Opinion

Return of the Hats

BY KAYA DWYER

The 2022-2023 Truman school year has already started off with all kinds of excitement. As the rivalry with Chrisman persists and students strap in for a lot more homework, there is also something new to Truman that has surprised many of its students: Hats Are Back.

The dress code is something many students here at Truman are familiar with and is nothing new to the general public-school scene. It’s one of the more encouraged and supported rules by parents and adults; although, not as much by those who have to follow it. The first ever dress code was established in 1969 through the United States Supreme Court and has flourished in the school space since then. The Free Speech Center explains, “…if there is a rational basis for the requirement, such as fostering a particular business image, encouraging harder work, or complying with public safety and health standards.” This also indicates schools can ban anything from the classrooms that seem distracting in any form, whether it be something on or involving a student. At first, the idea of a school dress code, [but not school uniforms], seemed like an understandable one with the original intention to progress focus in classrooms and prevent more “class distractions” – but this plan took a wrong turn. 

For years, there have been many students who have complained, suffered through, and have had negative experiences with their school’s dress code. Some students go as far to say that they feel as though teachers and educators care more about their bodies and covering up than they do their education; and Truman’s students are no exception. However, the revival of hats in our school-fashion has (to prove a point) defibulated the hearts of many. This small liberation in the dress code has provided students with more comfort in the classroom, as well as more freedom in their physical presence in their schools. So, could this mean there’s more in store for the ISD dress code? Dr. Manglinger, ISD’s assistant superintendent for Secondary Education, stated, “Nothing more is on the horizon at this time.” But also went on to say, “…the ISD considered the health and safety of staff and different opportunities to other suggestions being made in the near future. “

The impact hats have made on the student body here at Truman is immeasurable. Mr. Sotheran, Truman high school’s assistant principal, says, “…students are more happy to have more freedom. It’s kind of a  new and nice reason to not have a negative conversation with a student.” Even if it just begins with the drop of a hat, it will make a larger ripple effect in the vast ocean of school rules and dress codes. Mr. Sotheran is one of the administrators that directly works with the dress code at Truman. From his experience, he says,  “…you have to see what the positives are for formal dress and some freedom. You have to weigh them both.” 

So welcome back hats with open arms! Hopefully there will be more progression in the future, but for now, just a hat is impactful enough. 

(header art by Zack Griffith)

Categories: Opinion

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