SSISD dress code: No bare midriffs, and take off that cap
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

July 28, 2005 -- It’s that time of year again when parents and their children prepare for the new school year, and that means shopping for new school clothes.

While trying on and picking out new school clothing, parents of Sulphur Springs students are reminded that youths attending Sulphur Springs Independent School District will be subject to the dress code. All schools adhere to basic guidelines, with modifications at elementary or high school/middle school levels tailored to the maturity and development of the student.

Sulphur Springs High School Principal Chuck King said the main thing to keep in mind, especially with high school and middle school students, is that “clothing modified from the norm for the effect of being revealing or ragged” is prohibited. And if a student wears such items to school, parents should expect a call.

Also prohibited are clothing exposing a bare midriff; bicycle shorts, tight leggings and tank tops; and clothes that exhibit pictures, emblems or writings considered to be suggestive.

The Dress Code specifies that clothing is considered “suggestive” if the images or writings are lewd, vulgar, morbid, slanderous, offensive or depict violence; advertise or exploit tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, drugs or other illegal substances and paraphernalia; or identify or refer to satanic, cult or gang activities.

Shirts and pants, shorts or skirts must meet. No crop tops or short shirts are allowed. Also, if the pants ride low on the waist, the student should expect to wear a longer shirt to ensure the two garments meet.

On no SSISD campus will bicycle shorts or tight-fitting leggings be permitted, with one exception. The handbook specifies that these garments shall not be worn as the principal garment but may be worn as part of a clothing ensemble that conforms to the dress code.

Shorts will be permitted on all campuses, but the rules vary. Elementary students (Head Start through fifth grade) may wear shorts provided “they reflect modesty and decency” as determined by school administrators. Middle school and high school students may wear culottes and walking shorts made from a full-cut, immodest design determined not to be tight. Shorts and culottes for sixth through 12th grade students can be no shorter than four inches from the top of the knee cap. Also, pants and shorts should fit, as no sagging will be permitted.

The dress code specifies that elementary students should only wear tank tops as part of an ensemble, not as a principal garment. At middle school, tank tops are considered “underwear type shirts.” Sixth through 12th grade students are prohibited from wearing underwear type shirts such as tank tops, muscle shirts, sleeveless jerseys and sleeveless shirts without a hem. Also, dresses and garments which are bare-backed, have string straps, are low-cut or see-through are not permitted at middle and high school.

Dress and skirt lengths for all students should be “in keeping with the spirit of modesty and decency.” The rules for students in sixth through 12th grades specify that dress and skirt lengths can be no shorter than four inches from the top of the knee cap. Extremely short lengths will not be acceptable.

Also, keep in mind that shoes or footwear must be worn at all times at school. The dress code for 6th-12th grades specifies that house shoes are not considered appropriate.

Caps, hats or other head coverings must not be worn inside school facilities during school or at school-related activities inside the school, nor are sunglasses allowed inside the building, unless prescribed by a doctor. Headbands and bandanas are not to be worn by middle and high school students.

Hair must be kept neat, clean and well-groomed and cannot be combed to cover a student’s eyes. Geometric or unusually patterned, shaved or cut hair, as well as inappropriate color or color variations, are against school policy, which states such designs and styles can be distracting to other students.

Boys cannot have ponytails or rattails, nor are they allowed to wear earrings or nose rings. No students will be permitted to wear studs or have visible body piercings, according to the high school and middle school grooming code. Boys’ hair should not be so long it touches the top of their shoulders, and they should plan to keep mustaches neatly trimmed so that they are no lower than the top corner of the lip. Students in grades 6 to 12 will not be allowed to wear beards, and sideburns must be kept trimmed so that they extend no lower than the bottom of the earlobe.

These guidelines, as well as other pertinent information will be sent home to parents in handbooks at the beginning of the school year for parents to refer to as needed.

Additional questions should be directed to the child’s teacher or school administrator, as administrators have discretion in making judgments regarding the dress, conduct and grooming code.

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