Uniform policy revised

Published 8:17 am Tuesday, June 25, 2013

WINTON – A revised uniform policy recently adopted by the Hertford County Board of Education will hopefully leave no doubt in the minds of local parents of how their children should be dressed when the 2013-14 academic year begins in August.

Apparently, some parents were caught off guard at the start of the 2012-13 school year, even though the HCPS uniform policy had been in effect since April of 2006. HCPS Superintendent Dr. Michael Perry said he felt there may have been a bit of inconsistency of how the uniform policy was enforced at each of the system’s six schools (the policy is not enforced at the Early College High School since those students are on a college campus).

“This policy, as revised, will be enforced as written,” Perry said. “I’ve met with each of our principals and we discussed how this policy will be enforced in a consistent manner.”

Another key element to the uniform policy is linked to local retail clothing outlets. Perry said an effort is already underway for HCPS officials to meet with those retailers and advise them of the system’s standard policy when it comes to appropriate apparel the students are required to wear.

“We will show our local retailers this revised policy, making them aware of what the parents of our students will be shopping for in the coming weeks and months prior to the start of the new school year,” Perry said. “The summer months are traditionally a time for parents to start their school clothing shopping. We need to get the wording of this new policy out to our parents so they will know what to buy.”

Perry said it was a parent-based committee that met several times to develop clothing recommendations to take back to the school board for their approval.

“The parents made common sense recommendations and the school board approved them all, with the exception of making an amendment to one,” Perry noted. “The parents are the ones who will make this policy work. I feel getting them involved in the process, as well as involving our local merchants, strengthens the partnership our school system has within the local communities.”

The revised HCPS Student Uniform Policy is as follows:

Shirts (black, white, navy, or gold (yellow) in color and each must have buttons only (2 to 4 for polo style shirts).

Male shirts must be collared (turtlenecks are permitted);

Female shirts may be collared or round (turtlenecks are permitted);

Must be a solid color; must have sleeves (long-sleeved, short-sleeved or ¾ sleeved) and must be tucked in at all times.

Midriffs and undergarments cannot be visible;

Form-fitting spandex material, nylon and denim are prohibited; and

Logos on shirts must be 1” or less in diameter.


Pants/Capris (solid khaki or solid navy blue or solid black in color)

Students must wear belts if the garment has manufactured belt loops;

No over-sized, undersized or tight-fitting pants;

Pants must have zippers, buttons or snaps, with the exception of Pre-K-3 students, and must be worn above the hips at all times;

Pants cannot have frays and must be hemmed and not dragging the floor;

Undergarments cannot be visible;

Form-fitting spandex material, nylon and denim and sweat pants are prohibited;

Pants cannot be rolled up to simulate Capri pants;

Pants cannot have a slit that exceeds four inches from the bottom of the pant leg, and Capri pants cannot have a manufactured slit that goes above the knee; and

Logos on pants must be 1” or less in diameter.


Skirts/Dresses/Shorts/Skorts (solid khaki or solid navy blue or solid black in color)

Must be no shorter than three inches above the knee;

Form fitting spandex material, nylon, and denim are prohibited;

Must be free of labels, graphics or insignias of any kind;

No more than four pockets;

Garments cannot have more than two slits and the slits cannot exceed four inches above the knee; and

One piece jumpsuits are not allowed.


Belts (black or brown in color)

Student must wear belts if the garment was manufactured with belt loops;

Graphic belts/buckles with metal decorations (grommets, studs, etc.) are prohibited; and

Belts must be an appropriate length and not hang below the straddle.


Socks (white, black, brown, khaki or navy in color)

If worn, both socks must match;

Socks must be worn in a manner that does not undermine the integrity of the uniform; and

Socks may not be worn over the pant legs.



Shoes/Footwear must be worn at all times;

Shoes/footwear must be all black with exception of logo, trademark, or decals;

Shoe laces (all black) must be tied at all times and must not be dragging on the floor; and

Bedroom shoes, flip flops, shower shoes and spike heels are prohibited.



Hair must be clean and neatly groomed, and in a style that is not conspicuous;

Abnormal hair color will not be allowed (i.e., sprayed blue, green, orange, etc.).  Hair color must be a natural hair color;

Bandana, Satin Skull Caps, and “durags” will not be allowed to be worn on school property, or to any school function; and

Hats, headbands, and sunglasses will not be worn inside the school building.



There shall be no jewelry affixed to student’s nose, lips, tongue, cheek, or eyebrow.  Jewelry with sharp edges, such as collars, waistbands, or chokers with spikes, wallet chains or other such items is inappropriate.



Lightweight jackets, sweaters, or sweatshirts may be worn during the day during the cold weather as long as they are of the approved solid shirt colors.  (Collared shirt must be worn underneath.);

Hoods cannot be worn in the buildings;

Lightweight jackets, sweaters, or sweatshirts cannot have any labels, artwork or graphics or insignias of any kind;

Hooded jackets and hooded sweatshirts are prohibited in the building;

Overcoats may be worn to school, but must be removed once the student is inside the building.  They will be placed in the student’s locker for the entire day.


Students may dress in other uniforms for their required curriculum:  JROTC, Allied Health, Early Childhood, etc. on selected days. Students must wear t-shirts and shorts of regular uniform colors during Physical Education classes.  After school hours, students will be allowed to dress in accordance with the after-school activity.  Requests for exemptions to the School Uniform policy will be considered by the Superintendent for School Spirit Days, etc.


Compliance Measures

Each school shall develop incentives and positive reinforcement measures to encourage full compliance with the student uniform policy.  Each school should strive to achieve full compliance through the use of incentives and positive reinforcement measures and should resort to disciplinary action only when positive measures fail to ensure compliance.  In addition, schools will communicate with parents so that expectations, rationale and benefits are fully understood by the student and his/her family.


If necessary, disciplinary action may be taken to ensure compliance with the policy.  Non-compliance with the policy could result in suspension or expulsion. Disciplinary action will be taken as follows:

1st offense – Parent notification and/or conference and student will be returned home;

2nd offense – Parent brings clothing;

3rd offense – Schools develop a surplus of clothing for students to change or parents pickup students;

4th offence – 3-day suspension and parent notification and/or conference;

5th offense – 5-day suspension and parent notification and conference;

6th offense – 10-day suspension with recommendation for long-term suspension.

In order to ensure a smooth transition to the mandatory student uniform policy, disciplinary action for failure to abide by the policy shall be in the discretion of the principal for the first five days of the school year.  Students transferring in from other school districts will have a grace period of 30 school days in which to comply with the policy.  Exemptions may be allowed for extenuating circumstances on a case by case basis.

Disciplinary action may be taken if a student’s dress or appearance is such that it constitutes a threat to the health or safety of others, distracts the attention of other students or staff from their work, or otherwise violates this student uniform policy.

Students who object to the student uniform policy, based upon sincerely held religious beliefs may appeal to the Superintendent for an exemption. The Superintendent shall exempt a student from wearing a school uniform when wearing the uniform would impose a substantial burden on the exercise of a sincerely held religious belief.  A parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis of a student shall submit to the Superintendent a written statement explaining the religious belief and how it is affected by the student uniform policy and may submit examples of other circumstances in which the sincerity of the religious belief has been demonstrated.  A decision to deny the exemption shall be subject to review by the Board of Education.

It is the responsibility of ALL staff members to monitor and enforce the Student Uniform Dress Code.  All faculty/staff members will report any violations to the principal or his/her designee.

Early College High School

Clothing must be age appropriate, not disruptive to the teaching-learning process, and cannot be provocative, revealing, indecent, vulgar, or obscene.  Clothing will not be allowed which promotes alcoholic beverages, tobacco, the use of controlled substances, depicts violence, is of a sexual nature, or is of a disruptive nature.  Clothing is not to be sheer or mesh and cannot have excessive holes.  Clothing must be worn appropriately (nothing inside out, backwards, rolled up pant legs, unfastened bib overalls, belts must be buckled and worn at the waist, not hanging, etc.).  Clothing will not be allowed that is intentionally shredded or torn.  Clothing articles which provoke others to act violently or be intimidated by fear or violence shall not be worn on the campus or at any school activity, such as, but not limited to, gloves, bandanas, unstrapped overalls, excessively long belts, “in memory of” (that portrays gang activity) shirts, all sports’ teams clothing or jewelry commonly recognized as being related to a group or gang.  Regular sports jerseys are allowed.

Dresses and skirts shall not be conspicuous or indecent.  They will be no higher than 3 inches above the knee and the splits should not be high enough to be inappropriate or provocative.

Tops (shirt, blouse, sweater) shall not be indecent.  No tank tops or spaghetti straps.  Sleeveless tops must not show cleavage or undergarments.  All tops must cover the waist, midriff, and go past the waistline.  Form-fitting and stretch material may not be worn as an outer garment.  Shirts must be free of graphics and labels.

Pants of any type must be neat and clean.  Pants with holes are unacceptable.  Form-fitting, stretch material may not be worn as an outer garment.  Tights and leggings may be worn only under garments, which meet the dress code.  Tight clothing such as knit or spandex bicycle/biker pants or overly tight pants are not allowed.  Pants must be worn at the waist (no sagging).  Pant legs must be down, not rolled up.  Undergarments are not to be visible.

Shorts may be no higher than 3 inches above the knee.  Shorts made of stretch material may not be worn as an outer garment.  No sagging shorts or those that have splits on the sides.

Hair must be clean and neat, and worn in a style that is not conspicuous.  Abnormal hair color will not be allowed (sprayed blue, green, orange, pink, etc.).  Hair must appear to be a natural color.  Bandanas, Satin Skull Caps, and “durags” will not be allowed to be worn on school property, or to any school function.  Hats, headbands, and sunglasses will not be worn inside the school buildings.

Footwear must be shoes or sandals.  Bedroom shoes and shower shoes are not acceptable.  All footwear must be properly tied or fastened.

Jewelry shall not be affixed to student’s nose, lips, tongue, cheek, or eyebrow.  Jewelry with sharp edges, such as collars, waistbands, or choker with spikes, wallet chains, or other such items are inappropriate.

Insignias, monograms, or Patches:  Lettering or any type of sewn-on patch, decal, insignia, etc., which is suggestive, vulgar or refers to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs is not allowed.  No dress or attire will be acceptable that shows disrespect to the American flag or that shows disrespect to any cultural or ethnic group(s), (i.e. Confederate flag, swastikas, etc.)


First Violation: Review of the policy with the student, call parent(s) or guardian and require a change of clothing.  If student does not receive a change of clothing, student may be returned home.

Second Violation: Notify parent(s) or guardian of second violation and require change of clothes.  One (1) day suspension.

Third Violation: Three (3) day suspension and parent notification and/or conference.

Fourth Violation: Student will be suspended from school for up to ten (10) consecutive     days and parent(s) or guardian(s) will be notified.

Repeated violations could result in failure of classes/grades due to excessive number of absences from school.

Students who participate in extracurricular activities at Hertford County High School are required to be in compliance with the school’s dress code when on the main campus.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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