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While the Carbon County School District has it's own code of conduct for students, which includes a dress code, that schools must follow, board members saw nothing wrong with one school wanting their own code adopted that was more stringent than the present district code at the March 12 meeting of the board.
"It appears to me that they can write their own code if it defines what is and isn't permitted more closely or if it is more restrictive," said board president Jim Leonard after some discussion.
Some students and the administration of the high school feel that the code they have been using is not specific enough so it made enforcing the rules very difficult. A committee of students was formed and they went to three other high schools to see what those campus' are doing. The schools visited were Lehi High School, Provo High School and Wasatch High School.
"The old code is not defined clearly enough," said Danielle Julian, who headed up the student committee. "Some kids are pushing the limits too much."
But board members were concerned about a number of points in not only the proposed code, but also in the present one.
"I'm not sure I see the reason to rewrite the code," said board member Grady McEvoy. "Is the current code even being enforced the way it should be?"
Boyd Bell also worried about enforcement.
"You know it's easy for us to put a stamp of approval on this but you will have to the be the ones to enforce it," he told the school administration that was present in the audience.
But Carbon High principal Robert Cox said enforcement is the very problem.
We have a hard time enforcing it because it isn't specific enough," he told the board. "For instance on the sleeve length. Some students will wear three tank tops so that they can spread out the sleeves and make it wide enough to fit the length we have required. The new code would make this more specific."
He also went into detail about how some boys will wear pants that when they bend over everyone can see their posteriors.
There have also been problems with midriff blouses, too short of skirts, straps that are too thin, types of references to various kinds of things on T-shirts, etc.
"One of the problems has been the definition of things," stated Cox. "Much of it is so ambiguous. If someone can tell me the definition of a tank top I would be really happy, because it sure has been hard to define."
The board also discussed how much control the school should have. For instance they can restrict students to keeping with the code and student only activities, but for instance at a football game they can't restrict dress because more people are involved than just students. But that discussion also brought in what to do about feeder schools to the high school. If the others are allowing things that the high school doesn't that could be a problem in coming years.
"We have joined with the feeder schools to Carbon High and have agreed to enforce the same kinds of issues," said Melissa Bueno, Carbon's assistant principal. "Together we have determined what modest means and are all doing the same kind of thing."
The board felt comfortable with the implementation of the change.
While the dress code was the biggest social issue of the night at the board meeting, the biggest monetary decision came in the form of good news. In a report presented to the board, the district has been able to refund some bonds that were originally issued in September of 1993. By doing this the district will save $392,877 in debt service savings.
"I've done a number of these from various school districts in the last few weeks, but this is the best rate and the biggest percentage of savings I have seen," said Kent Michie of Zions Public Finance, who handled the transaction.
The board members were pleased with the outcome of the refinance and passed a resolution adopting it.
"This will close on April 1," said Leonard. "The taxpayer is the biggest winner in this."
In another money matter that came before the board, business administrator Bill Jewkes reported because of a change in the funding model for the charter schools in the state, Carbon District will not have to send a check to Pinnacle Canyon School after this year.
"We sent a check for the $150,000 for this year, but this is the last year we will have to do that," he told the board.
Next on the agenda was a discussion of the district's policy for students concerning cell phones, electronic games, pagers, walk-men, boom-box stereos, or certain other technology tools.
The revamped policy was developed to discourage students from bringing such devices onto campus rather than prohibiting them entirely like the present policy.
"The idea of the policy is that we don't want students to bring them to school," said board member Grady McEvoy. "But if they do and they use them inappropriately, the devices will be taken away."
In another matter the district also began looking at how they will be utilizing the money they will be getting from the extended leeway that was approved by voters in February. While no decisions can be permanently made until that money becomes available in July, Patsy Bueno requested that the board allow the district's administration to begin to develop job descriptions for the new elementary reading specialists that was part of the proposed package that was put forth in the leeway literature.
"Just as long as this is just for developing that description and to begin to look for qualified candidates," said board member Boyd Bell. "There is no money yet. That will all require further discussion."
The board voted that the administration go ahead with the process.
In another issue the board was approached about approving new fees for next year for the gifted and talented program at Mont Harmon Junior High, but board members said, that while they didn't have a problem with the fees, that those new fees needed to be presented within the package of fees for the school at the regular meeting where all schools present their fees later in the year.