DERRY — Pinkerton Academy will not adopt a unified dress code.
A letter went out to parents Friday, saying the high school would not be seeking a new unified dress code and would maintain its current wardrobe rules.
“After a thorough examination of all the information, the administration, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, has elected to maintain our current dress code rather than implement a unified dress code,” Dean of Students Glenn Ahrens wrote. “We believe our current dress code, though not perfect, meets the needs of our families and students and creates an atmosphere where students can learn effectively.”
The idea of a unified code came up last year when administrators proposed changes where students would choose from a selection of clothes from a specified vendor.
Headmaster Mary Anderson said then that too many students were wearing inappropriate clothing. There were several meetings and presentations with parents last fall prior to the recent decision.
Anderson said at that time she didn’t know how often students have violated the current dress code, but she said it was too often.
“The amount of time that our staff spends addressing dress code issues is ridiculous,” she said. “Especially for our male staff, I don’t like putting them in that position.”
The Pinkerton dress code right now prohibits tank tops, dresses with spaghetti straps or any tops that have shoulder straps of less than two inches. Shorts and skirts can be no higher than knee length.
Parents reacted to the decision, many favorably.
“I was thrilled to get the email, as was my daughter,” Stephanie Tsepas wrote on the Derry News Facebook page. “But I have a feeling this battle isn’t over.”
Other parents said they, too, believe the subject of a unified wardrobe may come up in the future.
“I have two more to go through Pinkerton, so I’m happy right now,” Beth Doherty said.
Dave McPherson has a daughter attending Pinkerton and said he was satisfied with the school’s decision.
“I am happy that Pinkerton decided to focus on other matters of importance other than uniforms,” he said.
Ahrens’ letter said it was expected that students would follow the school’s established dress code and come to school dressed appropriately for school and not dressed for the beach or for a party.
“We will continue monitoring current trends in fashion and will continue to explore dress code options for the future,” Ahrens wrote.
He said the current code will continue to be strictly enforced. Pinkerton is also working with clothing vendors and officials say they hope to give parents and students a chance to purchase quality clothing through links on the school’s online site if they wish.
“This will give parents and students many options for school clothing that is appropriate for school,” Ahrens wrote, “hopefully creating a sense of improved professionalism in clothing appearance.”