Parents and Students Protest in Mabton
Parents and students in Mabton are protesting a new student dress code at Mabton High School.
It's one of a couple of changes at the school that parents say took them by surprise.
Tawnya Ibarra, like other parents protesting in front of the Mabton School District office, is upset.
She thought she'd finished clothes shopping for the upcoming school year.
"Now they're telling us 'too bad, you have to wear a uniform.' that's not fair," says Ibarra.
About 40 people carried signs and picketed the school district office this morning -- unhappy about two changes at the high school this fall.
First, students would be required follow a dress code -- including ties, button up shirts, skirts and dress pants -- school officials hope to eliminate inappropriate clothing, including gang colors and symbols.
Second, the adminstrators want a closed campus for freshman and sophomores -- they say to protect the younger students from potential harm on the road.
Mabton High Senior Adrian Gutierrez says it doesn't make sense.
"Me and a lot of my friends, and a lot of people from our school go to the store to eat their lunch, and we go home," says Gutierrez.
School officials say they aren't just making these changes for safety reasons, they're also doing it to promote academics.
"Ultimately, that's what these initiatives are for. There have been other changes that have occurred in the last couple of years, at least since my tenure here, but it's all for the purpose of increasing academic student achievement," says Mabton School Distric Superintendent Minerva Morales.
Tawnya Ibarra agrees that changes should be made, but what upsets her most, is the changes were made without parents knowledge.
"Let's review, research, hold a minimum of three public meetings, and then hold a proposal. Let's do this the right way, instead of trying to shove this down our throats," says Ibarra.