Dress Code Change Opens Doors for Student Expression


Jack Shupe

Corey Davis is a senior here at Kempsville High School, as well as an advocate for the new policy regarding hats, hoods, and do-rags.

Jack Shupe, Staff Writer

Students at Kempsville High School may have noticed that teachers will no longer ask them to remove hats, hoods, or do-rags in the hallways. This is due to a new dress code change allowing for certain head apparel to be worn during passing periods. Hats, hoods, and do-rags may be worn in classrooms if students have teacher permission. 


Senior Corey Davis is one student who is appreciating the rule change, and who likes to wear do-rags and hats.


 “I feel as though certain limits are okay,” he said. “With things like a hat or a hood, you know that you should take it off when unnecessary to wear it, but in some instances, it’s okay to wear it.” 


“A hat is an accessory, a hood is an accessory, that goes with an outfit. If someone wants to express their way, express their emotion through their clothing, they can do that with a hat that has, say, a donut on it, like mine.”


Kempsville High School Assistant Principal Darryl Johnson and Health and PE teacher Wayne Gibson both advocated adamantly for the relaxation of the dress code. 


“Student self-expression is very important,” said Johnson. “I saw the removal of the headwear restriction as a chance for students to express themselves, and frankly, in the two weeks that it’s gone, I’ve heard the most conversations about do-rags and Donald Trump hats. Being open to students expressing themselves means being open, whether it’s a do-rag, yamaka, trucker hat, Trump hat, just accept it all. So student self-expression is on the rise, just from relaxing the headwear policy.”


“The good thing,” said Gibson, “is that it’s something they can do in the hallways before and after school, but in each classroom the teacher can do what they feel best.”


The policy concerning headwear allows for students to wear hats, hoods, or do-rags in the hallways, but in each classroom, the teacher chooses whether or not to allow students to sport their head apparel. Each teacher may evaluate the safety concerns that come with students wearing hats, hoods, or do-rags in class and determine if they will allow it.