The school district's new dress code won't pose a big problem at Kelly Walsh High School despite a group of students who are saying they will deliberately disobey it when the school year starts next month, its principal said Thursday.

"It's a board policy and we're going to follow the board policy, and enforce it like we believe everyone else will," Brad Diller said.

"I think a lot of it is going to be a matter of education and talking to kids, and then we'll go from there," Diller said. "I think that if everybody comes in and keeps a level head, we talk to kids and we're going to be fine. I'm not as nervous about this as I think some other people are."

The Natrona County School District's board of trustees adopted the new policy on June 8, more than a month after it was proposed in an effort to "clarify expectations regarding certain behaviors in school," board Chairman Dave Applegate said in June.

A high school expectations committee received comments about the draft policy from policy received comments from teachers, administrators, parents and board members.

But no students, a Kelly Walsh High School junior said Wednesday.

"I’m pretty sure that at whatever board meeting they had, they didn’t have any students like us who were up there talking about how we felt, because obviously if there was, no voices got heard,” Cielo Guerra said.
Diller said that he wasn't on the committee that drafted the policy, so he doesn't know if it solicited views from students.
Defiance against Natrona County dress code Facebook page

Guerra's sister, Tricity, started a Facebook page Tuesday called "Defiance against Natrona County dress code" that now has 2,200 members. Some of them have said they intend to deliberately flout the new policy on the first day of school to gain the attention of the administrators of the district and the high schools.

Other students have started a petition drive and intend to speak at the board's next meeting at the district's Central Services building, 970 N. Glenn, at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24.
Regardless, Diller said he and Kelly Walsh administrators have a job to do.

"We're dealing with young adults here, and you try to reason with them and most of them understand there are rules," he said. "And this is a rule that the district has put in force."

Most students do well, he said. "We have pretty positive relationships with most of our kids, and they understand."

The school year, with the new dress code, may start as a bumpy ride but that will quickly smooth out, he said.

"We're going to make this work," Diller said. "I have no doubt that we're going to make this work at our school."

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