The Saugerties Central School District has an obligation to help students make positive decisions that lead to success in life, including choosing appropriate dress for a variety of situations. The District has therefore developed a standard of dress and grooming that balances personal expression with providing a school environment that is safe and conducive to learning. This dress code was developed collaboratively by a committee of teachers, administrators, students, and parents. Students and parents have the primary responsibility for adhering to the student dress code. All adult members of the school community share responsibility for reinforcing and exemplifying acceptable student dress and appearance. This standard of dress is to be followed during school hours and at school functions. It applies to all students, male and female. The Principal/Assistant Principal and his/her designee shall exercise appropriate discretion in implementing this policy, on the basis of students’ religious beliefs or medical conditions, or the nature of special events (i.e. proms, field trips, special ceremonies, etc.). Presenting a bodily appearance or wearing clothing which is disruptive, provocative, revealing, profane, vulgar, obscene, or which endangers the health and safety of others is prohibited. The following are considered to be inappropriate dress, grooming, and appearance and are prohibited in school and at school functions:
• Any dress or appearance that constitutes a threat or danger to the health and safety of students (e.g. heavy jewelry, heavy chains, or jewelry with spikes of sharp edges that can injure the student or others.)
• Any form or article of clothing designed primarily for outdoor use, while attending class or before/after school indoor activities (e.g. parkas, rain or trench coats, vests, jackets, gloves, mittens, sunglasses in the school building unless worn for medical reasons, etc.)
• Any form or article of clothing designed primarily for in-home use (e.g. bathrobes, certain pajamas, etc.)
• Shirts (including blouses and tops) that are revealing. Shoulder straps must be the wearer’s second and third finger or more in width. Exposure of bare midriffs, plunging necklines (front and back), or cleavage (front and back), e.g. halter-tops, strapless tops. Underwear must be covered by outer garments.
• Skirts and skirt slits shorter than the wearer’s fingertips when arms hang straight at the wearers’ side, short shorts, or clothing with holes, cut-outs, or tears that expose inappropriate amounts of skin.
• Any dress or appearance that encourages or advocates the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco.
• Any dress or appearance that advocates or encourages illegal or violent crimes, or gang related activity and/or colors.
• Any dress or appearance that advocates discrimination, insults, is libelous or denigrates self or others based on race, color, weight, creed, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression), or sex.
• Any dress or appearance with messages that encourage or advocate sexual activity.
• The wearing of hoods at all times, the wearing of all headgear excluding hair accessories in the building (unless worn for religious or medical reasons) (including all types of hats, bandanas, and related head wear, but excluding hair accessories such as barrettes, scrunchies, picks, etc.)
• Any dress or appearance that constitutes a disruption to the educational process.
• Any clothing or apparel that conceals the identity of the individual wearing it. In addition to the above, the following guidelines apply:
• Appropriate footwear must be worn at all times to ensure personal safety and the safety of others.
• Students must be dressed in appropriate clothing and protective equipment as required for physical education classes, participation in athletics, science laboratories, family and consumer science, and technology classes.
• If a student feels uncomfortable being addressed by a staff member of the opposite gender regarding dress code issues, that student should request to meet instead with a staff member of the same gender.