Mansfield Board of Education rejects proposal to drop campus wear requirement

MANSFIELD — Mansfield City students, staff and administrators spent nearly three hours Tuesday night making a case against campus wear.

The Mansfield City school board then rejected a proposal to eliminate it — at least for now.

Chief academic officer Stephen Rizzo and high school English teacher Joshua Cunningham presented the proposal, which came from a steering committee of administrators and teachers. The committee also took into account concerns shared by high school students in a recent school-wide survey.

Rizzo and Cunningham recommended dropping campus wear requirements at the middle school and high school and replacing them with a dress code. Numerous teachers, students and parents spoke in favor of the proposal.

Brad Strong, president of the Mansfield School Employees Association, said the campus wear issue grew more urgent last month, after high school principal Robert McQuate sent an email to teachers, telling them to strictly enforce campus wear rules or face discipline under school board policy.

McQuate declined to comment on the email.

“There was 1,008 (discipline) referrals in the last five days at Mansfield Senior High School because of kids being out of campus wear,” Strong said. “It’s taking their time out of the class and that shouldn’t be.”

Strong said teachers responded to the email by looking more closely at the school board’s dress code. Many were surprised by what they read. Strong said administrators have implemented some changes over the year