Policy Details Page

Policy 3224

PURPOSE: Preserving a beneficial learning environment and assuring the safety and well-being of all students are the key priorities of the Board of Directors.  The District intends to balance these priorities while also supporting a student’s individuality, self-expression, identity, religion and culture through a student’s choice of dress, appearance and hair style. Students' choices in matters of dress should be made in consultation with their parent(s)/guardian(s).

Dress code enforcement should be equitable and not create disparities, reinforce or increase the marginalization of any group, nor will it be more strictly enforced against students because of racial identity, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, gender nonconformity, sexual orientation, cultural or religious identity, household income, body size/type, or body maturity; Staff will use reasonable efforts to have dress-code conversations with students in a manner that doesn’t create embarrassment and should avoid conversations in front of other students.


Student Uniforms

The Board of Directors of Tacoma School District No. 10 authorizes individual schools and programs to adopt and implement student dress codes. The dress code may include the requirement that students who attend the school wear a uniform.

A school or program shall obtain student, staff and parent(s)/guardian(s) input prior to implementing a student uniform requirement. A decision that students must wear uniforms shall be made, and students and parent(s)/guardian(s) shall be notified, no later than the last day of May in the school year prior to the implementation of the uniform requirement for the following school year. 

A school that adopts a requirement that students wear uniforms must be proactive in accommodating students who cannot afford uniforms so that the uniform requirement is not an unfair barrier to school attendance and student participation.


Student Dress Codes

Students may be regulated when, in the judgment of school administrators, there is a reasonable expectation that:

A.  A health or safety hazard is presented by the student's dress or appearance including possible membership in groups that promote hate or violence; 

B.   Damage to school property shall result from the student's dress; or

C.   A material and substantial disruption of the educational process will result from the students' dress or appearance.

For the purpose of this policy, a material and substantial disruption of the educational process may be found to exist when a student's conduct is inconsistent with any part of the educational mission of the school district.  Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, student dress that may sexualize or demonstrates lewd, sexual, drug, tobacco or alcohol-related messages, containing threats or hate speech, that promote illegal or violent conduct such as the unlawful use of weapons.

Dress codes and uniform requirements should allow for uniforms of nationally-recognized youth organizations should be gender neutral and inclusive of attire worn for a religious reason.

The Superintendent shall establish procedures providing guidance to students, parent(s)/guardian(s), and staff regarding appropriate student dress in school or while engaging in extracurricular activities. Such procedures shall ensure that any student wearing, carrying, or displaying apparel that promotes hate or violence, or that intimidates or affects the attendance of another student shall be asked, with notice to their parent(s)/guardian(s), to make appropriate corrections.  Each school will develop a process for appealing a dress code violation that includes a restorative conversation. Restorative conversations and an opportunity to correct should be held before students are subject to discipline.


Legal References:

  • RCW 28A.320.140 Schools with Special standards

Adoption Date: 6/22/2000
Revised Date: 10/24/2007, 4/14/2022 

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