Clovis Unified approves gender-neutral changes to dress code

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In a reversal from its previous decision Clovis Unified School District voted Wednesday night to change its dress code policy. (KFSN)

In a reversal from its previous decision Clovis Unified School District voted Wednesday night to change its dress code policy. Trustees decided to adopt new language that is gender neutral.

The board rejected the proposal 4-3 this January. Wednesday three members say they reluctantly changed their minds-- not because of their beliefs but because of the law.

"The silent majority is the one that gets run over ever time," said one attendee against the dress code changes.

One person for dress code changes bit back by saying, "They are the majority-- I have never ever seen a majority be silent."

Passion and anger have dominated Clovis Unified's School District for many months. Wednesday night both sides making one last plea for and against a proposed gender-neutral dress code.

"Thank you for allowing us the time to speak and the time to give you our feedback," said one attendee.

The four trustees who voted against it last time in January spoke out before the vote. Many felt pressured by California's law protecting gender expression.

"I don't like making changes to our dress code more than anybody else. I believe that's what we all believe," said Betsy Sandoval, trustee.

In the end, the school board voted 6-1 to adopt the changes. Allowing boys to wear earrings and keep their hair long. The victory for some was only partial.

"Many of these children aren't even out to their own parents. Placing the burden on those students to have a written permission to be themselves puts them in great danger of suicide," said Karen Adell Scot, Transgender Advocate.

The school district said the gender neutral changes weren't only passed to accommodate transgender students-- but to set an example.

"What I can accomplish in my life is the same, whether I am a male or a female, but yet our policy differentiates, so that's really the crux of the changes that were made," said Kelly Avants, Clovis Unified School District.

Showing that a decades-old policy rooted in tradition is capable of progress.

"Hopefully, we can take this small step forward and make it a bigger step," said one person for the dress code.

Just to give some perspective-- the school board has changed its dress code 24 times in the past.

This new policy will take effect Thursday.
Related Topics:
educationclovis unified school districtdress codefresno countyClovis
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