With the start of the 2013-2014 school year just weeks away, the Oneida Special School District is unveiling, in detail, its new dress code.

Oneida High School principal Kevin Byrd on Monday said that the school system wants to make parents aware of the changes, “Before they start shopping for back-to-school clothes, because there are quite a few changes this year.”

A revised dress code was the subject of much discussion during the past school year, with school system administrators seeking input from employees, students and parents before finally settling on a dress code that does not require uniformed dress but does revise the standards that had been in place for the past several years, which teachers said had been too lax.

The new dress code, which will be made a part of the student handbook, states: “Students shall dress and groom themselves in a clean and modest manner so as not to distract or interfere with the operation of the school. A modest manner includes the complete covering of the midriff and the chest area; i.e., no cleavage is to be exposed.”

Violations of the dress code result with school-provided clothing for first offenses ranging to parents being required to bring proper clothing to the student for third offenses.

Among clothing items that are prohibited are muscle shirts or tank tops, leggings, headwear, jewelry that create safety concerns, such as wallets and long key straps, and jeans or shorts with holes.

The complete policy follows:

Students shall dress and groom themselves in a clean and modest manner so as not to distract or interfere with the operation of the school. A modest manner includes the complete covering of the midriff and chest area; i.e. no cleavage is to be exposed. Following are some specific dress code rules. OHS reserves the right to modify the dress code at any time. In matters of opinion, the judgment of teachers and the principal will prevail.

• All students must wear footwear. (No house shoes due to safety issues.)

• House shoes and night wear will be allowed only on a day designated for such during spirit week.

• Top-wearing apparel must overlap bottom-wearing apparel at all times, whether the student is standing, sitting, in motion, or at rest. If the arms are placed in a vertical position — i.e., arms are raised above the head — the top apparel must still overlap the bottom apparel. No bare skin is to be exposed.

• No muscle shirts, halters, tank tops, sleeveless tops, spaghetti straps or other tops that display undergarments or midriffs will be permitted. The entire shoulder must be covered. The bottom of the arm opening cannot expose any bare skin.

• See-through shirts will only be allowed if the undergarment meets all dress code requirements. (If the undergarment can be seen through the see-through shirt, it must meet dress code. No straps.)

• No leggings, jeggings, tights or yoga pants will be permitted as outer wear. These items are considered under garments and should be worn as such. These items must be worn with outer wear on top of them.

• All clothing with alcohol, drugs, tobacco products, sexually and/or racially suggestive symbols, and/or words are not permitted. No garments may be worn that display vulgarities or suggest the use of firearms or violence or that are offensive to any government agency.

• Shorts, skirts, dresses — Due to the revealing nature of the skirts/dresses/shorts, our policy is that the bottom of the hemline be longer than the finger tips when the arms are positioned straight down at the student’s side.

• Skorts — The shorts under the garment of the skort must meet the same guidelines as the shorts mentioned above.

• There will be no holes, of any kind, in jeans or pants. This includes “frayed” holes as well.

• Waistbands of all pants, jeans, shorts, etc., must be at the waist so that no undergarments are visible. Belts or suspenders are required if pants, jeans, shorts, etc., are too big. Garments that are excessively loose fitting will not be permitted due to safety issues.

• No headgear of any kind is to be worn inside the building. This includes the hallways and the gym. Hats worn inside the building will be confiscated by the faculty and staff and turned in to the school office.

• Any ring or other adornment worn as a result of body piercing which may create safety or medical concerns, is a potential for injury, or that creates a disruption of student learning will result in disciplinary action.

• Dress code rules apply for all school functions during regular school hours. The only applicable exceptions are: Prom or other formal event. Male and female students will be allowed to attend in appropriate formal attire.

• Accessories and/or jewelry that might place students in danger of being injured are prohibited. Such items include but are not limited to chains, wallet chains, long key straps, etc., and students will be asked to remove them.

Following are the consequences should a student decide to violate the dress code:

• 1st offense: Should a student make the choice to not follow the dress code, he/she will wear clothing provided by the school for a 1st offense. The student will return the school’s clothing after school in exchange for his/her clothing.

• 2nd offense: Should a student make the choice to not follow the dress code again, he/she will wear clothing provided by the school for a 2nd offense. The student will return the school’s clothing after school in exchange for his/her clothing. Parents will be contacted.

• 3rd offense: Should a student make the choice to not follow the dress code a third time, the student’s parents will be required to bring appropriate clothing to school for their child or the student will be sent home. Additionally, other disciplinary action will be taken as deemed appropriate by the principal or his designee. (Examples are suspension or ISS.)