PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – McKeesport Area High School marks the final stop on our tour for the year. KDKA Radio’s Mike Pintek was welcomed with the musical styling of their jazz band.
McKeesport students enjoy a variety of extracurricular activities like vocational training and clubs. Some of the clubs discussed were robotics, debate, speech, theater and technical education.
For the past three years, the students have followed a hard-lined dress code that requires no jeans or tee-shirts. Some of the items they can wear are khakis, collared shirts and girls are limited to skirts three-inches above the knee. They faculty believes that this is a great policy.
Principal Mr. Mark Holtzman has discovered that when they started this dress code, the incidents at school decreased. He even remarked that he noticed on days that they dress down there seems to be more tension in the air.
“Unfortunately, I was the catalyst for the dress code and all the students pretty much know that; but needless to say, I was at a conference listening to a dynamic speaker and as she showed photos of her students at an out-of-state school district, I noticed the way they were dressed,” said Holtzman. “And that’s one thing that’s bothered me since I’ve been here, the way in which we… our reputation here as a school, as a community, things of that nature, and I’m always trying to rebuild that and continue to kind of foster the tradition here at the school.”
Holtzman was published in a journal where he was asked to write about how the dress code changed his school. He went back and researched the number of incidents before the dress code to now, and he discovered they dropped 48 percent. That’s about 600 infractions that were eliminated.
Another subject the students were interested in talking about is bullying. Pintek presented the question, “Is there bullying at your school?”
The answers he received sparked a huge debate over why bullies attack the weak, why people can’t just ignore them, and cyber bullying.
“Personally, I always tell when I see something or I do something to intervene because I think that’s the right thing to do,” said a female student. “That’s the way I was raised, and I think bullying really comes down to how you are at home and it comes down to parenting. So, I always think bystanders should always stand up and do the right thing.”