As Beaufort County students go back to school next Monday and swap the beach for the classroom, they should also prepare to trade in their summer clothing for those that fit the school’s uniform policy.
About 19% of public schools in the United States required students to wear uniforms in the 2019-20 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics’ most recent data.
The dress code was adopted in 2001 and most recently updated in 2015, according to the Beaufort County uniform policy page.
Here are the basics students, parents and guardians should know before school starts August 21:
What happens if you break the dress code?
If a student breaks the dress code a teachers will inform school administration who will handle the dress code violation. On first offense the student will be given an opportunity to change into acceptable clothing by using available clothes at school or by calling a guardian to bring clothes. If a student doesn’t use any of those options, they may be put in in-school suspension for the remainder of the day.
On second offense, the student will have a parent/guardian conference in addition to the consequences for the first offense.
A third offense is considered a Level 1 offense and there are more severe consequences.
Are there any exceptions to the dress code?
Yes, principals may make exception to specific groups such as high school seniors for special days.
If students must wear certain clothing because of their religious beliefs or for medical reasons, guardians can request a waiver of a particular guideline for dress or appearance. The waiver request should be in writing and approved by the principal on an annual basis. The principal has the right to request additional documentation from medical officials and/or religious leaders.
Are logos allowed?
Only school-branded logos are allowed. Otherwise, tops should be solid white and additional solid colors determined by the school.
Do shirts have to have a collar?
Students must wear plain shirts with a collar. Mock turtlenecks and turtlenecks are allowed.
Can students wear flip-flops?
No, flip-flops, crocs and slippers aren’t allowed. Heelies and other footwear with wheels also aren’t allowed. It’s iffy if sandals or other open-toed shoes are allowed.
“School administrators can appropriately determine if other open-toed shoes are permitted, assuming no safety hazard is posed,” according to district spokesperson Candace Bruder.
Can students wear jeans?
No, jeans aren’t allowed. Bottoms must be a sold dark color and should be solid khaki, black or navy.
Can students wear leggings, jeggings or yoga pants?
No, leggings, jeggings and yoga pants aren’t allowed.
How should clothing fit?
Clothing shouldn’t be more than one size larger than necessary as determined by a school administrator. Baggy or sagging pants or shorts are not permitted. “Low rise” clothing is not permitted.
How long do skirts and shorts have to be?
Shorts, skirts, skorts, and jumpers should be “modest and of sufficient length.” This means they should be no shorter than three inches above the top of knee when a student is standing.
Are hats allowed?
No, head coverings of any kind, including hats, caps, bandannas, curlers, masks, visors, kerchiefs, athletic sweatbands, earmuffs, sunglasses or hoods aren’t allowed. Not only can head coverings not be worn, they also shouldn’t be carried or hung on belts.
Are COVID-19 face masks allowed?
For more information on Beaufort County schools, guardians can contact a school administrator or the full uniform policy can be read at https://www.beaufortschools.net/families/uniform-policies