Uproar over proposed shorts ban at middle school

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Angry parents and students debated for more than an hour at a dress code meeting at Garden Spot Middle School in New Holland, Lancaster County Thursday night.

The school administration wanted to ban shorts.

Principal Jeffrey Starr says the school had a “fingertip-length” shorts policy last year. But so many students broke the rule that he says they decided not to allow them.

“Boys aren’t the ones really abusing the rules,” says mom Kelly Searle. “I think it’s more gender-specific and that they should enforce the rules they have in place.”

At the town hall meeting, Starr said he would make a compromise rule, allowing shorts to the knee. He said terms like “mid-thigh” would be too open to interpretation.

But parents and students got so heated, he amended that compromise to mid-thigh shorts, and the crowd cheered when he said that would be the new rule.

Parents say a knee-length shorts rule would not be fair to students who participate in sports.

“She’s a cheerleader, so therefore, she wears very short skirts that the school gives them with booty shorts underneath,” says Brenda McCollum of her daughter.

The principal says anyone else who wants to comment on the dress code can attend the July 21st school board meeting.