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Dress codes for Pearl River County and Picayune relax slightly for upcoming school year

Pearl River County and Picayune School Districts have both relaxed some dress code policies for the upcoming school year, and free gently used uniforms for Poplarville School District will be available on August 2.

Pearl River County

Pearl River County School District has gradually changed the dress code from a strict uniform policy to a more relaxed dress code over the last three years, said Kelli Herrin, committee chair of the dress code policy.

“We researched public schools in the state of Mississippi, and we found the majority of high performing schools had less stringent dress codes,” Herrin said.

In presentations to the dress code committee over the last two years, the Pearl River Central student council has suggested changing from a uniform policy to a dress code helps families financially, because they do not need to purchase separate wardrobes for school and leisure, Herrin said. The change allows students to express themselves, Herrin said.

A dress code also helps students learn what kind of clothing is appropriate in a workplace, since workplaces typically have dress codes instead of strict uniform policies, said Crystal Penton, Pearl River Central assistant principal.

In the upcoming school year, students will be allowed to wear a wider range of shirts—although shirts still must cover stomachs, backs and cleavage, Penton said. Students will also be able to wear pants and skirts in any color or print, as long as there is no vulgarity on the clothes and skirts are knee length, Herrin said.

“Basically they can just wear what they probably have in their closets, so that they don’t have to buy specific clothing for school,” Herrin said.

Students are still not allowed to wear gym shorts or leggings, said Penton. Students are allowed to wear sandals, Herrin said.

Picayune

Picayune School District uniforms include pants, shorts or skirts in navy, tan, khaki or stone washed khaki. Shirts can be polos or PMHS related t-shirts in maroon, white or gray. The elementary and junior high students must wear closed toe shoes.

Students at Picayune Junior High School will be allowed to wear hoodies with logos on them, said Assistant Principal Tarva Cook, as long as the hoodies are a school color. Outerwear has been the biggest issue in the dress code, Cook said, which is what led to the change. Jackets that zip or snap can be any color. Students will also be allowed to wear t-shirts with logos that are related to Picayune, a college, or the United States military, Cook said.

Students are not allowed to wear sandals, but can wear socks of any color, Cook said.

Poplarville

The Poplarville School District dress code has not changed from the previous year, said Lisa Magee, Poplarville School District attendance interventionist.

Poplarville uniforms include pants, knee length shorts or skirts in khaki or navy blue, knit polo shirts in green, gold or gray, and school spirit T-shirts can be worn on Fridays.

Free gently used uniforms for Poplarville students will be available Aug. 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Middle School of Poplarville gymnasium, Magee said. The uniform giveaway is a community service project by the Poplarville PTO, Rotary Club of Poplarville, Poplarville Woman’s Club and the Kiwanis Club of Poplarville, Magee said. The giveaway was held last year, and the Poplarville PTO hopes to continue it annually, Magee said.

“We have lots of donated gently used uniforms, so there’s no reason not to,” Magee said.

Anyone with questions about the giveaway, or interested in donating gently used uniforms can call Magee at 601-795-8477.

The full dress codes for all three school districts are available on each District’s website.