Recently, I was in a district, troubleshooting with some assistant principals. We were focusing on the issues that were taking up too much time. It was universally agreed that the biggest issue they faced was dress code violations. This district has a fairly strict uniform dress policy for students and the AP’s are the one’s that enforce it.
Unfortunately, for these AP’s, their problem really isn’t student dress. For the most part, students follow the requirements. In terms of meeting the basic parameters of the policy, compliance is probably over 80%. Which is darn near a miracle considering there are very few adult role models within the system. The issue isn’t student dress at all, the issue is adult dress.
As a staff, this district looks downright shabby. Untucked t-shirts, pants with no belts, jeans, shorts and sandals are the norm. There are more students dressed professionally than professionals dressed professionally.
Here’s a universal rule of schools. If a student expectation is important, it must be taught. If it must be taught, it must be modeled. Modeling is the most effective way to teach a skill. If you aren’t willing to teach and model the expectation, then don’t have the expectation. It is that simple.
So my advice to the AP’s was this; either get your staff on board and start modeling the student dress code expectation – everyday, or jettison the dress code. Any other action is hypocritical and a waste of time.
Think. Work. Achieve.