Essential question: Does restriction of students clothing choices in school violate the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment?
Most students know about the first amendment and how it gives them many freedoms one of those freedoms being the freedom of expression. Some students in school believe that student dress codes or school uniforms go against this freedom they are given. In some senses school dress codes do but the dress code is there to prevent distractions to other students learning. In schools that have school dress codes they are trying to prevent the distractions that could come with students choosing what they can wear. Theses are valid concerns that school administration can have there are many arguments that go against school dress codes.
Theses arguments against the dress codes and student uniforms are valid arguments. In crossen vs. Fatsi one student was told he needed to shave because it had gone against the school dress code. The dress code stated that “Students are to be neatly dressed and groomed, maintaining standards of modesty and good taste conducive to an educational atmosphere. It is expected that clothing and grooming not be of an extreme style and fashion.”. In the Supreme court ruling they said that the school board does not have the ability to state the grooming standards of students. In another school students are required to wear school uniforms. In the case of Littlefield v. Florney students were told that they had to wear polo type shirts and blue or khaki color bottoms. If students were not in there uniform they would be pulled out of class and punished for not being compliant. This not only goes against the first amendment but it also disrupts student’s learning. Rather than students being able to express themselves in what they wear they are forced to look like everyone else showing that conformity is alright. In another school with a dress school uniform policy, some the Frudden’s parents of two young children tried to fight it. In the policy the students had to wear a school uniform or a nationally recognized organization on days the students have meetings. An example is boys scouts or girls scouts. On the first day of school the children didn’t wear there school uniform then on the second day of school they wore there soccer uniforms that were from the american youth soccer association. These students got called out of class and told to change because the team was not meeting on that day. From this the school is making the students miss class time to deal with something that was not a distraction and that was a very minimal problem.
In schools students should have the ability to choose how they would like to dress as long as it doesn’t create a distraction to other students in class. This would create a school environment that students are free to express themselves freely in a reasonable manner and not conform to others.
“Crossen v. Fatsi, 309 F. Supp. 114 (D. Conn. 1970).” Justia Us Law, law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/309/114/2096028/.
VACCA, D. R. S.
CEPI Education Law Newsletter
Your Bibliography: Vacca, Dr. Richard S. CEPI Education Law Newsletter. 2018, https://cepi.vcu.edu/media/university-relations/cepi/pdfs/newsletters/2014-15/2014-9EdLawNewsletter.pdf. “FindLaw’s United States Fifth Circuit Case and Opinions.” Findlaw, caselaw.findlaw.com/us-5th-circuit/1408648.html.