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Student Dress

Section J - Students

Policy Title: Student Dress
Policy Code: JICA
Lead Department: Academic Excellence

Print Version (in PDF)


The Board recognizes its obligation to provide schools in which the health, safety, and welfare of the students who attend those schools are given paramount consideration, and where a positive learning environment must be maintained.

The Board is aware of its obligations to make every effort to minimize the opportunities for student distraction and/or disruption in the schools under its jurisdiction.

The Governing Board specifies the standards of dress and grooming that promote a safe school setting conducive to a positive learning environment. This policy provides school administrators, teachers, and parents with clear expectations regarding acceptable and appropriate apparel and appearance so that rules of dress and discipline can be enforced consistently.

The Governing Board also establishes rules for the adoption of school uniforms at the school level.


  • Dress Code -- Set of parameters determined by the Governing Board that describes acceptable and unacceptable student apparel to ensure the health and safety of all students and create a learning environment.
  • Uniform/standardized dress code -- Distinctive clothing styles and/or specific colors worn by students as a means of identifying them as members of the school community. Determined by the local school site.
  • Gang symbols -- Any article of clothing, badge, sign, lettering, hairdo, jewelry, emblem, symbol or other personal display or adornment, which is intended by the student or is recognized or acknowledged by students or Gang Task Force to designate a gang symbol or to signify affiliation with, participation in or approval of a gang. The administrator will maintain a current list of recognized gang apparel and symbols that are prohibited and submit it to school safety.

School Dress Code (required at every school)
The Board expects the principal, teacher, parent, and student to collaborate in emphasizing students come to school dressed appropriately.

The general guide to acceptable school dress is neatness, cleanliness and appropriateness. There is a connection between the way a student is dressed and his/her behavior in school. While the school cannot and does not dictate styles, it is expected that students will abide by the following rules demonstrating appropriateness in dress as though this were their daily place of business.

  • Shoes are required to be worn in school.
  • No hats or caps may be worn in the confines of a building unless a documented health or religion issue or problem exists.
  • Hats and sunglasses may be worn while outside in the sun for an extended period of time for protection from the sun.
  • A principal in collaboration with school safety may institute stricter requirements at a high school experiencing safety related issues.
  • No bandannas may be worn.
  • Dark glasses may not be worn inside buildings unless a documented health problem exists.
  • No gang related apparel or items are allowed.
  • Students may not wear any clothing and/or accessories in school buildings or on school grounds that are:
    • Hazardous, damaging, or presenting danger to school property or persons including but not limited to: extended belts (belts should fit proper length), choke chains, dog collars, wallet chains or any type of spiked apparel or jewelry;
    • Depicting and/or promoting and/or endorsing illegal or violent activities, illegal drugs, tobacco or alcohol;
    • Vulgar, obscene, indecent, libelous, or degrading of others on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability; and/or
    • Distracting so as to interfere with the teaching or learning process such as extremely revealing garments including but not limited to short shorts, short skirts, short dresses (must cover buttocks while standing and sitting), tube tops, net tops, swimsuits, strapless tops, spaghetti strap tops, halter tops, muscle shirts, basketball shirts without an accompanying T-shirt, no tights or leggings to be worn as pants, garments with plunging necklines, transparent and see through garments, (midsections must be covered and undergarments shall be completely covered with outer clothing).

Compliance for Dress Code
Students who violate the District's dress standards may be asked to do any of the following depending upon the specific circumstances:

  • Turn inappropriate clothing inside out.
  • Change into clothing that may be provided by the school.
  • Change into other clothing which has been brought to school.
  • Remove the jewelry or other accessory.

Uniforms/Standardized Dress Code (optional)

  • If interest has been generated, the School Council will develop a plan to explore the issues with all stakeholder groups to determine if there is sufficient preliminary support in the community for Uniform/Standardized Dress Code.
  • If a decision is made to move forward, the School Council will gather broad public comments. (Examples - community forums, presentations, PTA meetings, panel discussions) This must include at least one public hearing.
  • After reviewing the public comment, the School Council will determine through shared governance whether or not to put the uniform policy to a vote of the school community.
  • The School Council will come to consensus regarding the development of the School Uniform/Standardized Dress Code to include the following elements:
    • Description of clothing: A description of clothing allowed and clothing prohibited beyond the District Policy, i.e., colors, logos, and styles will be articulated. This must be written in gender neutral language.
    • Protection of students' religious expression: A school uniform policy must accommodate students whose religious beliefs are substantially affected by a uniform requirement. Schools may not prohibit the wearing of religious attire.
    • Accommodations of students' disabilities or medical conditions: A school uniform policy must reasonably accommodate a student's disability or medical condition.
    • Students of limited means: Uniforms/standardized dress codes adopted at individual school sites shall be generic enough to avoid financial hardship on families. Assistance must be provided for families who cannot afford the school uniform.
    • Exemptions: Uniforms/Standardized Dress code policies shall include a provision that would allow the principal, at any time, to exempt a student from wearing a uniform at school, if requested in writing by the student's parent or guardian because of extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances are limited to the student's viability/medical condition or religious beliefs that are substantially affected by a uniform requirement.
  • Required Procedures for voting on a School Uniform/Standardized Dress Code.
    • The School Council will determine and monitor the procedures for voting, including options for increasing ballots returned.
    • Ballots must be provided to 100% of the parents or guardians of students who will be subject to the proposed dress code.
    • Voting is limited to one vote per each student's parent/guardian, and the votes received must be equal to or greater than a majority of the school student population. (50% or more).
    • Tally the vote and publicize the outcome.
  • Recommendation to the Governing Board for approval.
    • Must have received an 80% or greater favorable response from total votes received.
  • Following approval, the School Council shall develop an implementation plan allowing at least a two-month notice to families before the new dress code will be implemented and stated how it will be enforced.

Compliance for Uniform/Standardized Dress Code
If a student chooses not to comply with the school's uniform/standardized dress code

  • the administrator or counselor will hold a conference with the parent/guardian to solicit parental cooperation and support;
  • the administrator and parent may negotiate for the student to attend another school without a uniform/standardized dress code.

Students who have received exemption to the Uniform Dress Code due to religious expression, or accommodations for disabilities or medical conditions will not be subject to any discipline.

Discontinuance or Modification of Uniform/Standardized Dress Code

  • A petition signed by parents or guardians of 21% of the schools' students shall require a vote regarding discontinuance or modification of the Uniform/Standardized Dress Code.
  • The School Council may initiate reconsideration of the established or modification to the uniform code by following the process for developing the Uniform/Standardized Dress Code. This needs to include solicitation of public comment and voting.
  • Discontinuance or modification of Uniform/Standardized Dress Code must have greater than 50% favorable response from each student's parents/guardians.

Adopted: October 12, 2004
Revision: July 12, 2005
Revision: December 13, 2005
Revised: December 5, 2012 [Cross Reference Correction Only]
Reviewed: April 3, 2013

LEGAL REF.: A.R.S. 15-342 Powers and Duties of Boards

CROSS REF.: JB – Equal Educational Opportunities and Anti-Harassment
JICFB – Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment

Replaces TUSD Policy # 5340 Students' Dress