There is no more difficult set of rules to enforce at school, especially the high school, than dress code. No matter what might be in writing, there is still much judgement involved and when the principal’s judgement doesn’t match that of the parent, we have conflict.In light of recent events around the country there is increased attention to our student code of conduct and, more specifically, the depiction of weapons. Here in Calvert County Schools, we have not permitted the wearing of clothing with graphics that depict weapons. Exceptions are made for certain versions of our school mascots and NJROTC uniforms.
The relevant language from our Student Code of Conduct:
· Garments which depict violence, sex, vulgarity or other inappropriate scenes or wording or that advertise tobacco, alcohol or drug-related products are not permitted.
· Clothing and/or tattoos shall not convey symbols or messages generally accepted to promote intolerance, hate, racial slurs, sexual harassment or gang affiliation.
No doubt, weapons shown in certain contexts represent violence. One might argue that a shirt with a picture of an assault rifle represents violence.
But what about popular comic book figures? Often a T-shirt with an image from a recent animated feature might depict weapons and violence.
What about a shirt with the name and logo of a popular dining establishment?
- The Musket Room
- The Brass Cannon
- Shotgun Bar and Grill
There are also questions of free speech. A shirt advocating the right for citizens to keep and bear arms by itself should be no problem, but what if it has a gun or multiple guns in the graphic?
What about an axe, bow and arrow, sword or bowie knife? A silhouette of a hunter?
Should each and every image with a weapon be banned because it represents violence in one form or another?
Our Students’ Rights, Responsibilities and Code of Conduct is up for review and the Calvert County Board of Education invites your feedback on this and any other issues within it by May 23, 2018. You can read the whole document here: http://bit.ly/2HWrQex
You may post comments to this blog or email them to the Board’s Assistant, Karen Maxey firstname.lastname@example.org .