Tue | Nov 13, 2018

José Marti skirts indiscipline

Published:Tuesday | September 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer

José Martí Technical High School yesterday turned back a number of students for lateness and inappropriate attire.

Richard Proupe, dean of discipline at the institution, stated that one such new rule is that the required length of the uniforms for its female students be extended from four to 11 inches below the knee.

"The decision to change the rule was actually announced from April this year. Prior to September this year, it was four inches below the knee, but students were not conforming to four inches and it was a major behavioural issue," Proupe told The Gleaner yesterday.

"For example, they would sit inappropriately in class and the uniform that would have been four inches sometimes would have been above the knee. We would have also heard of many issues on the public transport system, especially the non-JUTC (Jamaica Urban Transit Company) buses and all of these were compromising the image of the school and the reputation of our girls in particular," he continued.

Turned back for uniform

A complaint was made to The Gleaner from a parent, Karen Hemmings, whose child was turned back because her uniform was 10 inches below the knee as opposed to 11.

Proupe noted that he wasn't aware of that particular incident, but what he would have done was to ask the girl to pull out the hem and then go to the Home Economics Department to have it sewn to make up the additional length.

"We have even sent home students who bleach their faces, as it is also a violation of the dress policy. If it takes five days for their skin to return to normal, then they have to stay home until then," he said.

"When rules are broken, it sends the wrong message if some comply and some don't, so we have to deal with everyone equally, or else we would have a major breakdown in compliance, and that's why lawlessness exists in the society the way it does," Proupe added.

"If this is an institution of learning and we should be grooming and guiding our students, but can't reinforce basic school policies, then we would have failed them as much as we failed our school and the society," he continued.

When contacted, Doran Dixon, president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), said he did not view the length of a student's skirt as a disciplinary issue and therefore would not be commenting on the matter.