Dress code enforcement to be tightened today, rabbis say

Rachel Lester, Managing Editor

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Following a brief ninth-period meeting on Thursday when the administration told the juniors and seniors that they would have one more day to self-regulate on dress code, an email was sent out saying that anyone out of dress code today, Friday, would not be allowed to class.

At the Bet Midrash meeting, convened 15 minutes before the end of school by a PA system announcement that broke into Period 9 classes,  the upperclassmen were told that they had one more day to “self-police” the rules. The “crackdown,” as Rabbi Segal called it, would begin Monday, when  students out of dress code would be stopped on their way into school at 8 am and forbidden to go to class.

Instead, they would have to wait in the lobby for their parents to bring them a change of clothes.

But the e-mail, which came from Rabbi Leubitz, said the new system would begin today.

“Please be advised that tomorrow, Friday, September 15, if you are not in dress code, you will NOT be permitted to go to your classes,” wrote Rabbi Leubitz in an email to the juniors and seniors sent at 8 p.m., three hours after the meeting. “There will be NO exceptions. You will be held accountable for all material missed during class.”

That came as a surprise, because at the assembly, the target enforcement day was Monday.  Even that struck many students as unfair.

“Don’t you think that’s a little harsh?” exclaimed senior Deborah Lelah, as the room erupted in complaints

At the meeting, after pausing to think and confer with Rabbi Leubitz, Rabbi Segal told the students that they would have one more day to show the administration that they could follow the dress code. Drawing an imaginary line graph in the air, he explained that dress code compliance went up at the beginning of the year, petered out, and then plummeted dramatically that day.

Therefore, anyone out of dress code “on Monday” would have to sit in foyer as early as first period, he said.

The meeting came as no surprise after Rabbi Segal’s increasingly frequent warnings about dress code to the upperclassmen since school started. On most days, a majority of girls are seen with skirts that end just above the knee or an inch above.

Rabbi Segal called this “to-the-knee-ish,” whereas the dress code says skirts must cover the knee.

Additionally, after many boys bristled against the rule that they must wear collared, shirts, the new head of school amended the dress code to allow sweaters or cardigans with a non-collared but solid-color shirt underneath.  Yet that new rule hasn’t been followed fully, with some boys wearing patterned undershirts or just their sweaters.

Some male students expressed their displeasure by mimicking the way Rabbi Segal uses his hands when he talks, which drew laughter from the head of school and lightened the mood somewhat.

Whether the rabbis’ warnings were taken seriously even so will be visible Friday.


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