I have received several emails from former students, parents, and concerned community members regarding the guidelines for proper attire and graduation. First, I want you all to know that I support the young lady involved with this controversy. Each year I give out "Principal's Awards" to students I feel have contributed to our school in a special way. This year I gave this young lady the "Heart of Chapin" award for her continued support of our athletic teams and her tremendous school spirit.
As Chelsea's principal, it is more important to me that she be at graduation than to make further issue with this policy. In light of all that has transpired, my concern is that a "line in the sand" has now been drawn which is neither fair to the student or the school. For that reason, I will allow my senior girls to wear dress slacks to graduation. In the spirit of fairness, my hope is that all seniors will have the chance to read this letter or hear this broadcast and know that this change is not just for one student.
You should also know that the guidelines regarding appropriate attire for graduation have been the same for at least 25 years, well before I arrived at CHS. To my knowledge there has never been a complaint of this nature. Most importantly you should know that I am not opposed to young ladies wearing dress slacks to this or any other event, regardless of how it was portrayed in the news.
When you make policy changes, it is important that you do so at an appropriate time. You want to make sure that anyone who has concerns or wants to offer recommendations for change has the opportunity to do so. I am quite sure that next year when we revisit these guidelines, we will have lots of suggestions (other than just the pants/dress issue). When you take the time to do it right, and you involve students, parents, and staff, you can at least say you have been fair with all concerned.
Principal, Chapin High School
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