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504-Student Dress and Appearance

  • 500 Series: Students
504-Student Dress and Appearance
Rationale Date Approved/Revised
The purpose of this policy is to enhance the education of students by establishing expectations that support school success.


  • Revised: 11/22/11
  • Revised: 9/25/12
  • Revised: 7/23/13
  • Revised: 5/27/14
  • Revised: 5/21/19
  • Revised:11/15/22
  • Revised:  8/22/23

1)  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).

4.  Hair, including but not limited to hair texture and hair styles such as braids, locks, and twists.

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

1.  Clothing that creates a hostile or intimidating environment or advocates violence or harassment against others.

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

3.  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 class, 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 Policy 413.

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

D. The intention of this policy is not 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 do not create a hostile or intimidating environment and do not advocate violence or harassment against others.

E.  “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 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.

2)  Procedures

A.  When, in the judgment of the administration, a student’s 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’s parent/guardian will be notified and the student will be directed to make modifications (i.e. change shirt).  Enforcement of the dress code should not result in unnecessary loss of instructional time.

B.  The administration may recommend a form of dress considered appropriate for a specific event and communicate the recommendation to students and parents/guardians.  A school district or charter school must not prohibit an American Indian student from wearing American Indian regalia, Tribal regalia, or objects of cultural significance at a graduation ceremony.

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.

Adoption and Revision History

Incorporated Policies

Policy 504


This Policy Adopted:  September 23, 1997 ; Rescinded:  August 19, 2008

MSBA 504


E-016 STUDENT DRESS & APPEARANCE (This policy adopted:  May 20, 2008) Revised:  November 22, 2011; Revised:  September 25, 2012; Revised:  July 23, 2013; Revised:  May 27, 2014



This Policy Revised:  May 21, 2019; November 15, 2022, August 22, 2023


Administrative Rule, Regulation and Procedure: NA 

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)

Stephenson v. Davenport Cmty. Sch. Dist., 110 F.3d 1303 (8th Cir. 1997)

B.H. ex. Rel. Hawk v. Easton Area School Dist., 725 F.3d 293 (3rd Cir. 2013)

D.B. ex rel. Brogdon v. Lafon, 217 Fed.Appx. 518 (6th Cir. 2007)

Hardwick v. Heyward, 711 F.3d 426 (4th Cir. 2013)

B.W.A. v. Farmington R-7 Sch. Dist., 554 F.3d 734 (8th Cir. 2009)

Madrid v. Anthony, 510 F.Supp.2d 425 (S.D. Tex. 2007)

Lowry. V. Watson Chapel Sch. Dist., 540 F.3d 752 (8th Cir. 2008)

Hicks v. Halifax County Bd. of Educ., 93 F.Supp.2d 649 (E.D.N.C. 1999)

McIntire v. Bethel School, Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 3, 804 F.Supp. 1415, (W.D. Okla. 1992)

Olesen v. Bd. of Educ. of Sch. Dist. No. 228, 676 F.Supp. 820, (N.D. Ill. 1987)

Cross References:          

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 413 (Harassment and Violence)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506 (Student Discipline)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 525 (Violence Prevention)