Brian Lehrer Segment on School Dress Codes References South Orange-Maplewood

by The Village Green
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Brian Lehrer gave the South Orange-Maplewood School District a perhaps unwanted shout-out today (along with Montclair) with a segment on whether or not school dress codes are sexist.

Listen here.

Much discussion about the dress codes took place last year after incidents at the middle schools. Read Helena Holgersson’s opinion piece for Village Green here. Read Jennifer Weiss-Wolf’s piece for Slate here. Watch BBC coverage here. In all three, girls and parents from the South Orange-Maplewood School Districte discussed how they felt that the district’s school dress codes were inconsistently enforced and unfairly singled out female students.

In the aftermath, the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education voted to revise the district’s dress and grooming policy last October. Read more in this Village Green article from last year.

The policy reads as follows:

South Orange Maplewood School District DRESS CODE

At all of our District Schools, we expect all students and staff to dress appropriately for the educational and professional community we are.

  • Students are not permitted to wear clothing with offensive messages that reference sex, violence, weapons, drugs, alcohol, gang affiliations, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc., and that have the effect of substantially and materially interfering with the school program.
  • Underwear must not be visible.
  • Clothing and undergarments should cover skin as appropriate for a school and professional setting. All tops should have straps.
  • See-through clothing is prohibited.
  • Shoes that increase the likelihood of accidents and injury should not be worn.
  • Sunshades or any dark glasses should not be worn unless they are prescribed for medical reasons and a doctor’s note is on file in the medical office.
  • Chains or jewelry with sharp projections should not be worn.
  • Headgear, including hats, scarves, do-rags and headbands is not permitted to be worn, except for religious or medical reasons. In instances where students wear headgear for religious reasons, a letter from a parent or guardian requesting exception to policy must be presented to the school administration at the beginning of the school year.Consequences:Students who violate this dress code will be asked to change their clothing as needed with parental or school assistance and with every effort to minimize loss of instructional time and any embarrassment to students. In the event of repeated violations, students, parents/guardians, and school administration will meet to remedy the situation.

Editor’s note: A shout-out to Anna Sandler of TAPintoSOMA for making us aware of the Brian Lehrer segment. Read TAPintoSOMA’s coverage here.

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