carlisle, Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees

Elise Preston
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TX - There is controversy whether or not the Amarillo Independent School District should implement a district wide standardized dress code.

Three Amarillo elementary schools, Glenwood, Emerson and Tradewinds wear what the district calls "standardized dress." That includes red, white or blue polo shirts and khaki or navy blue pants or skirts.  Principals and parents of those schools, say, their dress code promotes an equal setting for all children.

Monday night, the school board members spoke directly with about 150 parents as to whether or not, the district should implement the dress code district wide.

"There was a lot of focus on socio-economic status and the pressure. There's also issues of inappropriate dress if you have standardized dress it makes dress appropriate. Also, showing individuality through your dress is something folks who wanted to keep in place for those who were opposed to it." said Anette Carlisle, president of the AISD school board.

As the City of Amarillo continues to grow, so does the economic disparity between Amarillo families.

AISD tells NewsChannel 10, this year, 64 percent of Amarillo school children are enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program. Just a couple years ago, that number was 61 percent, so the city has a seen a growth of several hundred students.

"We are seeing a growing number of low socio-economic folks those in poverty in our community, when the new sense of state comes out, we will see a not so rosy picture of some parts of our community." said Anette Carlisle.

School board members are now asking parents what they feel about having a district wide standardized dress code to help alleviate that concern.