Sandals, sleeveless shirts allowed as Taft dress code gets more casual


The student dress code at Taft High School is being revised to allow sleeveless shirts, sandals and other types of open-toed shoes.

The Taft High School Local School Council at its Aug. 22 special meeting approved the changes, which students had requested.

“I believe that the changes implemented continue to bring more of a college-like atmosphere to this campus,” community LSC member Goran Davidovac said after the meeting. When he served on the council as a student in the mid-1990s, Davidovac opposed a ban on wearing shorts that was being implemented at the school.

In 2014, the school eliminated the uniform requirement in the dress code. It had called for students to wear dark slacks or jeans and a collared shirt that had to be white unless it had the Taft logo and was sold by the school.

Taft principal Mark Grishaber, who is in his third year as the school’s head administrator, pushed for dropping the uniform requirement. He argued that the policy was a throwback to the 1990s when the school had gang problems which no longer exist and that the change would foster an improved school culture in which time is not spent on enforcing unnecessary rules.

Some council members also said that the uniform requirement was deterrent to local children wanting to attend Taft.

The current dress code allows for slacks, jeans, khakis, skirts, yoga pants and shorts. The policy also requires that shirts and blouses cover midriffs and not be transparent and prohibits visors, bandannas and any clothing item with inappropriate language or gang symbols.

“We encourage individuality and self-expression among students,” the school’s dress code states. “We are also in an educational setting with parameters that require students to come to school dressed appropriately and ready to learn.”

Also on the Northwest Side, Steinmetz Academic Center requires students to wear a uniform which consists of a hunter green shirt with the school emblem and black or navy blue pants or jeans. Open-toed shoes are not allowed.

The Schurz High School Web site states that students must wear jeans or dark pants and a purple or white shirt with the Schurz logo or a shirt promoting a school club. Hoodies with the school colors and logo, gym shoes and flip flops are permitted.

In other news, Brian Tennison, who served as an assistant principal at Taft the past 2 years, recently was appointed principal of Lane Tech High School. He was a teacher for 18 years at Young Magnet High School.

In other matters, members of the Taft varsity football team recently volunteered to help paint the interior of Murphy School, 3539 W. Grace St.

The next Taft LSC meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13.