One East Tennessee school district is modernizing its dress code.
The Sevier County Board of Education passed a policy revision Monday afternoon to make changes to its dress code for Pre-K through 12th grade.
Debra Cline, assistant superintendent of schools, said this is the first time the dress code has seen any major changes since 1999.
Students can now wear leggings, clothing with tears, rips or frays, and sleeveless tops.
"We feel like although we've made adjustments, there will still be that good uniform consistency that will provide a safe and orderly environment in the school," Cline said.
Cline said the school system looked carefully at the dress code already in place and gathered feedback from stakeholders across the district to update the policy so it's more reflective of modern day.
In order to wear leggings or similar bottom wear, students must wear a top that covers the student's backside.
Tears, rips or frays are allowed in bottom wear when they are located below the wearer's fingertips when arms or hands are fully extended. Exposed skin areas must be covered if that requirement is not met.
Sleeveless tops are now permitted as long as the shoulder area is covered with non see-through material. The updated code also adds that straps of less than the child's hand width and tank tops do not meet these requirements.
Cline said all safety measures are still in place, and she does not believe the changes will be a disruption to the learning environment.
"I think students will be excited about it, and at the same time, I think we all feel comfortable that we're moving forward in a safe and secure fashion to maintain good order in our schools," Cline added.
Veronica DeFoe, a sophomore at Pigeon Forge High School, said she is excited to see the new, more flexible changes.
"I thought it was absolutely amazing," DeFoe said. "I think it gives us more of an opportunity to express ourselves in the way that we dress."
The new changes go into effect immediately, and DeFoe said it will affect what she chooses to wear to school tomorrow.
"Heck yeah," DeFoe said. "I'm going to wear ripped jeans tomorrow."
DeFoe said there are still some other dress code issues she would like to see changed, but she said this is a step in the right direction for students to express themselves better.
"I just wish they would change to colored hair, but I mean, this is a great medium," she said. "I can definitely work with this."