A school is a public place with a clear purpose. It is a community in which members have the right to feel comfortable and safe yet free to express them as long as that expression is not in conflict with others’ right to feel comfortable and safe. Dress choices should not interfere with student learning. Our policy has the following elements:
- An understanding that all members of the school community have the right to feel comfortable and safe, and have the right to individual expression that is not in conflict with others’ rights to feeling comfortable and safe or their rights to an appropriate learning environment.
- Students’ dress should be appropriate to the common activities in a school; that is, they should be comfortable and generally non-distracting to others (e.g. no bear-suits or gowns and heels);
- If a teacher feels that a student is dressed in such a way that others in the community might reasonably find offensive or that might reasonably make others feel uncomfortable, that teacher will have a private conversation with the student to discuss his or her concerns. If the concern is modest, the teacher will simply ask that the student consider that perspective of others when making wardrobe choices. If the concern is more serious, the teacher will involve an administrator in the discussion, which may conclude in the assistant principal or principal directing the student to make a different wardrobe choice. In these cases, we will include the student’s parent in the conversation.