Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/21/1995 08:04 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HSTA - 02/21/95                                                               
 HB 30 - SCHOOL DRESS CODES                                                  
 Number 699                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS, Prime sponsor of HB 30, said the bill            
 passed in other states, and she has received letters from students            
 about the right to choose what they wear.  Representative Davis               
 read one letter from a student in Togiak, Alaska, who wrote against           
 any mandate that told them what they could wear.  Many other                  
 students wrote letters against the bill, but after receiving more             
 information, most of the students understood the reason for the               
 TAPE 95-19, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented on the dress code issue, saying, if            
 students wore uniforms, it might make them targets for drive-by               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS had not heard of anything like that happening.           
 California passed the bill and the state of California is where               
 they could get that kind of information.  Drive-by shootings may              
 happen, but they normally are not caused by dress codes.  She                 
 thought it would instill pride, and it would also alleviate peer              
 pressure, especially for students from low income families and                
 people in villages.                                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN was pleased about the letter from the student.            
 The person was one of his constituents, and spoke of his position.            
 Number 110                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS mentioned an informal dress code in his high            
 school days.  They wore light colored corduroy pants and all their            
 friends would sign their names on the pants.  The object was to               
 never let your mother get a hold of those pants to wash them.                 
 Mothers were the only targets, or rather, we were the only targets            
 for our mothers.                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said there are so many things children are               
 conscious of today that have to do with dress:  Designer clothes,             
 all which cost more than parents can afford.  There are also kids             
 stealing jackets and shoes.                                                   
 Number 142                                                                    
 VICE-CHAIR OGAN expressed that there was some questionable language           
 in the bill, primarily about the necessity of the health and safety           
 of students or teachers of a district.                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS answered that it could protect teachers, since           
 it would do away with colors and gang activity clothing being worn            
 in the inner-city.  There are problems in some districts.  In                 
 Anchorage, they are having some drive-by shootings, and gang                  
 fights.  They have identified many gangs.                                     
 VICE-CHAIR OGAN said he had a problem giving school boards the                
 authority to require their students to wear uniforms.                         
 Number 180                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS denied that the bill gives the school board              
 authority to mandate anything.  Rather, it will give the schools              
 themselves the authority if they choose it.  They cannot mandate              
 anything.  It is a choice to wear uniforms or not.                            
 Number 195                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON made a motion to move HB 30 out of                    
 committee with individual recommendations.  She said that it goes             
 to the HESS committee next, for another review.  After a short                
 recess, the committee decided the bill should remain in committee             
 for further consideration.  Representative Robinson retracted her             
 motion and moved that the committee hold HB 30 in committee.  There           
 were no objections, so the motion passed.                                     

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