The board believes that the dress and personal appearance of students greatly affect their academic performance and their interaction with other students. The board requests that parents outfit their children in clothing that is conducive to learning. Generally, dress and grooming standards as determined by the student and his or her parents will be deemed acceptable. However, the board prohibits any appearance or clothing that does the following: (1) violates the guidelines in this policy or a reasonable dress code adopted and publicized by the school; (2) is substantially disruptive; (3) is provocative or obscene; or (4) endangers the health or safety of the student or others.
All students must observe the following guidelines:
- Shorts, skirts, and dresses must be at least knee length.
- Shirts and tops should be high enough to cover the chest. No sleeveless shirts or tops are allowed at the middle and high schools. Tank tops, spaghetti straps, tube tops, halter tops, see-through shirts, mesh shirts, and clothing that expose the midriff or chest are not appropriate nor allowed. Shirts and tops should be without non-functional holes. Undergarments should not be seen.
- Clinging or form-fitting clothing (pajamas, leggings, jeggings) are not permitted.
- Pants and shorts must be properly fitting and fastened at the waist. Pants, shorts, skirts, and dresses must be without non-functional holes above the knee. No sagging pants allowed. Undergarments must not be seen.
- Clothing, jewelry, emblems, badges, symbols, signs, visible tattoos and body markings, or other items that are vulgar or obscene, encourage illegal drug use, or depict gang affiliation are prohibited. Each principal shall, in consultation with the local police department, compile a list of current gang symbols. The items on this list shall be considered to depict gang affiliation and shall be prohibited. This list shall be frequently updated and publicized to the students whenever changes are made.
- Appropriate footwear must be worn at all times. Footwear must be properly laced, tied, buckled, and fastened at all times. Appropriate footwear is that which can be worn safely and without distraction in the school environment without fear of injury to oneself or others. Bedroom shoes are not allowed.
- No sun/shade glasses are to be worn in the building unless it is medically prescribed that they be worn indoors.
- No hats or caps are allowed. No hoodies/hooded coats are allowed at the high school level. No head gear (bandannas, kerchiefs, curlers, doo-rags, hair wraps, etc.) is to be worn unless required for religious or medical reasons. Toboggans are allowed outside.
- Schools may exceed or clarify this dress code policy with approval of the superintendent and board notification.
Principals may use their discretion to approve attire outside the prescribed dress code policy for special school functions, such as Spirit Week, etc.
Principals or the superintendent can make exceptions to this policy based on medical or religious reasons.
Before being disciplined, a student who is not in compliance with this policy or a school dress code shall be given a reasonable period of time to make adjustments so that he or she will be in compliance. Disciplinary consequences for a student who fails to comply after being offered this opportunity shall be consistent with policy 4300, Student Code of Conduct. The superintendent or designee shall list the specific range of consequences that may be imposed on a student for violation of the dress code.
Legal References: G.S. 115C-47, -390.2
Cross References: Student Code of Conduct (policy 4300), School Plan for Management of Student Behavior (policy 4302), Disruptive Behavior (policy 4315)
Revised: 10/3/11, 6/4/12
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