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Evansville School Board declines to discuss pom pon uniforms

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GINA R. HEINE
February 9, 2010
— About 25 parents and students left the Evansville School Board meeting Monday night upset and dismayed after the board declined to discuss changes to the pom pon uniforms.

High School Principal Scott Everson, who late last year banned certain poms uniforms that didn’t conform to the school’s dress code, said after the meeting that the issue wasn’t over.


Board member Tina Rossmiller placed poms as an action item on Monday’s agenda and made a motion to reinstate all poms uniforms until district standards could be established and implemented.


After several moments of silence, the motion died for lack of a second.


“Unbelievable!” one parent said.


Poms parent Tina Widmyer signed up to speak on the issue and addressed the board after the vote.


“I’m really disappointed that you guys don’t believe in these girls enough to at least make a discussion out of this,” she said. “We’re not asking you to vote for it. We’re asking you to be open-minded about something I think has become a personal agenda instead of a school agenda.”


The policy pertaining to co- and extracurricular activities is on the agenda for the district’s policy committee meeting at 8 a.m. Thursday. Any recommendations on policy changes from that committee would go to the school board for three readings, Rossmiller said, so “this is going to be around for several months yet.”


“I’m just really disappointed,” she said after the meeting. “It’s one thing if you want to disagree … but for them not to even open it up for discussion, even if they disagreed with me, I’m just totally disappointed.”


Poms captain Rachel Ammerman said team members are upset because they feel they are being singled out. They just want the team to be treated fairly compared to other sports, she said.


Everson, who started in Evansville in fall, has said he responded to comments from the community about poms uniforms. The result was banning a spaghetti-strap tank top and other uniforms that violate the dress code. The district is buying the team two new sets of tops.


Eight people spoke against the changes at January’s board meeting. Widmyer then proposed the board form a committee to create uniform guidelines.


No board members voiced an opinion on the topic then either.


Everson said after the meeting that he and Athletic Director Brian Cashore have talked with coaches and play and music directors about dress codes. No other changes have been made, he said, but that’s not to say changes won’t be made.


“I’m just trying to do what I think is right,” Everson said.



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