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Student Dress

Section J - Students

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

Print Version (in PDF)

Purpose:

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 recognizes that each student's mode of dress and grooming is a manifestation of personal style and individual preference. The Board will not interfere with the right of students and their parents to make decisions regarding their appearance except when their choices affect the educational program of the schools or the health and safety of others.

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.

Definitions

  • 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)
Student attire and grooming must permit the student to participate in learning without posing a risk to the health or safety of any student or school district personnel.

  • Students must wear clothing including both a shirt with pants or skirt, or the equivalent (for example dresses, leggings, or shorts) and shoes.
  • Hats and other head coverings are not permitted on school grounds except as an expression of religious beliefs.
    • Hats and sunglasses may be worn while outside in the sun for an extended period of time for protection from the sun.
    • Dark glasses may not be worn inside buildings unless a documented health problem exists.
  • Clothing must cover the chest and torso, and must cover buttocks while standing and sitting.
  • Clothing must cover undergarments.
  • Clothing must not be see-through.
  • Clothing must be suitable for all scheduled classroom activities, including physical education, science labs, shop classes, and other activities where unique hazards or specialized attire or safety gear is required.
  • Students who volunteer for extracurricular activities, such as athletics, band, chorus, etc., are subject to the standards of dress as defined by the sponsors of such activities.

Attire or grooming depicting or advocating violence, criminal activity, gang-related activity, use of alcohol, vaping, tobacco or drugs, pornography, or hate speech are prohibited. Clothing containing images, symbols, slogans, words, or phrases that are homophobic, religiously or racially discriminatory or that perpetuate gender based discrimination or defamation are distracting and interfere with the teaching and learning environment.

Students and parent/guardians will be informed about dress and grooming standards at the beginning of the school year through the Student Handbook and whenever these standards are revised. A student who violates these standards shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

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.

School Enforcement of Dress Codes

School-level level dress codes shall be written and enforced using gender neutral language.

Discussions with a student about violations of dress standards shall be held in a way that maintains the student’s privacy and dignity.

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
Revised: April 9, 2019

LEGAL REF.:
A.R.S. 15-341 General Powers and Duties
A.R.S. 15-342 Discretionary Powers and Duties

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