By Ralph Iannotti

PENN HILLS (KDKA) — The Penn Hills School Board of Directors has done an about face and lifted its ban on students wearing hoodies in school.

The reversal came Friday, just days after dozens of students were suspended because they violated the dress code. They were wearing hoodies.

School Superintendent Dr. Nancy Hines released a statement Friday afternoon, saying in part, “A majority of School Directors opted to lift the ban temporarily to allow students to wear garments with hoods.”

The word used in the press release was “opted,” not “voted.” A board vote would require a public meeting.

Dr. Hines’ statement went on to say: “For those who opt to wear hoods while in our school buildings, they will be referred for further board action.”

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School Board member Erin Vecchio told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “We’re going against something we already voted on; it’s ridiculous.”

Board member Pauline Calabrese complained about a lack of transparency. She said the hoodie ban should have been debated openly, followed by a public vote.

When KDKA tried to interview parents and students about the dress code change at Friday night’s Penn Hills football game, we were asked to leave the school grounds.

The revised hoodie dress code policy goes into effect next Tuesday.

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