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Principal retracts dress code snafu

By Michael Butler

Parents of Southside Middle School were alarmed when they received an all-call phone message regarding changes to the dress code after the first day of school on Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 7. It turns out that it was an honest mistake.

The message from SMS principal Micah Cook said, "Children don't need to be wearing athletic shorts and athletic shirts."

Cook corrected that portion of the message the following morning.

"That was a mistake on my part," he said. "I mistakenly spoke about athletic wear, when really the focus was on other things. We're not changing our dress code from what it's been."

On the Southside Middle School Code of Conduct and Dress Code section of its website a list of permissible and non-permissible attire are highlighted.

"We really are trying to raise the bar at Southside. Dress code is one of those things that we constantly address," Cook added. "You have to have standards. Bodies develop at different speeds. We try to remove the distractions."

Cook did receive calls during the evening hours after the notice was delivered, but it was too late to send out a retraction.

"We've got a retraction going out this morning with another call after school today."

Some parents did not receive the "all-call" message.

"We use a program that's based on the numbers in our system. I classified it as an important call not an emergency call, so it calls what are considered the important numbers. Make sure you have the correct numbers."