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Boston and Beyond

February 11, 2014

School fashion clash in Rockport

Yoga pants back after unpopular 1-day ban

ROCKPORT — Form-fitting leggings were back in vogue yesterday at Rockport Middle/High School, after their tight, thin fabric had rubbed school officials the wrong way late last week.

Noting that the school handbook every student receives at the beginning of the year had already banned students from wearing the tight but trendy legwear, Middle/High School Principal Philip Conrad sought to enforce the ban on Friday, forcing a number of girls to change into other attire or into clothes available at the school.

But school officials backed off the clampdown yesterday, and a number of students were back to donning their comfy yoga pants or leggings, while school leaders promised to form a committee to revisit the dress code.

Superintendent of Schools Robert Liebow said that as the result of a faculty meeting, teachers raised concerns that the popular pants — usually made of Spandex or a polyester and cotton blend — were a distraction.

From there, Conrad addressed students last week about scheduling. Yesterday, Liebow said that when some boys were dismissed for causing a disturbance, Conrad — with only girls in the assembly — brought up the leggings concern.

On Friday, students were warned about wearing yoga pants or leggings, and some were ordered to change. In these situations, the school nurse offers to have the student change into other clothes they may have on hand — such as physical education attire — or change into clothes provided by the school, Liebow said. But if that fails, a student is sent home to change, as was the case Friday.

“One student was given the option of going home and changing,” he said, adding that the student returned in about 20 minutes.

Students, however, were not happy Monday and described the situation differently.

“Rockport has a tendency to address these things in an explosive manner,” said 16-year-old junior Alex Arnaud.

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