School Policies > Model Student Dress Code

Castle High School Model Student Dress Code

Castle High School created this Model Dress Code to update and improve our student dress code policies and enforcement processes. The student dress code supports equitable educational access and is written in a manner that does not reinforce stereotypes, or increase marginalization or oppression of any group based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, household income, gender identity or cultural observance. 

 

Our values are: 

  • All students should be able to dress comfortably for school without fear of  or actual unnecessary discipline or body shaming. 

  • All students and staff should understand that they are responsible for managing their own personal "distractions" without regulating individual students' clothing/self expression. 

  • Teachers can focus on teaching without the additional and often  uncomfortable burden of dress code enforcement. 

  • Students should not face unnecessary barriers to school attendance.

  • Reasons for conflict and inconsistent discipline should be minimized whenever possible. 

 

I. GOALS OF A STUDENT DRESS CODE 
Our student dress code should accomplish several goals:  

  • Maintain a safe learning environment in classes where protective or supportive clothing is needed, such as CTE, chemistry/biology (eye or body protection), dance (bare feet, tights/leotards), or PE (athletic  attire/shoes). 

  • Allow students to wear clothing of their choice that is comfortable. 

  • Allow students to wear clothing that expresses their self-identified gender. 

  • Allow students to wear religious attire without fear of discipline or discrimination. 

  • Prevent students from wearing clothing with offensive images or language, including profanity, hate speech, and pornography. 

  • Prevent students from wearing clothing with images or language depicting  or advocating violence or the use of alcohol or drugs. 

  • Ensure that all students are treated equitably regardless of gender/gender identification, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, body type/size, religion,  and personal style. 

 

II. DRESS CODE POLICY 
CHS expects that all students will dress in a way that is appropriate for the school day or for any school sponsored event.  Student dress choices should respect the school’s intent to sustain a community that is inclusive of a diverse range of identities. The primary responsibility for a student’s attire resides with the student and their parent(s) or guardian(s). Castle High School is responsible for seeing that student attire does not interfere with the health or safety of any student, and that student attire does not contribute to a hostile or intimidating atmosphere for any student. 

 

1. Basic Principle: Certain body parts must be covered for all students all the time. 
Clothes must be worn in a way such that genitals, buttocks, and nipples are  covered with opaque material. Cleavage should not have coverage requirements. All items listed in the “must wear” and “may wear” categories  below must meet this basic principle.


2. Students Must Wear:* 

  • Shirt (with fabric in the front, back, and on the sides under the arms), AND

  • Bottom, AND

  • Footwear

* High-school courses that include attire as part of the curriculum (for example, professionalism, public speaking, and job readiness) may include  assignment-specific dress, but should not focus on covering girls’ bodies or promoting culturally-specific attire. 

3. Students May Wear:

  • Hats, including religious headwear. Hats must allow the face to be visible to staff, and not interfere with the line of sight of any student or staff. 

  • Hoodie sweatshirts (overhead is allowed but face and ears must be visible to staff.) 

  • Fitted pants, sweatpants, shorts, skirt, dress, including leggings, yoga pants and “skinny jeans” 

  • Midriff baring shirts 

  • Pajamas 

  • Ripped jeans, as long as underwear is not exposed. 

  • Tank tops, including spaghetti straps, halter tops, and “tube” (strapless) tops 

  • Visible waistbands or straps on undergarments worn under other clothing as long as the apparel does not violate section 1 above. 

  • Athletic attire 

  • Clothing with commercial or athletic logos 

  • Slippers/shoes; activity-specific shoe requirements are permitted (for example for  sports, CTE), sandals, etc. 

 

4. Students Cannot Wear: 

  • Violent language or images. 

  • Images or language depicting drugs or alcohol (or any illegal item or activity) or the use of the same. 

  • Hate speech, profanity, pornography. 

  • Clothing, including gang identifiers, must not threaten the health or safety of any student or staff.

  • Images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class.

  • Visible underwear. Any clothing that reveals visible undergarments (visible waistbands and visible straps are allowed).

  • Swimsuits

  • Accessories that could be considered dangerous or could be used as a  

  • weapon.

  • Helmets or headgear that obscures the face (except as a religious observance or as a personal protective equipment PPE). 

 

III. DRESS CODE ENFORCEMENT 


To ensure effective and equitable enforcement of the dress code, school staff shall enforce the dress code consistently using the requirements below. 

 

  • Students will only be removed from spaces, hallways, or classrooms as a result of a dress code violation as outlined in Sections 1 to 4.

  • Staff may refer students with questionable attire to administration using the Hall Pass, marking “other - DC” or dress code as a result of a dress code violation. 

  • Students will be asked to put on their own on site clothing, if available, or can opt to wear a school top/bottom to be dressed more to code.

  • No student should be disproportionately affected by dress code enforcement because of racial identity, sex assigned by birth, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, cultural or religious identity, household income, body size/type, or body maturity.     

  • The dress code will be clearly conveyed on the school website, via posters, and during administrative and academy assemblies.

  • 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 straps or skirt length;

    • ​Asking students to account for their attire in the classroom or hallways in front of others.

    • Calling out students in spaces, in hallways, or in classrooms about perceived dress code violations in front of other; in particular, directing students to correct sagged pants that do not expose the entire undergarment, or confronting students about visible bra straps, since visible waistbands and straps on undergarments are permitted; and, 

    • Accusing students of “distracting” other students with their clothing. 

 

The dress code guidelines shall apply to regular school days and summer school days, as well as any school-related events and activities, such as graduation ceremonies, dances, and prom.  Student athletic apparel will be defined by safety and competitive performance standards. 


References & Guidance:

  • CHS Feminist Club. (2022) Student Body Dress Code Outreach, Survey Results, 

  • Cult of Pedagogy. (February 17, 2019)Time to take a look at your dress code. 

  • Evanston Township High School. (2022).  Student Dress Code. Evanston IL

  • Learning for Justice. Best Practices for Serving LGBTQ Students, Teaching Tolerance Guide

  • National Women's Law Center. (April 24, 2018). Dress Coded: Black girls, bodies, bias in DC Schools.

  • OREGON NOW, National Organization for Women & Girls. (2016).  Dress Code Policy Guidance.

  • Phi Delta Kappan, September 24, 2018. How dress codes criminalize males and sexualize females of color, Alyssa Pavlakis and Rachel Roegman

  • Portland Public Schools. (2018). District dress code policy. Portland, OR: Jackson Middle School.