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Student Dress Code - WCPS Policy 4305

Policy Code: 4305 Student Dress Code and Appearance
A. Standard Dress Code
The Wayne County Public Schools Board of Education respects a student’s right to choose his or her style of dress or appearance.  However, the Board of Education will require that students adhere to standards of dress that are compatible with the requirement of a good school environment. All students are expected to be groomed and dressed appropriately for school and school activities. In the opinion of the principal or his/her designee, if a student’s dress or appearance is such that it (1) disrupts the learning environment, (2) constitutes a threat to health or safety, (3) is construed as provocative or obscene, or (4) is lacking in cleanliness, the principal or the principal’s designee may require the student and student’s parent or guardian to take appropriate action to remedy the situation. Before receiving disciplinary consequences, a student who is not in compliance with this policy will be given a reasonable period of time to make adjustments so that he or she will be compliance.
The principal shall have the authority to implement the school dress code and appearance policy in a manner that is age appropriate, and reasonable consideration will be made for those students who, because of a sincerely held religious belief or medical reason, request a waiver of a particular guideline for dress or appearance.  The waiver request must be in writing from the parent or guardian and must be approved by the principal or his/her designee.  Reasonable accommodations shall be made by the principal to accommodate students involved in special duties, activities, or projects approved by the school.  This would include but not be limited to: athletics, vocational classes and projects, P.E. classes, special events, or other activities that would allow for non-conforming dress on a school campus or during a school sponsored event.
Disciplinary action will be taken for any violation of the dress code in accordance with Policy 4300 Code of Student Conduct).  Students who do not comply with the school dress code and appearance policy may be excluded from participating in certain school programs, including graduation ceremonies. (Fowler vs. Williamson, 39 N.C. App. 715, 251 S.E.2d 889 [1979].)  
Copies of the Student Dress Code and Appearance Policy will be made available to students and parents annually.

Specific guidelines listed below will apply to all students:
1. Shorts, Skirts, dresses, or other clothing must be finger-tip length (reaching the mid-thigh), including when leggings or tights are worn. Clothing must not have holes exposing skin above finger-tip length (mid-thigh).
2. Shirts, tops, and dresses must cover the top of the shoulder with at least a two-inch width strap, and fit closely under the armpits (Principal discretion may be used taking into consideration the age of the student).
3. Shirts and tops should be long enough to cover the midriff when sitting or standing; and shirts, tops and dresses must be buttoned high enough to cover the chest and the back of the body cannot be exposed.
4. No sagging pants allowed and pants cannot be worn with the waistband below the hipbone.
5. Underwear, or the body typically covered by underwear, cannot be visible at any time, including under sheer, see-through, or mesh fabric.
6. Any form of attire which is indicative of gang affiliation is prohibited, including bandanas. 
7. No (hats, caps, hoods, curlers) can be worn inside school buildings.
8. Clothing will not be allowed that promotes alcoholic beverages, tobacco use, smoking, vaping, the use of controlled substances, depicts violence, is of a sexual nature, or is of a disruptive nature.
9. Shoes must be worn at all times and in accordance with special requirements such as P.E. classes, ROTC, science labs, etc.  Shoes that have laces must be laced and tied.

Legal References: G.S. 115C- 288; 115C-307; 115C-390.2.
Adopted: June 4, 2001 Revised: March 26, 2007; Revised: December 5, 201: Revised: July 10, 2017; Revised: July 23, 2018; Revised: December 16, 2019                 
Wayne County Schools

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