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South San Francisco USD |  BP  5132  Students

Dress And Grooming   

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The Governing Board believes that appropriate dress and grooming contribute to a productive learning environment. The Board expects students to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to wear clothes that are suitable for the school activities in which they participate. Students' clothing must not present a health or safety hazard or a distraction which would interfere with the educational process. Any clothing, emblem, baggage, jewelry, symbol or other insignia which creates a clear and present danger on school premises, affiliation with a gang, the violation of lawful school regulations, or the disruption of the orderly operation of the school is prohibited.

Hats that provide protection from the sun may be worn on school campus. Hats may only be worn outdoors. The types of hats and manner in which they may be worn shall be determined by each school's administration. However, specific hats that have been determined to be gang-related or otherwise inappropriate under this policy are prohibited.

Recent American society has seen an increase in street gang crimes committed over clothing. Street gang members desiring various types of clothing, or merely desiring to humiliate other gangs have engaged in aggressive and/or violent behavior. Street gang violence can spread from the streets to our schools, negatively impacting the school environment. Consequently, the Superintendent or designee may restrict individual student dress and grooming as necessary to comply with a board policy related to street gang activity.

Definition - Street Gang: For the purposes of this regulation, a street gang is defined as an ongoing organization, association or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, having as one of its primary activities the commission of one or more of the criminal acts enumerated in paragraphs one through 25, inclusive, of California Penal Code 186.22 (e), having a common name or identifying sign or symbol, and its members individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity.


The Board recognizes that, in order to promote student safety and discourage peer rivalry and/or street gang activity, the principal, staff, and/or parents/guardians at a district school may wish to establish a reasonable dress code requiring students to wear uniforms. Such a dress code may be included as part of the school safety plan and must be presented to the Board for approval.

The Superintendent or designee shall establish procedures whereby parents/guardians may choose to have their children exempted from wearing an adopted school uniform. Students shall not be penalized academically, otherwise discriminated against or denied attendance to school if their parents/guardians have complied with the established procedures to exempt the students from participation.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that resources are identified to assist economically disadvantaged students in obtaining uniforms.

Students that participate in a nationally organized youth organization shall be permitted to wear organization uniforms on days that the organization has a meeting.

Legal Reference:


32281 School safety plans

35183 School dress codes; uniforms

35183.5 Sun-protective clothing

48907 Student exercise of free expression

49066 Grades; effect of physical education class apparel


302 Pupils to be neat and clean on entering school


Marvin H. Jeglin et al v. San Jacinto Unified School District et al, (C.D. Cal. 1993)

827 F.Supp. 1459

Arcadia Unified School District v. California Department of Education, (1992) 2 Cal. 4th 251

Hartzell v. Connell, (1984) 35 Cal. 3d 899


adopted: November 18, 2010 South San Francisco, California