TRENTON – Senator Ronald Rice introduced a bill that would prohibit school districts from denying students admittance due to tardiness, violation of dress code or school uniform policy.
“Unless there is a legitimate reason, like safety, for a student to be denied entry into their school, there is no reason they should be turned away. If a student is late or happens to be wearing the wrong color or pair of shoes, they shouldn’t be deprived of their education,” said Senator Rice (D-Essex). “We have kids who want to go school and get an education but are being locked out because of some minor dress code violation or tardiness. There are other ways that a situation like this can be handled. Schools should be talking to parents about these issues instead of outright punishing the kids. The fact of the matter is this: kids should not be turned away from their schools.”
The bill provides that a student cannot be denied admittance to their school due to tardiness or violation of the school uniform policy. The school can however, prohibit students from wearing clothing, apparel or accessories indicating the membership or affiliation of any gang associated with criminal activities.
The school board may provide an opportunity where parents may choose not to comply with an adopted school uniform policy. If that method is provided, a student cannot be penalized academically or otherwise discriminated against if the student’s parents choose not to comply with the school uniform policy.