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San Mateo Un HSD |  AR  5132  Students

Student Dress Code   

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Basic Principles:

* The student dress code should serve to support all students to develop a body-positive self-image.

* All students are encouraged to dress in a manner that is comfortable and conducive to an active school day and allows them to express their self-identified gender.

* Students should be able to wear clothing without fear of or actual unnecessary discipline or body shaming.

The following guidelines shall apply to all regular school activities:

1. Clothes shall be sufficient to conceal undergarments. Shirts or tops must be worn at all times and must cover the back, front and sides of the torso. .

2. Shoes must be worn at all times.

3. Hats, caps and other head coverings shall not cover the face unless for religious purposes. Masks are not allowed unless for a medical purpose.

4. Students CANNOT Wear Clothing, jewelry and personal items (backpacks, fanny packs, gym bags, water bottles etc.) that depict:

a. Violent language or images

b. Images or language depicting drugs, alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, e-cigarette or vaping, hate speech, profanity, pornography (or any illegal item or activity) or the use of the same

c. Images or language that create a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class (defined as race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion).

Additional Considerations:

Coaches and teachers may impose more stringent dress requirements to accommodate the special needs of certain sports and/or classes (i.e. two piece swimsuits may be worn if they are secure, and have straps (no ties, strings) athletic shoes for PE, closed toed shoes for safety purposes in specific classes).

No grade of a student participating in a physical education class shall be adversely affected if the student does not wear standardized physical education apparel because of circumstances beyond the student's control. (Education Code 49066)

The principal, staff, students and parent/guardians at each school may establish reasonable student dress code for times when students are engaged in extracurricular or other special school activities.

Each school shall allow students to wear sun-protective clothing, including but not limited to hats, for outdoor use during the school day. (Education Code 35183.5)

Students who participate in a nationally recognized youth organization shall be allowed to wear organization uniforms on days when the organization has a scheduled meeting. (Education Code 35183)

Policy Implementation:

* All staff should be trained to understand the purpose/spirit of the code, the actual code, and how to enforce with the least impact on student learning.

* All staff are expected to enforce the district dress code consistently, once it is adopted.

* All staff shall not enforce a school's dress code more strictly against transgender and gender nonconforming students than other students.

* All staff should not have discretion to vary the requirements in ways that lead to discriminatory enforcement.

* All staff should be trained and able to use student/body-positive language to explain the code and to address code violations.

* Violations should be treated as minor on the continuum of school rule violations.

* Enforcement should be consistent with a school's overall discipline plan. Failure to comply with the student dress code should be enforced consistently with comparable behavior and conduct violations.

* Students should not be removed from a classroom for a dress code violation unless they are violating the ¬¨√ęStudents Cannot Wear' sections of the dress code. Loss of class time should be avoided or kept to a minimum.

* Students should be presented with a variety of options to rectify the situation. This could include but is not limited to: personal on-site clothing, school-offered clothing, and delivery of alternate clothing. Students should not be forced to wear extra school clothing (that isn't their own) when they are in violation of the code.

* Parents/guardians should not be called during the school day to bring alternative clothing for the student to wear for the remainder of the day unless by student request.

* No student should be disproportionately affected by dress code enforcement because of gender, race, body size, or body maturity.

* Students should not be shamed or required to display their body in front of others (students, parents, or staff) in school. "Shaming" includes but is not limited to kneeling or bending over to check attire fit, measuring/commenting on straps, skirt length, or cleavage, asking students to account for their attire in the classroom, and directing students to correct a dress code violation during instructional time.

* This dress code should be followed on all school days (spirit days and other special events are included).

Gang-Related Apparel

At individual schools that have a student dress code prohibiting gang-related apparel at school or school activities, the principal (in consultation with local law enforcement), staff and parents/guardians participating in the development of the school safety plan shall define "gang-related apparel" and shall limit this definition to apparel that reasonably could be determined to threaten the health and safety of the school environment if it were worn or displayed on a school campus. (Education Code 32282)

Because gang-related symbols are constantly changing, definitions of gang-related apparel shall be reviewed at least once each semester and updated whenever related information is received.


approved: February 21, 2019 San Mateo, California