WINCHESTER — The Winchester School Board unanimously approved changes to its student cellphone use and dress code policies during a work session Monday night.

The updated student cellphone policy now bans elementary, intermediate and middle school students from using their phones at school. High school students are prohibited from using their phones during instructional time. Before the update, students could use personal electronic devices in the classroom with a teacher’s permission.

The updated dress code policy adopts a gender-neutral enforcement of student clothing and bans any clothing “that is racially divisive at school, on school property, or at school-sponsored activities.” The approved changes specifically prohibit the wearing of any clothing that “denotes Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nation-White Supremacy, Neo-Nazi, racial hate groups or Confederate flags.”

The dress code policy also now focuses less on punishment for violations and more on using such infractions as teachable moments for students on appropriate attire in the workplace.

Attending Monday night’s work session held in-person and virtually from John Kerr Elementary School were Winchester Superintendent Jason Van Heukelum, School Board Chairwoman Erica Truban, School Board Vice Chairwoman Karen Holman and board members Bryan Pearce-Gonzales, Mike Birchenough, Elyus Wallace and Marie Imoh. The meeting was publicly held and streamed through YouTube.

— Contact Anna Merod at amerod@winchesterstar.com

(11) comments

Rick Hill

I didn't see anything about

Black Panther, BLM, Chavez, PLO, oh how one-sided!

Bryan.the.Nuri

Are they supremacist organizations? Or do they just offend you personally?

Doc Samson

@Rick - Because only the Left gets to define what is appropriate and what is not...

Bryan.the.Nuri

Oh right! Because that is a list of supremacy organizations that you think would make you into a minority...

...said none of them.

Doc Samson

Wasn't talking to you, little man. But please, feel free to continue interjecting...

Wyndham

The phrases "racially divisive" and "racial hate groups," by definition, would presumably rule out material beyond that which is anti-Black.

jmapplin

You're on to something when you notice the school board doesn't define "racially divisive" and "racial hate groups".

Ann Gibson

Wow, anonymous "Conservative" guy, we agree on something!

Conservative

We can ALL agree on some things, just not everything. That's what makes this country great. We can agree to disagree on things we are passionate about, but in reality, we still gotta live and work together![smile]

Conservative

Just switch to uniforms.

PT

not a bad idea....prep schools do, it I dont know why we can't implement it at public schools...it would be interesting to see some studies on the issue.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.