Update on Community Meeting on Uniform Policy:

After Wednesday night’s public forum for the District Uniform policy I thought I should update just a couple of things. First, I was very glad to see so many come out to express their concerns and opinions, and to hear what issues still need to be addressed. I sat in the back listening to all that was said and there were also at least 4 other members of the board on hand to hear. What I heard very clearly was that many felt that how this policy was handled was not as transparent as it should have been. Also many felt that because of a lack of support from a small group of students the general population was being asked to bear the brunt of the loss of freedom of expression. Finally, there were also many comments as to whether the staff was going to show their leadership by following the same dress code. All the questions that were asked were very good and had merit, but I don’t believe too many left with positive feelings.
Well one piece that stuck in my mind all night was the frustration of a group who was represented there last night that was charged in 2010 to study and propose a new dress code for the district. Words were exchanged about how this group made up of district staff, parents, and students worked on and submitted a plan that was not part of this new policy. When the questions were asked about the work submitted back in 2010 the discipline committee who put together this new Uniform Policy stated that they were not aware of this work. This frustrated folks even more as they stated how that could be when it was presented to the board.
This information that I’m about to share is public knowledge, but not readily available as the district web page was recently updated. Before I get to the information let me state that the board of education in Milford is made up of dedicated volunteers who are human and do make errors. I was there when the vote for the policy occurred and although I questioned many parts of it I should have made it clearer during the vote that I was not happy with the final draft, and that was my error. My concerns with regard to this policy are my own, and if someone wants to ask me I will certainly share them individually. I will tell you that most likely by my sharing this information I’m attaching to this post I will not be endeared to some members of the district staff. Hopefully, the transparency will be seen for what is needed and I only do what I do because of the kids!
Back in 2010 as I mentioned a group was formed to review the dress code at that time and to make recommendations as to how to address the continued issues in the district. I am attaching several pieces of data that were presented to the Milford Board on April 26, 2010, by Dr. McDaniel, and by my own nephew. I am attaching copies of part of the minutes from that meeting along with a draft of what was proposed by the group that night. Also that night it was part of this process that changes were needed to the student code of conduct to give more “teeth” to the enforcement of the dress code and I am attaching the proposed changes that were put before the board. In my packet from board minutes I also will include the “revised” minutes from that April meeting which showed how the board voted and what they approved at the 26th meeting. In the end a new policy was adopted that night and a procedure was to be put in place to not only handle who was responsible for oversight in the buildings, but also what type of discipline was required dependant on level of infraction. Meetingnotes4262010
As I mentioned, my thoughts on this policy I share if asked in person, but I did want to share with the folks reading this the results of the surveys this group collected during their studies and so I will attach them. The surveys are broken down by:
-Parent SurveysParents, Teacher Surveysteachersurvey , Elementary Surveyselemsurvey, and Student Surveysstudentsurvey.
By sharing this information I hope that as a community we can “heal” and that we move on because I don’t believe that how our students dress is going to solve all the issues in Education Today! Just for Information, the next board meeting is not until June 20th at 7:00 pm in MMS multimedia room.

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About Gary M Wolfe

The Author spent 10 years as a member of the Milford Delaware Board Of Education, and is currently seeking the 18th Senatorial seat in the Delaware Legislature.
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