DUNCANVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – Duncanville ISD board members voted 4-2 to make changes to a controversial dress code, which led to some suspensions last spring at Duncanville High School.

Superintendent Dr. Alfred Ray said Tuesday the changes essentially reflect the times and downplayed acts that marred the last few days of the school year this spring.

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Disturbances caught on cell phones — including a cafeteria food fight — came after some students were infuriated over what they called a year-end crackdown on dress code violations. Close to 150 students were sent home over several days and it led to numerous town hall meetings.

Monday night the board voted to change the dress code. Dr. Ray claimed that it was the natural order of things and the discussion was years in the making.

“Given the fact there had been many changes in society from the time that the previous dress code had been made. So they’ve been discussing the dress code for a number of years. Four that I’m aware of,” said Dr. Ray.

The changes are highlighted on the school’s website. Among them: closely-groomed facial hair is now a passable offense; boys may wear earrings and belts are no longer required. Dr. Ray side-stepped questions about whether the old dress code prompted the protests.

“I think our dress code then was a good dress code; I think our dress code now is a good dress code,” he said.

Dr. Ray claimed there was a 95 percent compliance with the old rules and expected similar compliance with the new ones.

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“It’s a different style; I wouldn’t call it easier or tougher,” he said adding, “There are uniform styles, there are standardized styles, and there are modesty styles. We’ve adopted at this time a modesty-style dress code.”

There are new rules as well as some relaxed ones. Click here to read them.

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