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School Dress Code

School Dress Code Policy
Hawthorne School District

The following is the most recent HSD Board Policy and Administrative Regulations which outline the districts philosophy and expectations regarding student dress and grooming.




In cooperation with teachers, students and parents/guardians, the principal or designee may establish school rules governing student dress and grooming which are consistent with law, Board policy, and administrative regulations.  These school dress codes shall be regularly reviewed. Students and parents/guardians shall be informed about dress and grooming standards at the beginning of the school year and whenever these standards are revised. Students and parents/guardians will be notified of any changes through written means such as school bulletins and parent/guardian newsletters.

(cf. 0420 - School Plans/Site Councils)

General Rules: The district prohibits any manner of apparel, shoes, accessories or appearance likely to cause a substantial disruption of, or a material interference with, the educational process, student health or safety, or campus order. All students are expected to comply with the district dress code and regulations and site-specific dress and grooming standards enacted by each individual school site. Students cannot opt out of these mandatory dress standards. A student who violates these standards shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Students and parents/guardians share primary responsibility for student compliance with the dress code. School personnel shall be responsible for enforcing the dress code when students are on campus, at school functions, extracurricular activities or other special school activities.

The dress code shall be modified as appropriate to accommodate a student’s religious or cultural observance, health condition, or other circumstances deemed necessary by the principal or designee. In addition, the principal or designee may impose dress requirements to accommodate the needs of special school activities, physical education classes, athletic activities, and other extracurricular and cocurricular activities.

(cf. 3260 - Fees and Charges)
(cf. 6142.7 - Physical Education and Activity)
(cf. 6145 - Extracurricular and Cocurricular Activities)
(cf. 6145.2 - Athletic Competition)

The following guidelines shall apply to all regular school activities:

1.         Student clothing, accessories, shoes and personal items  shall be free of writing, pictures, or any other insignia which is  vulgar, lewd, obscene, profane, or sexually suggestive; promotes the use of alcohol, tobacco, or other illegal activity; advocates racial or ethnic prejudice, death or violence; or  contains gang-related symbols or insignia.

2.         Gang-related attire is strictly prohibited, as defined below and by the specific dress code established at each individual school site.

3.         Clothing shall not be intentionally ripped, frayed or cut.

4.         Clothing shall be sufficient to conceal undergarments. See-through tops and bare abdomens are prohibited.

a.         Skirts and shorts shorter than mid-thigh are prohibited.

b.         Off-the-shoulder tops are prohibited.

c.         No low-cut tops which expose excessive cleavage or tops that expose an area larger than the collarbone.

d.         Tops/shirts/blouses should cover all undergarments, including bra straps.

e.         No backless tops or shirts (i.e., that do not cover the back entirely).

f.          No see-through clothing or fish-net fabrics.

g.         No short tops that would result in bare midriffs. Midriff (stomach) must be covered when arms are raised over head.

h.         No halter tops or tube tops.

i.          No spaghetti-strap tops.

j.          No athletic undershirts shall be worn as outerwear.

k.         No excessively large shirts that reach below the crotch area.

5.         Pants/shorts/skirts

a.         Pants, jeans, shorts and skirts must be worn at least at the natural waistline at all times.  Pants, shorts and skirts shall not be worn in a manner that results in exposed undergarments.

b.         Baggy pants and pants that are saggy or drag on the ground are prohibited. Pants and shorts must be fitted at the waist and crotch and must be appropriate in size for the students' height and weight. Pants must not be more than two inches bigger than the student's actual size in width and/or in length.

c.         Tights or leggings may not be worn solely as outerwear.

d.         No excessively wide pant legs will be permitted.

e.         If the width size of pants, shorts or skirts is too large so as to result in the exposure of undergarments, the student shall be required to wear a belt.

f.          Prohibited items include sleepwear and bathrobes.

6.         Belts must be threaded through all belt loops.

a.         No belt ends hanging down from the buckle.

b.         No spiked or studded belts.

c.         No chain belts or wallet chains.

7.         Appropriate shoes must be worn at all times and must meet safety standards. They must be close-toed and have a strap across the back.

a.         No sandals.

b.         No slippers.

c.         No platform soles.

d.         No combat-style boots.

e.         No untied or unfastened shoes or boots.

8.         Students shall be allowed to wear sun-protective clothing, including, but not limited to, hats for outdoor use during the school day. (Education Code 35183.5) Hats, caps, and other head coverings shall not be worn indoors.

(cf. 5141.7 - Sun Safety)

a.         Bandanas, beanies, hair nets and head scarves, except for religious purposes, are prohibited and shall not constitute "sun-protective" clothing.

b.         Headgear used for sun-protective purposes is subject to all dress code regulations regarding prohibited content.

9.         Accessories and jewelry that may cause injury, pose a safety hazard, or substantially disrupt or materially interfere with student safety or instruction are prohibited. This can include, but is not limited to:

a.         Long dangling earrings, nose rings, hoops.

b.         Long and thick chains/necklaces.

c.         Spiked jewelry.

d.         Jewelry worn in pierced areas of the body that substantially disrupt or materially interfere with student safety or instruction.

10.       Students will be required to wear athletic shoes in physical education classes.  However, no grade of a student participating in a physical education class shall be adversely affected if the student does not wear standardized physical education apparel because of circumstances beyond the student's control. (Education Code 49066)

(cf. - Grades/Evaluation of Student Achievement)

Gang-Related Apparel

At individual schools that have a dress code prohibiting gang-related apparel at school or school activities, the principal, staff, and parents/guardians participating in the development of the school safety plan shall define “gang-related apparel” and shall limit this definition to apparel that reasonably could be determined to threaten the health and safety of the school environment if it were worn or displayed on a school campus. (Education Code 32282)

Gang-related apparel or insignia can include, but is not limited to, the following:

1.         Sweatshirts, jackets, jerseys or other clothing with professional team logos or insignia.

2.         Specific gang-related colors, as determined by individual school sites.

3.         Clothing with lettering styles attributed to local gangs or gang activity, as determined by individual school sites.

4.         Prison insignia.

5.         Baggy pants with frayed or slit cuffs.

6.         Pendleton shirts.

7.         Belt buckles with gang-affiliated numbers, symbols or insignia.

8.         Fingerless gloves.

Because gang-related symbols are constantly changing, definitions of gang-related apparel shall be reviewed at least twice a year and updated whenever related information is received. As necessary, the school shall collaborate with law enforcement agencies to update definitions of gang-related apparel.


In schools that require a schoolwide uniform, the principal, staff, and parents/guardians of the school shall jointly select the specific uniform to be worn. (Education Code 35183)

At least six months before a school uniform policy is implemented, the principal or designee shall notify parents/guardians of this policy. (Education Code 35183)

(cf. 5145.6 - Parental Notifications)

Parents/guardians shall also be informed of their right to have their child exempted.

The Superintendent or designee shall establish criteria for determining student eligibility for financial assistance when purchasing uniforms.

Students who participate in a nationally recognized youth organization shall be allowed to wear organization uniforms on days when the organization has a scheduled meeting. (Education Code 35183)

Enforcement of Dress Code Policy

Students are expected to comply with the district and local school dress codes on a daily basis.  A student who violates the dress code may not remain at school or at a school function unless the violation is corrected.  School administration shall have discretion to determine how a violation can be corrected, which can include, but is not limited to, requiring students to: (a) turn the clothing inside out,  (b) removing the accessory, or (c) changing into a uniform issued by the school. Parents/guardians may also be called to bring a change of clothing. Repeated violations will constitute defiance and will be subject to progressive discipline, including, but not limited to, detention and suspension.

No student shall be considered noncompliant with the dress code policy in the following instances: (a) when noncompliance derives from financial hardship; or (b) when the student wears clothing, buttons, badges, armbands, or other accouterment aimed at exercising the right to freedom of expression as provided in Education Code 44907, including the expression of ideological or political points of view.

Student free speech rights shall not include the wearing of clothing, buttons, armbands or other accouterment that signify or are related to gangs, gang membership or gang activity as provided by Education Code 35183, or are obscene, libelous or slanderous, or so incite students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on school premises, or which result in the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.

approved:  May 21, 2008    Hawthorne, California
revised:  May 29, 2019

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