SCHOOL OF THE ARTS PROCEDURES
The purpose of this Dress Code is to strike a balance between a student's right to free expression and the educational mission of SOTA. Students and their parents/guardians have the primary responsibility for acceptable dress and appearance. Clothes, accessories, or appearance which runs contrary to our educational mission, cause a disruption of the educational process, or infringe upon the rights or safety of others, can be regulated. Adults are also subject to the Dress Code.
However, mere dislike or offence is not sufficient grounds to restrict speech or expression including dress or appearance. All such restrictions must stem from something greater than personal preference, beliefs, or taste. This means that to be lawfully regulated, the attire or garb must truly be a substantial or material interruption, infringe upon the legitimate rights or safety of others, or be contrary to the school’s educational mission.
- Clothing, jewelry, clothing attachments, or accessories including chains and spikes that may pose a threat or physical harm are not permitted.
- Clothing, jewelry, or clothing accessories that contain or include messages that are vulgar, obscene, libelous, threatening, intimidating, or denigrating of others on account of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or age is strictly prohibited. Clothing containing lewd, vulgar, or demeaning sexual references or innuendos is prohibited.
- Clothing, jewelry, or clothing accessories that contain or include messages promoting and/or endorsing the use of alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, and/or encouraging other illegal, violent, and/or gang-related activities is strictly prohibited.
- Undergarments must not be visible at any time. Bare skin should be covered in the area from underarm to a length at or below the fingertips when arms are fully extended at the side, with shoulders relaxed.
- Footwear is required at all times and must possess solid soles, and be safe and appropriate for indoor or outdoor activity.
- Outerwear articles normally worn outdoors such as overcoats, trench coats, and face coverings may not be won while in school; outerwear should be stored in personal lockers. Hats or head coverings may be worn for one’s genuine religious or medical purposes, or for celebratory purposes as authorized by the school principal (i.e., “Spirit Day,” etc.).
DRESS CODE VIOLATIONS
Violations of the dress code should be considered opportunities for “teachable moments” to discuss issues around dress, and appearance such as: culture, religious identity, gender, and gender identity, dignity, and respect. Students who violate the dress code will be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item, and if necessary and/or practicable, replacing it with an acceptable item.