Bedford County Board of Education will hold a called meeting 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the school system offices on Madison Street to approve a second working draft of a school dress code.
In addition, the final public forum on school attire has been changed from Feb. 11 to Feb. 12 because several school board members had schedule conflicts. The forum will still be held at 6 p.m. at Harris Middle School.
A school system employee, not speaking for attribution, said this morning it's likely that the new draft will be referred to as a dress code rather than as standardized school attire.
The decision to alter the working draft, which had been used as a basis for discussion at three previous public forums, was reported to have been reached at the school board retreat held over the weekend at Bottle Hollow Lodge.
School board members had high hopes for Standardized School Attire, which is sometimes described as more than a dress code but less than a uniform. Proponents claim it helps improve the learning atmosphere and has safety and security benefits; opponents claim the benefits haven't been scientifically proven and say it's an unfair intrusion into students' and parents' rights.
Three public forums held so far -- in November at Liberty School, in December at Cascade High School and this month at Community High School -- have drawn extensive criticism of the proposal. Although the Liberty forum was equally divided between positive and negative comments, the Cascade and Community forums had exclusively negative public comments.