Originally created 07/31/05

Dress code for public schools

As you're shopping for back-to-school clothes, don't forget the dress codes. While most elementary and middle school pupils wear uniforms, high school students have more freedom to choose with a few limitations. Here's a condensed version of the codes at the Big Three.


- Banned items include clothing with pictures, emblems or writings that are gang-related, lewd, offensive, vulgar or obscene, or that advertise or depict tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, drugs or any other substances prohibited by law or school-district policy.

- The system also bans any material that is racially divisive or creates ill will or hatred.

- Body piercings are allowed only in ears.

- All students have to wear clothes that cover their fronts, stomachs, backs and sides from the shoulder to the waist.

- Undergarments cannot be exposed.

- Low necklines are not allowed on girls.


- The policy bans all body piercings for male students and limits it to earrings for female students.

- Extreme hair colors and styles, extreme clothing, head dress, fraternity and sorority insignia, gang-related clothing and metal caps on teeth are also banned.

- Clothing shouldn't have suggestive, vulgar or obscene pictures or language and shouldn't promote or advertise the use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco or stimulants.

- Coats and jackets must be the appropriate size and not too baggy.

- Shirts and blouses must be tucked in and clothing can't show the torso.

- Skirts above the knee aren't allowed.

- Shorts and pants can't be baggy, oversize, sagging or frayed. Unacceptable shorts include athletic shorts, spandex-style "bicycle" shorts, cutoff jeans, cutoff sweat pants, short shorts, running shorts and boxer-style shorts.

- Excessively large belt buckles are prohibited.

- Shoes must have a heel or heel strap, and shoelaces must be tied.

- Shower shoes, flip flops, thong shoes and house slippers are banned.

- Dark glasses are allowed only with a doctor's prescription.

- In addition to the dress code, elementary and middle school pupils also must wear uniforms.


- Unacceptable shirts or blouses include any that expose the torso - see-through garments, halters, spaghetti straps, backless dresses, tube tops, tank tops, bare midriff outfits, or shirts that are tied above the waist.

- Skirts and shorts must be fitted at the waist. As a general rule, the length of skirts and shorts must extend to the fingertips of the students when their arms are fully extended downward. Miniskirts are not allowed.

- Pants and shorts must be fitted at the waist. They cannot be baggy, frayed at the bottom, torn, tattered or ripped. Pants also cannot drag the floor.

- Athletic shorts, spandex-style "bicycle" shorts, cutoff jeans, cutoff sweat pants, short shorts, running shorts and see-through boxer-type shorts are not allowed.

- All belts must be secured at the waist and buckled.

- No hats or head covers can be worn inside a school building, unless worn for religious reasons.

- Bandannas of any type are not allowed.

- Fraternity or sorority insignias are forbidden.

- Sunglasses may not be worn inside, unless prescribed by a medical professional.

- Clothing advertising the use of narcotics, alcoholic beverages, tobacco or stimulant drugs which are illegal, are forbidden.

- No clothing bearing obscene pictures or vulgar language.

- Cheerleading uniforms can only be worn at pep rallies during the school day.

- Any excessive, or extreme, hairstyles, hair colors, body piercings or tattoos that are disruptive will not be allowed.


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