Hats off: reevaluating CMR’s dress code

I can count the number of times that a teacher has gotten on to me on one hand, but three of them come from the same day and the same reason. On that fateful day I decided to wear a hat into C.M. Russell High School.

Walking into the school, I wasn’t even sure if I was breaking the rules. I have read the school dress code, as well as heard various reasons as to why a person should not wear a hat within the school. After researching the subject, however, I found three reasons as to why I was asked to remove my hat.

One of which was hats make identifications of students on the school cameras difficult. The reasoning behind this idea, I completely understand, and even agree with. My hat, however was a beret. One that does not cover the face and still provides for identification. Additionally, students are allowed to wear hats before and after school, moments in which they can still do terrible acts, but are allowed to be under the protection of a hat.

The most interesting reason I had to remove my hat was because students are supposed to treat school as their workplace, another idea that I agree with. The problem, however, is that during my summer job my coworkers and I actually were allowed to wear hats. Not to mention the fact that as I walked into the building that morning I saw one of the staff members wearing a baseball hat. So why is there  discrimination among the people who “work” in the building?

The final reason I was asked to remove my beret was because it was offensive to wear a hat inside a building. In past generations it has been a social norm to take off your hat when inside a building. This idea originated from when people look at guest who wore hats inside their house as a sign that their house was dirty, or that their guest was in such a hurry they didn’t even have time to take off their hat. And while students might be in a hurry to leave school, that will not change just because of the fact that they are now wearing a hat to “demonstrate” their disdain for school.

In no way, shape or form am I saying that the hat rule is wrong. Instead I am trying to demonstrate that students should be able to express themselves through their headwear, as long as their identification is not hindered. Besides, there are more important dress code issues than students wearing non offensive hats, like the decreasing lengths of girls’ shorts, something that is most definitely offensive, but not nearly remarked upon as much.