University Middle Dress Code to Support Student Engagement and Safety
2021-22 DRESS CODE
● Pants, skirts, dresses, and shorts must be worn at the waist and be appropriately sized with no holes, rips or tears that expose skin. Skirts, dresses, and shorts must adhere to the ‘fingertip rule.’
● Leggings/jeggings may be worn only with a loose-fitting appropriate tunic style top that hits no shorter than mid-thigh. Loose-fitting tops (with leggings) must cover the buttocks.
● Shirts, blouses, and dresses must have sleeves, sides, and backs. Shirts or tops must cover the waistband of pants, shorts, or skirts with no midriffs visible. Shirts that do not cover skin from a horizontal line just below the armpits to the waistline are prohibited.
● Bandanas, durags, and/or bonnets must not be worn inside the school building
● Footwear is required and must be safe and appropriate for indoor and outdoor physical activity. Flip flops, slides, and house shoes are not permitted. Sandals must have a strap around the back. (For the purpose of science lab experiments, students must wear closed toe shoes. Instructors will notify students in advance of lab days.)
● Clothing and accessories such as backpacks, patches, jewelry, and notebooks must not display (1) racial, ethnic, gender or sexual slurs/symbols; (2) gang affiliations; (3) vulgar, subversive, or sexually suggestive language or images; nor promote inappropriate and/or illegal products such as alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.
● Prohibited items include: (1) large, long and/or heavy chains; (2) studded or chained accessories; (3) sunglasses, except for health purposes; (4) sleepwear, pajamas, slippers, and/or blankets.
Both the Assistant Director and the Executive Director reserve the right to determine whether the student’s attire is within the limits of decency, modesty, and safety. The school administration may further prescribe dress in certain classes, such as physical education and science labs. The Executive Director and her designee may allow exceptions in special circumstances or for occasions, such as holidays and special performances.
Any student not attired in accordance with the policy shall be directed to correct the violation or spend the remainder of the day in supervised study. Repeat offenders shall be subject to additional measures, which may include parent conferences and out-of-school suspensions as described in the District-wide discipline policy (below).
Schools may use the following behavioral intervention strategies and disciplinary measures for violations of the Dress Code policy:
1. Classroom and school-wide intervention strategies (It is expected that the initial intervention will be a call to the parent/guardian.)
2. Confiscation of item and/or loss of privileges
3. Supervised Study (1. Teacher, 2. Administrator)
4. In-school suspension [supervised study]
5. Overnight conference with parent or guardian
To obtain an exemption from certain dress code requirements or from standardized dress/uniforms on religious or medical grounds, a parent must obtain a copy of this policy, a Request for Exemption form and an Exemption Questionnaire from the school, complete the form and questionnaire, and return them to the school. A religious exemption from standardized dress/uniforms can be based on the religion of the parent or the religion of the child, but the parent must apply for the exemption in either case.
The Principal shall review the form and questionnaire and grant or deny the request for exemption. If the Principal is considering denying the request, he or she must first send a letter to the parent requesting a meeting to discuss and clarify the reason for the exemption request. The parent must meet with the Principal within three (3) school days of receiving the letter. The Principal must grant or deny the request within two (2) school days of meeting with the parent. If the Principal denies the request, he or she must give the parent a written basis for the decision.
The parent can appeal a Principal's denial of the exemption to the Superintendent (or designee) within two (2) days of receiving the Principal's denial. The Superintendent (or designee) must meet with the parents within five (5) school days of receipt of the request for appeal, and must render a decision within five (5) school days of meeting with the parents. If the Superintendent (or designee) also denies the appeal, he or she must provide a written basis for the decision.
The parent may make a final appeal to the Shelby County Board of Education and ask the Board to review the written record of the request for exemption and the denials. This appeal must be made within five (5) school days of the Superintendent’s (or designee’s) denial of the appeal. The Board may hold a hearing on the exemption request at its discretion. The decision of the Board of Commissioners is final. A student will remain in school in the dress style recommended by the parent until the appeal is final.