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PAISD addresses 2013-14 policies including hoodies - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

PAISD addresses 2013-14 policies including hoodies

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PORT ARTHUR -

The Port Arthur Independent School District is strictly implementing its dress code policy that bans hoodies and cargo pants.

Thursday, 125 parents and educators had the opportunity to give their input on the 7-year-old policy; along with bullying, school safety and home guidance.

"You don't know what's under there. You don't know who is under there," says concerned parent, Elsie Osteen, regarding hoodies.

"We're sensitized to the issue of hoodies," says Port Arthur Pastor Donald Frank.

Frank raised concern at the conference saying hoodies should be banned after the murder of 17-year-old Floridian Trayvon Martin.

"Where we are as a nation, where we are as community, hoodies can be put on the back burner right now," he says.

Frank says hoodies are an unfortunate stereo-typical article of clothing.

"Trayvon Martin's mother, whether given the right of her son to wear a hoodie or to have him alive, would much rather have her son alive," he says.

The district is enforcing the 7-year-old policy saying it's not because of Trayvon Martin.

"It's not because of Trayvon Martin. But, we don't want another Trayvon Martin episode," says Interim Superintendent Dr. Mark Porterie.

Porterie says the enforcement is because of what hides beneath the baggy clothing. He says students hide ear plugs and cell phones.

Former bus driver, Elsie Osteen, says it's scary watching a person in disguise walk your way.

"You don't want to assume. But, you just don't know. Things are happening. Dangerous things happen. So, you do put up a defense," she says.

The old rule with new enforcement is a safety measure for the district's 9,000 students.

The district also discussed bullying, Thursday. Several instances last year forced the police to monitor the campus. Dr. Porterie says the schools are not police stations and parents need to teach their children at home right from wrong.

Dr. Porterie spoke a lot about parents having good relationships with students. Teachers spoke up saying they see students show up to school with no paper or pens for class. The district hopes parents will work with the district by working with students at home so they can be prepared daily for class.

The first day of class is Monday, August 26, 2013.

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