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Lynn schools amend dress code and curriculum

This article was published 11 months ago.

LYNN — School Committee members voted to approve changes to high school dress codes and K-5 curriculum at the James Leo McGuinness Administration Building on Thursday night at the Sixth Special Meeting of the School Committee. 

At the opening subcommittee meeting, Lynn Classical Class of 2025 President Amanda Hughes stood to present potential changes to the dress code. Hughes said that dress code restrictions on crop tops and spaghetti straps unfairly burdened female students.

“Too often, students feel as if the dress code is designed to punish female-identifying students for simply having bodies. Our bodies are not distractions,” Hughes told the committee. 

Hughes also said that dress code rules regarding head coverings are offensive to students of color, as many consider bonnets and durags a part of their culture. 

“Students of color, in particular, find it culturally offensive and short-sighted to eliminate head coverings such as durags and bonnets, which are cultural,” said Hughes.

After Hughes wrapped up her presentation, Lynn Public Schools Compliance Officer Charlie Gallo recounted the history of dress codes, reminding the council that shorts were banned in Lynn Public Schools before 2012. 

Gallo also said that a “sizeable minority” of the public found the dress code exclusionary and inequitable until it was amended again in 2021.

“Not most, but a sizeable minority, said that the dress code contained  provisions that were unfair, inequitable, or insensitive … they were mostly around race, culture, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status,”  Gallo said.

School Committee member Tiffany Magnolia motioned to remove back and shoulder coverings from the dress code, along with bans on head coverings other than hats, hoods, and bandanas, and bans on gloves and mittens. 

The School Committee unanimously approved the dress code changes.

Following discussions on dress code, members of the Curriculum Council presented their proposition to introduce Letterland and My View into the English Language Arts K-5 curriculum. 

Letterland, the K-3 curriculum, focuses on critical reading and vocabulary, but also features colorful images to increase engagement for Special Education students. My View, Curriculum Council Member Michelle Winslow said, helps students engage with “diverse stories,” that they can connect to their own experiences. My View, Winslow said, allowed students to “offer their opinions on the story subjects.”

The School Committee unanimously approved the adaptation of My View and Letterland.

Anthony Cammalleri can be reached at

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