A new dress code centralized around inclusion and freedom of self expression will possibly be implemented in Castro Valley Unified School District. This new policy won’t bring major changes to CVHS, but the potential big changes to the middle schools will be discussed at the school board meeting on March 14.
The new dress code retains a new philosophy and more clear and concise guidelines to what the dress code covers and how it is enforced.
“Our hope was consistency and having this policy have a restorative peace to it instead of being punitive to people,” said Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi.
The new dress code outlines that shoes, a shirt, and a form of pants, shorts, or dress must be worn. The permission to wear ripped jeans, halter tops, and visible waistbands is one of the new changes to the dress code.
The old CVHS dress code used to consist of an undetailed, small paragraph besides prohibitions on clothing with drug references, hate messages and gang symbols. It would now explicitly detail the rules: no hate speech, images that create hostile environments, swimsuits, pornography, images of drugs, or gang-related attire.
“This policy was put together to be supportive of student learning, not restrictive, and to make sure we are not marginalizing certain groups or genders of people. It is also to be respectful and reinforce that students are respectful to themselves,” added Ahmadi to the goals of the new proposal.
Although CVHS will not be experiencing a great change to the dress code on every day outfit choices, the new dress will create large change for the middle schools. The new policy was greatly influenced by representatives of the Castro Valley community.
“We asked staff, principals, families and parents on the parent leadership conference, students, and also the CVHS leadership class. We also are sending a short survey to the middle schools to receive feedback,” concluded Ahmadi.
“I think it’s a good idea to let middle schoolers express themselves through their clothing with a more lenient dress code. However some parents may not agree since they are still young kids,” said junior Jodie Ma on how the dress code may not please everyone.
The new policy is also meant to become universal to the entire district. Therefore, the elementary schools will have the same guidelines as the high school. District officials believe that they need to expand the dress code to give more clear guidelines to students allowing them comfort and a positive environment where they know exactly what occurs when a student is in violation. The policy outlines that it is the teacher’s responsibility, as well, to hold a student accountable of breaking the dress code.
“I think that a universal dress code would be super beneficial and help student feel better about themselves and let them be more expressive through they’re clothing,” said junior Malena Bautista when asked about the positive influence the dress code could embody.
If any students has questions about the new policy before March 14, they can contact the district office or attend the board meeting to voice their opinions on the issues and possible amendments to the policy.