2200 Student Dress Code

Students/Parent/Community Washington County School District - Adopted 6-9-98; Revised 5-9-00; Revised 6-12-01; Revised 9-10-02.; Revised 5-9-06

Table of Contents

1. Purpose & Philosophy
2. Policy
3. Procedure
3.1 Standards
3.2 Gang Apparel
3.3 Uniform Procedures:
3.4 Notification & Action
3.5 Publication

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1. Purpose and Philosophy

The Board, herein, establishes the framework for school dress codes and the adoption of uniforms in the schools of Washington County School District, K-12, within the consideration that each student in the public schools should be allowed to learn in a safe environment which fosters the learning process, reduces peer competition, and is free from unnecessary disruption, including the wearing of certain types of clothing. School administrators, teachers, students and parents need clear dress and grooming guidelines so that rules of dress and discipline can be enforced consistently.

2. Policy:

2.1. Students who attend the schools of Washington County School District are expected to come to school dressed appropriately for school work by supporting the following dress and grooming standards: (12/11/84) 

2.2. The standard in the Washington County School District is that every school will be a safe place for each student to learn. This means that each school will have a positive learning environment free of intimidation, acts of violence, use or possession of a weapon, criminal behavior, or harm from gangs or anything related with gang-type appearance, dress, behavior, attitude or activity. (1/12/93) No gang-related attire will be permitted. 

2.3. It is the policy of the Washington County School Board and District to provide opportunity for, but not to require, uniforms for the students throughout the District. 

Ref: In l994, the Utah Legislature passed a law authorizing local school boards and individual public schools to adopt dress codes requiring students to wear a designated uniform "in order to help avoid the disruption of the classroom atmosphere and decorum and prevent disturbances among students."

Ref: In addition, courts have ruled that the following purposes are appropriate and reasonable pedagogical concerns that will support the adoption of school uniforms: (1) to promote a more effective climate for learning, (2) to create opportunities for self-expression, (3) to increase campus safety and security, (4) to foster school unity and pride, (5) to eliminate "label competition," (6) to ensure modest dress, (7) to minimize costs to parents and to level socioeconomic barriers.

2.3.1. Local public schools may include uniforms in the school dress codes, if the majority of parents voting at the election are in favor of uniforms. Students, as well as parents, are to be included in discussions regarding uniforms and the selection of uniforms. The local School Board, if more than one school, or the School Principal, if a single school, may adopt a school uniform policy, subject to the procedures in 3.3.

2.3.2. Only parents and guardians of student subject to the proposed uniform policy may vote at the election, limited to one vote per family.

2.3.3. A school uniform policy adopted under this policy shall include a provision allowing a principal at any time during the school year to grant an exemption from wearing a uniform to a student because of extenuating circumstances. (9-10-02) 

2.3.4. A vote to discontinue an adopted school uniform policy may not take place during the first year of its operation.

3. Procedure:

3.1. Dress and Grooming standards:
3.1.1. The attire and grooming of all students should be neat, clean and safe. 

3.1.2. Students have the responsibility to avoid apparel that is so extreme that it interrupts school decorum, or adversely affects the educational process.  Extreme includes any piercing of the body with the exception of the ear.  Gauging of the ear is, also, extreme.  (5-9-06)

3.1.3. Students have a responsibility to cooperate fully with clothing standards required for special classes (such as, shop, home economics, laboratories, physical education) and special school activities. 

3.1.4. Hair, including beards, mustaches and sideburns, should be groomed so that it is neat and clean. Extreme hairstyles are prohibited. Hair color should be within the spectrum of color that hair grows naturally. 

3.1.5. Printed apparel is acceptable only if it is in good taste. Any apparel displaying profanity, suggestive slogans, or promoting substances illegal for consumption by a minor, will not be allowed. 

3.1.6. Hats are not to be worn in school buildings during regular school hours. 

3.1.7. Clothes that are mutilated or immodest are not appropriate school wear. Any apparel revealing a bare midriff or bare shoulders, or cut low under the arms, is not permissible, including when raising arms. Tank tops, without a covering garment or t-shirt underneath are not permissible. Sleeveless shirts must cover from neck to outside of shoulder. 

3.1.8. Dresses, shorts, skirts, shirts, and blouses should be modest in length and not revealing. Shorts should be long shorts, i.e. about four inches above the top of the knee cap in a standing position. 

3.1.9. Any apparel approved for school wear should be worn in accompaniment with appropriate undergarments and suitable footwear. Shoes, boots and sandals are considered suitable footwear.

3.1.10. Clothing attachments or accessories which could be considered weapons are not allowed. 

3.2. Gang apparel and participation are described as follows:

3.2.1. A "Gang" as defined in this policy means any organization, association, or group of three or more which has a unique name or identifiable signs, symbols, or marks, and whose members individually or collectively engage in criminal or violent behavior to persons or property, or who create an unreasonable and substantial disruption or risk of disruption of a class, activity, program, or other function of a school. 

3.2.2. Students are prohibited from engaging in any form of gang activity on or about school property or at any school activity, including the wearing, possessing, using, distributing, displaying, or selling of any gang attire, symbols, signs or other things which are evidence of membership in, or affiliation with, recruitment, or desire to be affiliated with, any gang. 

3.2.3. As gang styles and clothing continually evolve and change, the following prohibited items that have commonly denoted gang membership or affiliation are only representative of prohibited clothing. Additional styles and apparel may be considered gang-affiliated, as identified in consultation with school officials and law enforcement authorities: bandannas or any article of clothing bearing gang symbols, names, initials, insignia, or anything else that signals gang affiliation. 

3.3. Uniform Procedures:

3.3.1. Students, as well as parents, are to be included in discussions regarding uniforms and the selection of uniforms. 

3.3.2. Prior to voting on and adopting a uniform policy, the District, principal, or community council must hold at least one public hearing on the specific proposed policy so that parents, students, and faculty have an opportunity to comment and voice their opinions. 

3.3.3. The specific policy proposal must be submitted to the parents in the school for a vote, requiring approval from a majority of those parents or guardians voting at the election in order to implement the dress code. Only parents and guardians of students subject to the proposed uniform policy may vote at the election, limited to one vote per family.

3.3.4. Voting on the adoption of a school uniform dress code shall be designed in such a way that every parent in the school community has a reasonable and fair opportunity to be informed of the vote (notify at least three weeks prior to the proposed election with information to include date, time, place, and process of submitting a vote) and to cast a vote--one per family-3.3.3-- (e.g., having an election by mail-in ballot, holding an election at the school over several days, allowing for absentee ballots, etc.) Any election which results in disapproval shall have holding power for a period of two years; i.e., it shall not be subject to further votes for a period of two years from the date of disapproval.

3.3.5. If a vote approves a school uniform policy, a vote to discontinue an adopted school uniform policy may not take place during the first year of its operation, unless a vote is only to determine significant changes in the uniform policy, but not whether or not to have such a policy.

3.3.6. Only parents/guardians who will have children in the school the year the proposed school uniform dress code is to take effect are eligible to vote, but are restricted to one vote per family. 

3.3.7. No student shall be denied attendance at school, penalized, or otherwise subject to subtle coercion or disciplinary measures for failing to wear a school uniform if parents have "opted out" of a uniform policy. Those parents "opting-out" for their students may do so by seeking an exemption by meeting with the designated administrator for a clear explanation of the school uniform policy, to verify the accuracy of the information on the requested exemption, and submitting the completed application to the administrator responsible for exemptions at the school. The above exemption shall be for the current school year only and remains subject to all other District and school dress and grooming expectations. 

3.3.8. Each school that adopts a uniform policy shall communicate to parents/guardians the types and colors of the uniform, the requirements for jackets and other outer garments, optional articles of attire, if any, the availability of financial support and the methods by which students of limited means can apply for assistance, and information about where the uniform can be purchased. 

3.4. Administrators in the respective schools will notify students when they do not comply to the dress standard. The following actions may be taken:

3.4.1. Parents or guardian will be notified; 

3.4.2. Student may be sent home to change clothing; 

3.4.3. Suspension from school may occur for continued disregard for the dress and/or grooming standards. 

3.4.4. Wearing of gang attire may be subject to suspension and/or expulsion. 

3.5. Dress code policy is to be included in student and employee handbooks. 

Distribution: Board Members, Superintendent, Associations, Assistant Superintendents, Administrators and Principals.

6/11/98 2200

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