At the July 10, 2019 regular board meeting, the Seattle School Board voted to adopt a districtwide student dress policy for the first time. With the creation of this policy, unnecessary subjective views of appropriate school attire have been eliminated, instead supporting school staff in focusing their time and efforts on educating students. Historically in Seattle Public Schools, dress codes have been developed and implemented by each individual school, creating a risk of confusion, inconsistency, and disproportionate and unnecessary enforcement against female-identifying students.
Board Policy 3224 was developed in collaboration with students and parents, school staff, and the Seattle Council PTSA, and is aligned to core values that emphasize students’ rights to be treated equitably.
According to the universal dress code for the 2019-20 school year and beyond, students must wear:
- Top (shirt, blouse, sweater, sweatshirt, tank, etc.);
- Bottom (pants, shorts, skirt, dress, etc.); and
As detailed in the policy, students may not wear attire that intentionally shows private parts, presents a health or safety hazard, and/or would contribute to a hostile or intimidating school environment.
The emphasis of this policy is on equitable treatment of students and regulation of student dress must be free from bias. Students will no longer be disciplined or removed from class as a consequence for their attire, and staff will use reasonable efforts to avoid shaming students in front of other students. Student attire enforcement will not create disparities in class time or increase marginalization of any group. No student shall be referred to as a “distraction” due to their attire.