Just in time for the upcoming school year, a district in Texas amended its dress code to allow students to have piercings and sport visible tattoos. Under the changes, male students can also grow their hair longer than shoulder length and won’t be required to shave their facial hair.
This leniency is a rare case, however, as school districts across the country continue to maintain their policies. Some areas are enforcing tougher guidelines. In Lauderdale County, Miss., a student who violates the dress code could face jail time. Even handbooks from New York to Arizona are defining what teachers can wear.
Click through the gallery and let us know in the comments if you agree with the punishment for these 10 dress code violations.
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Long Hair for Locks of Love
When J.T. Gaskins, a former leukemia patient, learned that a friend’s sister was diagnosed with cancer, he decided to grow his hair long enough to donate it to Locks of Love. But it turned out that doing something good earned him a trip to the principal’s office and a suspension. His hair length violated Madison Academy’s guidelines that hair must be “off the collar, off the ears and out of the eyes.”
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Elizabeth Cary, a 12-year-old in Nebraska, was reprimanded for wearing a cross necklace. Though Cary was expressing her religious beliefs, it went against the school district’s ban on rosaries because neighborhood gangs used them as symbols, according to the Daily Mail.
In 2010, a similar incident occurred in upstate New York, when 13-year-old Raymond Hosier wore a rosary to school as a reminder of his deceased brother. He was suspended several times because his neckpiece reportedly resembled ones used by gangs in the area.
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In May, Warren Evans, a student at Calvert High School in Maryland, tested the technicalities of the district’s dress code when he came to school in a skirt. Even though the policy only defines skirt length, he was suspended.
“It didn’t say anywhere in the code of conduct or dress code that says boys can’t dress like girls,” Evans told NBC4 Washington.
A middle school student in South Carolina received in-school suspension for a week after showing up with red highlights in her hair. Officials stated that her hair went against the policy that “clothing and/or hair should not disrupt the educational process...Non-human hair color is not permitted.”
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Are yoga pants too revealing? Officials at Loveland High School in Ohio think so. Last September, a group of teenage girls protested the policy by donning the fitted pants and were shortly punished with in-school suspension.
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Canton High School in Mississippi is back in session and already, students have started off on the wrong foot. About 100 students served in-school suspension for wearing “neon-colored shoes, neon shoe strings, and other ‘gang related’ colors,” according to Principal Shirley Sander’s interview with the Clarion-Ledger.
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With a zero-tolerance dress code policy, Duncanville High School in Texas suspended around 700 students in the fall of 2011 for various violations, one of which was commonly untucked shirts. At the school, “those who break the dress code one time receive a one-day suspension. Second-time offenders receive two-day suspensions, while those who are charged with a third offense receive a two-day suspension, plus a loss of school privileges,” according to ABC.
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Torri Albrecht, an eighth grader in New Jersey, was suspended for showing up to school clad in a sweatshirt with a Confederate flag on it. Her mother argued that the punishment breached her daughter’s freedom of expression and stated in the Times of Trenton that “Torri was born in Virginia. That flag is her heritage.”
Dowagiac Union High School in Michigan also suspended nine students who showed off their Confederate belt buckles and one student with a flag t-shirt because the attire was deemed a distraction from learning.