LISBON — School Committee members praised two Lisbon High school seniors who presented a revised dress code proposal at their meeting Monday. The proposed change would relax restrictions on shirt length and hats.

Committee members additionally discussed offering four high school diplomas with distinction and requiring all high school students to take a world history course, but did not vote on any proposal during the workshop.

Seniors Maia Tebbets and Morgan Washburn, members of the high school Student Voice Committee, told committee members that many people feel the current dress code is too restrictive and unfair for some students.

Their proposal would allow students to wear shirts which expose up to two to three fingers of midriff and hats indoors, unless a teacher requests otherwise in their classroom.

“Most shirts sold in stores are not full length tops anymore,” Tebbets said. “(It) is really difficult to find shirts that when you’re moving around, they don’t show any midriff at all.”

Two to three fingers of exposed midriff “fits in a lot more with modern styles and is a lot easier to find in stores,” she added.


Both students agreed that the dress code can be particularly difficult for larger students. Clothing fits bodies differently, they said.

They believe relaxing the dress code would be a benefit to both students and teachers.

School Committee members were receptive to the proposal, with one member agreeing that shirts in stores have become shorter. However, a couple of members said they were not sold on allowing hats in school.

Under the students’ proposal, hoods would still be banned.

“I think if it causes less distractions during the day, then I think it’s necessary” to update the dress code, committee member Margaret Galligan-Schmoll said.

Lisbon High School English teacher Lynne Gervais presented the committee with a plan to offer four diplomas with distinction as a way to recognize students who go above and beyond in their studies.


A diploma with distinction would be awarded to students who meet the minimum grade point average in their target distinction and have earned at least 28 credits by graduation, six more credits than the standard high school diploma.

If approved, students would have the option of pursuing a catch-all liberal arts distinction, a humanities distinction, a math and science distinction or a fine arts distinction, which includes both art and music courses.

To earn the humanities distinction, for example, a student would need to earn at least a 3.0 grade point average in all English, social studies and world language courses, and pursue six additional credits in those topics. The grade point average requirement is the same for all four diplomas with distinction.

Currently, students have the opportunity to take up to 32 credits in four years.

Gervais said the diplomas with distinction are to encourage students to take more classes and better prepare them for college academics.

According to a hand-out, the 22 credit requirement means that “many students spend up to one-third of their high school careers in study halls or out (of school) with (privileges).”


“It would definitely address the sizes of our study halls, which is a big concern,” Superintendent Richard Green said.

Committee members heard a third proposal from high school social studies teacher Ryan Bernard, who requested that the district once again require all students to take a world history course.

Bernard argued that most neighboring schools require the class, adding that Lisbon students who graduate without it are at a disadvantage. No other course lends itself to discussing topics of global importance, such as the war in Ukraine, he said.

Committee members spoke in favor of Bernard’s proposal, noting that requiring sophomores to take world history would also reduce the size of study halls.

World history was previously a required course in Lisbon High School, according to Bernard, but was dropped due to budget cuts. If approved, the requirement would apply only to current freshmen and lower grades.

The committee will vote on each of the three proposals at their next meeting Oct. 10 in the Town Office.

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