School Board Policy 504 -
Student Dress and Appearance

Adopted: july 22, 1996
REVISED: june 11, 2001
revised: august 25, 2003
revised: november 8, 2007
revised: january 11, 2010
revised: march 11, 2013
Revised: february 20, 2014
revised: june 10, 2017

REVISED: July 15, 2019

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to enhance the education of students by establishing expectations of dress and grooming that are related to educational goals.

II. General Statement of Policy

A. The policy of this school district is to encourage students to be dressed appropriately for school activities. This is a joint responsibility of the student and the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s).

B. Appropriate clothing includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Clothing appropriate for the weather.

2. Clothing that does not create a health or safety hazard.

3. Clothing appropriate for the activity (i.e., physical education or the classroom).

C. Inappropriate clothing includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Clothing that is disruptive to the educational process.

2. Clothing bearing a message or image which is lewd, vulgar, or obscene.

3. Apparel promoting products or activities that are illegal for use by minors.

4. Objectionable emblems, badges, symbols, signs, words, objects or pictures on clothing or jewelry communicating a message that is racist, sexist, or otherwise derogatory to a protected minority group, evidences gang membership or affiliation, or approves, advances or provokes any form of religious, racial or sexual harassment and/or violence against other individuals as defined in School Board Policy 413.

5. Any apparel or footwear that would damage school property.

6. Head covering, or item that conceals a student's identity are not allowed to be worn in the building except with the approval of the building principal (e.g. student undergoing chemotherapy; medical situations, or student's religious practice or belief.)

7. Attire that indicates or suggests gang association. “Gang,” as defined in this policy, means any 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 criminal acts, which has an identifiable name or identifying sign or symbol, and whose members individually or collectively engage in or whose members engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity. “Pattern of criminal gang activity” means the commission, attempt to commit, conspiring to commit, or solicitation of two or more criminal acts, provided the criminal acts were committed on separate dates or by two or more persons who are members of or belong to the same criminal street gang.

D. It is not the intention of this policy to abridge the rights of students to express political, religious, philosophical, or similar opinions by wearing apparel on which such messages are stated. Such messages are acceptable as long as they are not racist, sexist, lewd, vulgar, obscene, defamatory or profane, or do not advocate violence or harassment against others. Specifically, but not exclusively, wearing or displaying the Confederate flag, a swastika, and KKK signs are prohibited on school property or while attending school district activities.

III. Procedures

A. When, in the judgment of the administration, a student's appearance, grooming, or mode of dress interferes with or disrupts the educational process or school activities, or poses a threat to the health or safety of the student or others, the student will be directed to make modifications or will be sent home for the day. Parents/guardians will be notified.

B. The administration may recommend a form of dress considered appropriate for a specific event and communicate the recommendation to students and parents/guardians.

C. Likewise, an organized student group may recommend a form of dress for students considered appropriate for a specific event and make such recommendation to the administration for approval.

Legal References:
U. S. Const., amend. I
Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 89 S.Ct. 733, 21 L.Ed.2d 731 (1969)
B.W.A. v. Farmington R-7 Sch. Dist., 554 F.3d 734 (8th Cir. 2009)
Lowry v. Watson Chapel Sch. Dist., 540 F.3d 752 (8th Cir. 2008)
Stephenson v. Davenport Cmty. Sch. Dist., 110 F.3d 1303 (8th Cir. 1997)
D.B. ex rel. Brogdon v. Lafon, 217 Fed.Appx. 518 (6th Cir. 2007) 
Hardwick v. Heyward, No. 4:06-cv-1042-TLW, 2012 WL761249 (D.S.C.) Mar. 8, 2012)
Madrid v. Anthony, 510 F.Supp.2d 425 (S.D. Tex. 2007)
McIntire v. Bethel School, Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 3, 804 F.Supp. 1415 (W.D. Okla. 1992)
Hicks v. Halifax County Bd. of Educ., 93 F.Supp.2d 649 (E.D. N.C. 1999) 
Olesen v. Bd. of Educ. of Sch. Dist. No. 228, 676 F.Supp. 820, (N.D. Ill. 1987)

Cross References:
WBLASB Policy 413 (Harassment and Violence)
WBLASB Policy 506 (Student Discipline)
WBLASB Policy 525 (Violence Prevention)