The Board of Education of Charles County at its June 13 meeting approved a new student dress code for the 2023-2024 school year.
The dress code, developed among Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Code of Student Conduct Committee members, modernizes some of the restrictions in place, emphasizes the responsibility of the parent/guardian in monitoring their child’s attire for school and still preserves a school administrator’s role in determining when a student’s clothing is not appropriate for school and/or is disruptive.
The proposed dress code was presented to the Board last Tuesday by Chief of Schools Marvin Jones, Ed.D., who led the work of the Code of Student Conduct Committee. A copy of the presentation, including the current and now approved new dress code language, is posted here.
CCPS is in the process of updating the Code of Student Conduct for the 2023-2024 school year to include the approved changes and will post it to the school system website, www.ccboe.com, in July.
The committee, which met several times this spring to review the dress code, disciplinary language and consequences outlined in the Code, also developed several key updates for the Code of Student Conduct for the coming school year. Committee members included school principals and assistant principals, teachers, parents, Education Association of Charles County (EACC) union leadership representatives, bus drivers, pupil personnel workers, the staff attorney, department directors and the Student Member of the Board of Education.
Additional updates to the Code of Student Conduct include an expanded definition of fighting among students, a clear definition of self-defense, an expansion of weapons categories, the possible involvement of a school resource officer in the investigation of filed bullying and harassment reports, the use of higher levels of discipline for students who repeat defined infractions, as well as stricter cell phone policies regarding parent-to-student communication during the school day. Additionally, the updated language identifies an excused absence for student illness to include physical, mental or behavioral health.
The updated dress code language is below. The 2023-2024 Code of Student Conduct, as well as the 2023-24 CCPS Parent Handbook/Calendar and school handbooks, will be updated to include the language below. School administrators will receive updated training in August related to the new dress code. Administrators will also review the updates with staff, students and parents.
New dress code for 2023-24 school year
Suggestive, provocative or excessively tight clothing is not allowed to be worn to school or to school-sponsored activities. CCPS does not allow clothing to be worn on school property or to school-sponsored activities which displays messages or images that are offensive, vulgar, harassing, or otherwise inappropriate for the school setting. Clothing that is judged by the school administration to be disruptive to the orderly school process either by virtue of the design or in the manner in which it is worn is also forbidden.
Members of the CCPS Code of Student Conduct Committee, in collaboration with parents, staff, and community members, developed the following system-wide dress code, as amended and approved by the Board of Education.
The responsibility for the dress and grooming of a student rests primarily with the student and their parent/guardian.
Allowable Dress & Grooming
- Students must wear clothing including both a shirt with pants or skirt, or the equivalent and shoes.
- Shirts and dresses must have fabric in the front and on the sides.
- Clothing must cover undergarments.
- Fabric covering all private parts must not be see through.
- Hats and other headwear must allow the face to be visible and not interfere with the line of sight to any student or staff. Hoodies must allow the student’s face and ears to be visible to staff at all times.
- Clothing must be suitable for all scheduled classroom activities including physical education, science labs, technical education, and other activities where unique hazards exist.
- Specialized courses may require specialized attire, such as sports uniforms or safety gear.
Non-Allowable Dress & Grooming
- Clothing may not depict, advertise, or advocate the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or other controlled substances.
- Clothing may not depict pornography, nudity, sexual acts or violence, or obscenities.
- Clothing may not use or depict hate speech targeting groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, or any other protected groups.
- Clothing may not include gang identifiers and must not threaten the health or safety of any other student or staff.
- If the student’s attire or grooming threatens the health or safety of any other person, then discipline for dress or grooming violations should be consistent with discipline policies for similar violations.
Note: Administrators have the flexibility to exercise their judgment to determine if a student’s attire is considered disruptive, distracting, or a safety hazard. Exceptions may be granted for medical or religious reasons.
Follow the CCPS website at www.ccboe.com for updates.
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,598 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.
CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).