Dress code differences

According to local high schools’ student handbooks, dress codes can vary greatly between districts.

| 23 Aug 2023 | 04:15

Public high schools have the power to decide what kind of clothing students are allowed to wear in class. Across Orange County, N.Y., the rules vary district-by-district.

One school could allow pajamas, while another could have them banned. This goes for Delaware Valley High School (DVHS) and Kittatinny Regional High School, both within 35 minutes of each other. According to student handbooks, Delaware Valley students could be sent home if they came to school wearing pajamas, while those who attend Kittatinny would be able to go through their day problem-free.

Some rules are more consistent across districts; a majority of schools, including Delaware Valley, have explicit rules against wearing hats, and clothing with alcohol or drug messaging, for example.

Across districts, dress code rules tend to target clothing traditionally worn by girls, such as the banning of spaghetti strap shirts or dresses, crop tops that would expose one’s midriff, and regulations for skirt, short and dress lengths. Handbooks with these length rules often use the “finger tip rule,” stating that the skirt’s hem must be longer than the students’ fingertips with their arms at their sides. At DVHS, crop tops are banned, but students can wear spaghetti straps and dresses without worries about length.

Students who violate the dress code at Delaware Valley High School are given detention or hall pass restrictions, according to the student handbook.

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