Academy Park High School protest: Southeast Delco School Board votes to rescind hoodie ban after uproar

SHARON HILL, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — After a four-hour emergency school board meeting Wednesday night, the Southeast DelCo school board voted to lift its ban on hoodies and hats.

Hundreds of parents and students attended the emergency meeting at Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill, raising concerns about safety and issues related to the new dress code.

The meeting comes after a student protest spiraled out of control on Tuesday morning. Students protested a new school board policy banning hoodies and hats.

After a peaceful demonstration, fighting broke out inside and outside the school, leading to a riot by district-wide police and the arrest of at least 10 students.

ALSO SEE: Delco School Hoodie Ban Protest Ends in Brawls, 10 Students Arrested

“All the rioting and calling the police wasn’t necessary,” School Board President Theresa Harris Johnson said. “You could have asked to meet with admins… You didn’t solve anything with what you did yesterday.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, parents and students argued that the school board should not have issued the ban at the last minute and without warning.

“I understand why the rule was introduced,” said eleventh grader Chaniya Harris. “It was just the way they went about it, absolutely horrible and inappropriate. They didn’t take into account how we were feeling, they didn’t take into account our current wardrobes.”

Some parents argue that they have kids who are anemic and need these hoodies to stay warm. Others argue that they cannot afford new clothes for their children. Many said the school board should instead address bigger issues like staff shortages and hygiene concerns at the school.

“I understand that the teachers want the kids to be able to identify the kids, so they wanted the hoodies to be completely removed, but maybe we can come to an agreement if they just wear the hoodies and remove their hoods,” said parent Tawana Wilson.

The board voted to override the vote as long as students self-govern and keep the hoodies down during class.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved. Academy Park High School protest: Southeast Delco School Board votes to rescind hoodie ban after uproar

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