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[hair color for natural hair]Kilgore ISD makes minor dress code amendments for beginning of school year

  With the new school year approaching quickly, folks across Kilgore are getting ready for the first day back in class. In preparation for the start of the 2021-22 school year, Kilgore ISD board members recently made several small adjustments to the school’s dress code.

  Board members approved four amendments to campus dress codes at their June 28 meeting.

  Superintendent Andy Baker described the recommended changes to the board, the first of which specified the district’s policy on hair dye.

  “Last year’s dress code said students’ hair must be neat, clean and well-groomed and of natural hair color, either brown, red, black or blond. It should not cover the eyes or be styled in any way manner which attracts undue attention or spiked more than 2 inches,” he said. “The recommendation for this year is to amend that language to read: hair must be neat, clean and well-groomed. No dyed hair that attracts undue attention is allowed. Hair shall not cover the eyes or be styled in any way manner which attracts undue attention or spiked more than 2 inches.”

  He explained the use of the phrase “natural hair color” has caused issues in the past.

  “Part of the problem we constantly have, year in and year out, is that students may want to dye their hair from brown to blond, well, that’s not technically their natural hair color. So, if you go by the letter of our dress code, that student would be breaking our dress code. This is the idea of rearranging the wording to: if it’s dyed and it’s causing undue attention, it would not be allowed.”

  Board member Jason Smith asked if the amended dress code policy on dyed hair would apply to students dying only part of their hair, such as their bangs.

  “If it’s going to cause any kind of undue attention, that will not be allowed,” Baker said.

  The superintendent noted the original draft of the dress code amendments submitted to him by campus administrators and faculty did not specifically prohibit dyed hair of an unnatural color. However, he amended the language to specifically prohibit dyed hair which could attract undue attention or cause distractions in a learning environment.

  “I’m not going to make the recommendation that students be allowed to come to school with blue or green hair. I’m not going to do that,” he explained.

  Board member Jason Smith said, at one time in his life, he was more opposed to unnatural hair colors for students but had changed his attitude on the issue. He was the sole opposing vote to the amendment, but it passed with a majority vote.

  Baker added this change would go into effect for both elementary and secondary dress codes.

  Another change to the dress code is language specifically addressing form-fitting leggings or yoga pants worn by students.

  “They can wear them if they can wear a top and it’s still covering to where it’s no shorter than 3 inches above the knee,” explained Kilgore High School Principal April Cox.

  “It needs to be a long enough shirt to where they can sit down and be covered up.”

  Baked said language was also added to the dress code to allow girls to wear nail polish on elementary campuses but artificial nails and items like false eyelashes are prohibited.

  The final amendment to the dress code is a sign of changing times from last year’s circumstances.

  “We all know that the face covering mandate from the state has been removed so we need to amend the dress code to make them (face coverings) optional, not mandatory,” Baker said.

  Dress codes for both elementary and secondary campuses are available to view, in both English and Spanish, at www.KISD.org.