Orange Co. schools votes to change dress code after Confederate flag debate

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After months of debate over the Confederate flag, leaders of Orange County schools have made a change to the dress code.

RELATED: Orange County school leaders ask officials for a revised draft of dress code

The board voted Monday night to change the policy to prohibit disruptive clothing and accessories that are “indecent, profane or racially intimidating.”

The policy doesn’t mention the Confederate flag.

The board made one change to the proposed language in the new policy, striking the section reading “that creates a reasonable forecast of disruption.”

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The people who called for the ban say this leaves a lot of discretion to principals and question how it would be enforced.

Monday’s vote comes after board members recently heard from a panel of attorneys about the implications of the ban.

“This is a low bar in terms of understanding the racial dynamics that play in our society today and in our schools,” said Latarndra Strong of the Hate-Free Schools Coalition.

The Hate-Free Schools Coalition has tried to get the board to ban it outright.

Board members say they feel this change addresses many of the concerns parents have raised.

But, some of them still want the board to go further.

“When the community stands up and speaks for the people, we can get change and we can see the kind of schools system that we want,” Strong said.

The board will take a final vote on the policy in two weeks.

“And we don’t have to run around banning this and banning that. And, we don’t have to list we’re gonna ban the flag, we’re gonna ban the swastika, ban this,” said Dr. Stephen Halkiotis of the Orange County School Board.

Click here to read the dress code policy with a highlighted portion that is changing.

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