Dr. Sean Alford mug-sean-alford

Dr. Sean Alford

The Aiken County School Board approved the revised “Code of Student Conduct” on final reading Tuesday with a clarification concerning how middle and high school students can wear leggings.

Another revision added an administrative-assigned after-school detention hall to the consequences section of the code.

Johnny Spears, the hearing officer for Aiken County Public Schools, said a statement allowing leggings and tights to be worn with skirts, dresses or shirts that are the appropriate length will be added to the appropriate attire section in the code.

“It is stated in the 'Code of Conduct' that the appropriate length will be no shorter than 3 inches above the knee,” Spears said.

The other revision to the code since the board approved it on first reading May 14 adds an administrative-assigned detention hall under the consequences section.

Spears said the addition is “mainly to differentiate between a teacher-assigned after-school detention and an administrative-assigned after-school detention so we can explain that to parents as a consequence when we show them the 'Code of Conduct.'”

District Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford said the intent of the addition is not “to put more on schools and school leaders” but to involve parents.

“We want to make sure first and foremost that we have additional opportunities to intervene in a student's behavior and involve the parent before students are taken from class,” Alford said. “As we share this information with schools, we want to make sure they understand that it is extremely important to involve the parents as soon as possible so that we can get their assistance in getting students to display the appropriate behavior. That's the most important thing.”

Spears added that the administrative-assigned after-school detention is “meant to be a step prior to in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension.”

“What we would like to do as school administrators is to have our teachers have some control over the behaviors in their classrooms – to be able to have parent conferences, contact parents, assign lunch detention or an after-school detention themselves or with their team prior to moving up to the administrative level,” Spears said. “So it's just an additional step.”

The revisions to the conduct code passed by a vote of six to one, with Board member Dwight Smith voting against it. Members Tad Barber and Sandra Shealey were not present.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.

A native of Aiken, Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.