Dress Code Updates

Florida Statute 1001.43, 1006.07, School Board Policy 5511
Effective July 1, 2011, Florida Statute prohibits a student, while on the grounds of a public school during the regular school day, from wearing clothing that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner or that disrupts the orderly learning environment.
Any student who violates the dress policy is subject to specified disciplinary actions prescribed by Florida law. Please review the Discipline Matrix in this document for additional details.
Responsibility for the dress and appearance of students enrolled in any school within the School District of DeSoto County primarily rests with parents and the students themselves. Some student apparel may not be appropriate to wear to school even though that same apparel may be appropriate in other settings.
The DeSoto County School Board believes that there is a relationship between student attire and classroom behavior, attitude, and achievement. The objectives of this serious and conservative dress code are to bring more dignity to the classroom, to have fewer classroom distractions, to help achieve stronger discipline, and to help provide guidelines for appropriate attire as students transition from the classroom environment to the world of work or postsecondary settings.
To assist parents and students in making appropriate fashion and grooming decisions for school, the School Board has established the following guidelines for appearance and dress.
A school may elect to participate in a uniform dress code which follows school board guidelines and which receives school board approval. Once a uniform dress code is approved for a school, students must follow the school’s adopted code or face consequences as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct and the Discipline Matrix.
It is expected that students will wear the following:
  • Clothing and hairstyles which are not harmful, disruptive, or hazardous to health or safety

  • Appropriate undergarments at all times. Undergarments are to remain unexposed

  • Footwear which is appropriate to activities and conditions

  • Any clothing deemed appropriate by the individual school’s dress code policy

It is also expected that students will not wear the following:
  • The wearing on campus of hats, caps, headgear (including hoodies) or sunglasses except at authorized athletic practices or activities is prohibited. There may be certain exceptions for medical conditions and physical education classes held outside. The principal will determine these exceptions. (F.S. 1001.43(1)(b))

  • Apparel, emblems, insignias, badges, or symbols that display obscenities, are sexually suggestive, or which promote or advertise the use of tobacco products, alcohol, drugs, violence or other illegal activities.

  • Apparel or symbols which are offensive to any specific group or which are identified with gang, secret society, or cult involvement

  • Any articles of clothing or jewelry that could likely cause injury or disruption, such as but not limited to, inappropriate tattoos, a spiked bracelet that could be used as a weapon, decorative chains and/or piercings which are designed or worn in a fashion that could easily cause injury

  • Halters, backless or sleeveless dresses or tops, spaghetti straps, tube tops, tank tops, muscle shirts, tops with low or revealing necklines, or any other clothing which may be distracting unless covered by an appropriate outer garment which remains as part of the outfit. In addition, the midriff shall not be exposed.

  • Clothing with frays, holes, cuts, or slits above the knee.

  • Hairstyles, hair colors, and excessive make-up that distract or cause commotion.

  • Bedroom slippers, heelys or skate shoes.

Note: The principal or the principal’s designee has the final authority for interpreting whether a student’s apparel conforms to the dress code. When it is determined that a student’s clothing does not comply with the dress code, or is disruptive or inappropriate, a parent/guardian may be asked to bring an appropriate change of clothes to school, or a student may be sent home to change clothes.
Note: The principal may modify the dress code for extra-curricular school functions.