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School fashion subject to dress code
Knox County Schools system’s Wright spells out fashion ABCs


Dress codes are an important factor to consider when parents and children are shopping for back-to-school clothing, Donna Wright, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Knox County Schools, said.

“Nothing has changed since last year, regarding the dress code policy,” Wright said. “We are working very diligently to get the word out to the parents who are new to Knox County and to our policies.”

Noting that dress code is a concern to many parents, Wright said that many parents have taken a proactive stance in assuring that students follow the dress code policies.


“Many West Knoxville parents have suggested that their children’s school participate in a school uniform pilot program,” said Wright. “The proposal was brought to the attention of Superintendent Lindsey, and he is considering the request.”

Knox County has a separate dress code standard in place for the elementary schools and the middle and high schools.

The elementary school dress code states that dress should reflect “common sense” and concern for each child’s comfort, safety, cleanliness and concern for modesty.

The dress code for elementary school is as follows:

A. Pants must not sag below the waist and must not touch the floor.

B. Shirts, blouses and dresses must completely cover the abdomen, back and shoulders.

C. Shirts or tops must cover the waistband of pants, shorts or skirts with no midriff visible.

D. Head apparel, except for religious or medical reasons, must not be worn inside the school building.

E. Footwear is required and must be safe and appropriate for indoor or outdoor physical activity. Flip/flops and shower-type shoes are examples of inappropriate footwear for school.

F. Clothing or accessories may not display offensive, vulgar language or images and must not advertise products which students may not legally purchase. “Short-shorts,” mini skirts and spandex are deemed inappropriate attire for students in grades 3-5.

G. Coats and jackets exceeding the fingertip length are not to be worn in the building.

The middle and high school dress code states that appearance of apparel, which tends to draw attention to an individual rather than to a learning situation, must be avoided.

The dress code for middle and high school is as follows:

A. Pants must be worn at the waist. No sagging allowed.

B. Shirts, blouses and dresses must completely cover the abdomen; back shoulders and must have sleeves. Shirts and tops must cover the waistband of pants, shorts or skirts with no midriff visible.

C. Head apparel, except for religious or medical purposes, must not be worn inside the school.

D. Footwear is required and must be safe and appropriate for indoor and outdoor activity. Flip-flops and shower-type shoes are examples of inappropriate footwear for school.

E. Clothing and accessories such as backpacks, patches, jewelry and notebooks must not display racial or ethnic slurs/symbols, gang affiliations, vulgar, subversive or sexually suggestive languages or images; nor should they promote products which students may not legally buy, such as alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.

F. Skirts, dresses and shorts must be beyond fingertip length.

G. Prohibited items include large, long and/or heavy chains, studded or chained accessories, sunglasses except for health purposes, sleepwear and skin-tight outer materials such as spandex.

H. Coats and jackets exceeding fingertip length are not to be worn in the building.

The school administration reserves the right to determine whether the student’s attire is within the limits of decency and modesty. The principal may allow exceptions in special circumstances or occasions and may prescribe dress in certain classes and science labs.

“The dress code policies are in effect to ensure that the best learning environment possible is presented for the students,” Wright said.

 

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