Board Policy #S-5132

New Haven Unified School District


The Governing Board believes that appropriate dress and grooming contribute to a productive learning environment. The Board expects students to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to wear clothes that are suitable for the school activities in which they participate. Therefore, students are to dress appropriately on all school campuses and at all school activities in the District. Students have the right to make individual choices from a wide range of clothing and grooming styles, but they must not present a health or safety hazard or a distraction which would interfere with the educational process. Any clothing, emblem, badge, jewelry, symbol, or other insignia which creates a clear and present danger of imminent commission of unlawful acts on school premises, the violation of lawful school regulations, or the disruption of the orderly operation of the school is prohibited. The principal, staff and parents/guardians may recommend a voluntary school uniform policy to the Board when it is determined through parent and/or student involvement programs that such a voluntary school uniform would be beneficial. Students should project an appearance that is conducive to a safe learning environment. Dress which is disruptive and contrary to school rules regarding drugs/alcohol/violence, and gangs is not permitted.

(cf. 5145.2 - Freedom of Speech/Expression)

The outdoor use of sun-protective clothing, including but not limited to hats is permitted. However, specific clothing and hats determined to be gang-related or otherwise inappropriate under this policy are prohibited.

Gangs constitute a danger to students and therefore, the Superintendent or designee may restrict student dress and grooming as necessary to comply with Board policy related to gang activity. The Board recognizes that, in order to promote student safety and discourage theft, peer rivalry and/or gang activity, the principal, staff and parents/guardians at a district school may wish to establish a reasonable dress code requiring students to wear uniforms. Such a dress code may be included as part of the school safety plan and must be presented to the Board for approval.

The Board shall approve such dress codes when it determines they are necessary for the health and safety of the school's students.

The Superintendent or designee shall establish procedures whereby parents/guardians may choose to have their children exempted from an adopted school uniform policy. Students shall not be penalized academically, otherwise discriminated against or denied attendance to school if their parents/guardians so decide.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that resources are identified to assist economically disadvantaged students in obtaining uniforms.

Students and parents/guardians shall be informed about the school dress code at the beginning of the year and when revised. A student who violates the dress code shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

(cf. 5144 - Discipline)

Legal Reference:

35183 School dress codes; uniforms
32281 School Safety Plans
48907 Student exercise of free expression
49066 Grades; effect of physical education class apparel

302 Pupils to be neat and clean on entering school

Hartzell v. Connell (1984) 35 Cal. 3d 899
Arcadia Unified School District v. State Department of Education, 92 Daily Journal, D.A.R. 3578
Marvin H. Jeglin et al v. San Jacinto Unified School District et al 827 F. Supp. 1459

First Reading
February 1, 1994
February 21, 1995
July 16, 2002
July 18, 2006

Second Reading
March 1, 1994
March 7, 1995
August 20, 2002
August 15, 2006

Administrative Regulation for Board Policy #S-5132