Lisbon school committee approves crop tops and hats in high school

LISBON — The Lisbon school committee voted 4-0 on Tuesday to allow high school students to wear hats and shorter shirts.

Under the approved dress code change, students will be allowed to show up to two to three belly fingers. The change was introduced to the board by two seniors from the Student Voice committee.

“On behalf of the student body, they thank you,” principal Susan Magee joked after the vote.

Magee told the committee that relaxing the dress code would also help staff and administrators.

Several members expressed concerns about both changes, but ultimately decided to approve them after discussing them with Magee. The committee agreed to review the dress code in a few months to assess the change.

The change will not affect elementary or middle school dress codes.

The committee also approved a new honors degree program and a high school world history course requirement.

Under the new program, members of the class of 2026 and under will have the option of pursuing a catch-all liberal arts honors, humanities honors, math and science honors or fine arts honors, which includes both art and music lessons.

To earn distinction in the humanities, for example, a student would need to earn at least a 3.0 grade point average in all English, social studies, and world language courses, and pursue six additional credits in those materials. The cumulative grade point average requirement is the same for all four honors degrees.

Currently, students have the option of taking up to 32 credits over four years. School staff and committee members hope the new curriculum will encourage students to take more classes.

From next year, all second-year students will be required to take a world history course, a requirement previously scrapped following budget cuts.

In other news, Superintendent Richard Green told the committee that vaping sensors have been installed in high school bathrooms.

“That helped deter what we think was the amount of use in school,” Green said.

School procedures state that the student must be in possession of a vape pen in order to be subject to disciplinary action, according to Green. All students who are in the bathroom when the sensor is triggered are searched and parents are notified.

According to Magee, teachers have reported fewer students leaving the classroom to go to the bathroom.

Transport and operations director Allen Ouellette told the committee that some of the water fixtures tested in schools in Lisbon had high levels of lead.

All Maine schools are required to test school plumbing fixtures for lead this year under state law. The administrators have received the first results from the four schools in Lisbon and will soon send a letter to inform the community.

Ouellette said they retest faucets that have high levels of lead.

“There were no concerns about our water fountains,” Ouellette said. “None of these came back positive or high in lead. They are all utilitarian receptacles for water.

Some of these containers will be replaced, he confirmed. Others will be marked indicating that the water from the fixtures is not potable.

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