“Tipping our hats to Central’s new policy”

For as long as students could remember, hats were an obvious “no” in school dress code policy. Unless it was religious headwear, most accepted that no hats, regardless of style, were allowed in Central.

As of the start of the 2019-2020 school year, hats are now allowed in Central. The shift in policy is attributed to the diminishing relationship between gangs and hats; in the past, hats have served as a symbol of gang affiliation. The Central Times welcomes this change and agrees with the administration that in the current environment, there are few concerns about the dangers hats may pose to school safety. 

In the future, however, the Central Times hopes that the administration will better communicate changes in policy. Many students were unaware that hats were now allowed in school. Though the deans discussed the dress code in a back-to-school video that was shown throughout Central, there was no mention of hats, which is one of the largest differences from the prior years. Students are encouraged to read their Redbook for more information. However, the Central Times believes that many do not, and that the policy should be communicated through multiple channels to clarify any confusion students may have.

In our editorial discussion, a staff member mentioned a policy from the previous year in which a student could request permission to wear a hat inside the classroom, even if it was not for religious purposes. The Central Times believes that, like the new change in policy, this had not been widely communicated to the student body. 

We are aware that throughout the school, hats remain banned in certain classrooms, and believe that students should respect a teacher’s decision in this area. Many Redhawks, including some members of our editorial staff, believe that hats are a sign of disrespect. Even though they no longer pose a threat to school safety, for some, the wearing of hats in the classroom may not be justified, as it is associated with impoliteness. Though the Central Times commends the administration’s decision to allow hats, we agree that these viewpoints are valid and should be respected.

There are a variety of reasons for the differences in attitudes on hat allowance in school. For example, when some teachers attended high school, what was considered “appropriate” attire was drastically different than what it is today. Many may see hats in the classroom as damaging to the atmosphere, as they aren’t accessories that one would typically wear in formal situations.

Despite this, it’s important for policies to match the changing times, and the administration has recognized this. So, we tip our hats to the administration, which, while keeping Central safe, has successfully adjusted its dress code to the new status quo.