Officials at the Pottsdown Middle School in Pennsylvania have banned the wearing of “open top” UGG-style boots at the school, believing that they are being used to smuggle contraband items into the classroom.
In a letter sent home to parents from principal Gail Cooper, it has been made clear that “open top boots” are banned in classrooms, writes Amanda Carey at ABC News.
“Following several problems with these items, I have banned the outdoor, open top boots from our classrooms,” the letter stated.
“Students may continue to wear outdoor boots to and from school to protect them from cold, snow and ice but need to change into a pair of sneakers or shoes before entering homeroom.”
Students have been mainly hiding cell phones in their boots.
John Armato, director of community relations at the Pottstown School District, said that the move has come in light of several cases where students have hidden banned personal electronic devices, like cell phones, in the boots.
Students must keep their devices in their lockers between 7:55 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The devices are banned from the classroom due to their ability to cause disruption and distraction.
“It is a ruling that is made to address a particular situation,” Armato said.
“If the problem goes away, there is no need for the rule.”
However, the move has been met with considerable criticism, with many parents believing that the ban infringes upon students’ rights to wear certain fashions.
Middle school parent Adrienne Beyer thinks the ban is extreme, reports the Telegraph.
“I understand there may be a handful of kids that shove cell phones down their boots, but why does the handful have to ruin it for the other 600 students? But, I said to my daughter, ‘It’s a rule and we’re going to follow it,'” Beyer said.
While the district has a mandatory uniform for middle school students, shoes, boots and sneakers that blend in or match with the uniform are permitted. It does state, however, that if clothing disrupts learning, the administration has the right to set rules about questionable attire, writes Carey.
Officials say that students who persist in wearing the boots should expect to face letters home and possible detentions.