Hanover unveils changes to school dress code

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. — The Hanover County School system approved its new 2017-18 student dress code. The board updated the dress code after some parents raised concerns following  a meeting earlier this summer.

Those changes were outlined in an email sent to parents this weekend.

The new language is highlighted in bold below. Language no longer in the dress code is denoted via a strikethrough line.


Dear Families,

At last night’s meeting, the Hanover County School Board adopted the student dress code for the 2017-2018 school year. This includes several revisions that were made to the dress code previously adopted in June. We appreciate the additional community input that we received over the past few months and hope this will be helpful as you prepare for the new school year. We look forward to welcoming our students back very soon!

2017-2018 Student Dress Code

Student dress is an important factor in maintaining a positive educational environment. The School Board and school division staff rely on parents and students to support the division’s emphasis on safety and avoiding disruptions in the learning environment.

A student’s dress and appearance should not cause disruption, distract other students from their school work, or compromise health or safety. This dress code applies to all school functions.

Note: Principals can make exceptions to the student dress code at their discretion to account for age appropriateness and special events.

1. For health and safety reasons, appropriate footwear, as determined by the building principal, must be worn at all times.

2. Skirts, dresses, jumpers, and shorts must be at least fingertip length (no shorter than the tip of the middle finger) completely cover the pelvic area and extend to the mid-thigh at all times, including while students are standing, sitting, or engaging in physical activity.

3. Clothing should not expose the student’s midriff, cleavage chest, or private areas at any time.

4. Sleeveless garments must cover the top of the shoulder have 2 inch straps and not expose bare skin beneath the armpit or undergarments. Spaghetti straps, tube tops, halter tops, camis, and tank tops may only be worn under tops, shirts, and blouses that comply with the student dress code that have at least 2 inch coverage across each shoulder.

5. Yoga pants and leggings, and tights may be worn with tops that provide additional coverage of the pelvic area ONLY WITH skirts, dresses, jumpers, or shorts that meet the length requirement set forth in #2 above.

6. Pants and shorts must be worn and secured to prevent the student’s undergarments from being exposed, to prevent the waistband from sagging below the student’s hips, and to prevent the garment from dragging on the floor.

Students MAY NOT WEAR the following:

1. Clothing, jewelry, and other personal belongings displaying language or images that are vulgar, lewd, or obscene; that reflect adversely on or disparage another’s race, gender, sexual orientation, skin color, religion, national origin, ancestry, or disability; that promote the use of drugs, illegal substances, or alcohol; or that contain threats, gang symbols, symbols of groups associated with threatening or violent behavior, or groups that promote the unlawful use of weapons or other criminal behavior.

2. Hats, hoods, face masks, or head coverings of any kind while inside school buildings during regular school hours, unless worn for religious or medical reasons or approved in writing in advance by the building principal.

3. Sunglasses while inside school buildings unless required under a physician’s prescription.

4. Chains of any type or studded/spiked jewelry.

5. Pajamas, sleepwear, swim wear.

6. Clothing that is constructed of see-through fabric, is revealing, or that resembles undergarments.

Thank you.