Cape Girardeau School District considers dress code

Cape Girardeau Schools Superintendent Jim Welker
Cape Girardeau Schools Superintendent Jim Welker
Principal of Scott City Middle School Michael Umfleet
Principal of Scott City Middle School Michael Umfleet

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau Schools might be another district in the Heartland to enforce a dress code.

Superintendent Jim Welker says it's still in very early preliminary stages, but something they are considering.

He says they've created a committee to research and look at the possibilities.

"At this point we're pretty early in the stage," said Welker.

Welker says the idea for a dress code came from talks with administrators and parents.

"There were concerns that there were a lot of violations," said Welker.

Welker says the district established a committee of 15 to 20 people to look at options. He says there's a representative from each school building, made up of teachers and administrators.

"Many of them actually as it turns out are parents," said Welker. "They're parents and teachers, or parents and administrators. So that does provide a little additional perspective to the committee."

Welker says they will get input from the community, parents and staff, as well as look at other schools for ideas.

"There are other schools around that have gone to a stricter dress code, we'll be looking at all those different examples," said Welker.

"The dress code has been fantastic, from elementary school all the way up to high school, the kids look fantastic," said Michael Umfleet, the principal of Scott City Middle School.

Umfleet says discipline problems are down this year compared to years past, and he attributes part of that to the dress code.

"If kids dress nice they're going to perform better and we feel they're going to take more pride in what they do," said Umfleet.

Umfleet says it's important to allow plenty of time to talk to community and parents.

"Allowed them time to do their shopping and be prepared, and the parents did an awesome job for having their kids ready for the first day of school," said Umfleet.

Welker says if the Cape Girardeau School District leaders decide to make any changes, they wouldn't do so until the next school year to allow for that time.

Umfleet says he hopes if Cape schools make a switch similar to them, they have the same type of success.

"I would like to think it would work in other districts, but not for sure," said Umfleet.

"I know this is going to be a controversial topic, but at the same time, that's not going to keep us from looking at it and talking about it," said Welker.

Welker says the committee will only be the initial group looking at the possible dress code. He wants to ensure both parents and staff will also have input.

He says the committee will draft a potential dress code plan, and present it to parents, staff, and community members before they would move forward.

Welker says the plan would then still have to go before the school board before a final decision could be made.

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