The start of school means following dress codes for Alexander City and Tallapoosa County schools. Dress codes can be confusing and students can get pulled aside for breaking the rules. As a refresher, here are the two school systems’ dress codes:
The Tallapoosa County School’s dress code is based off “Dress for Success.”
According to its 2019-20 student code of conduct book, Tallapoosa County Schools’ dress guidelines apply to students in grades through 12.
Obscenities, indications of suggestive or immoral behavior, pictures and designs on clothing are not acceptable, including sexually suggestive remarks, gang-related, alcohol, tobacco or drug-related messages.
Shirts and blouses should cover the shoulders, cleavage, abdomen and back.
Boys pants and blue jeans have to be worn at the natural waistline and a fastened belt and tucked-in shirt is required for all boys.
Skirts, shorts, skorts, which are pair of shorts with a flap across the front to look like a skirt, and dresses should be no more than 2 inches above the knee. Slits also must be no more than 2 inches above the knee.
Leggings are not allowed as an outer garment but can be worn under skirts, skorts, shorts and dresses.
Ear piercings are the only piercings allowed and hair should be neat and clean.
Holes, unfastened overalls, see-through, skintight spandex and revealing clothing are not allowed.
Sleeveless shirts, boat neck and tank tops are not allowed.
Head coverings, sunglasses, curlers, picks and combs are not allowed.
Chain wallets and belts and athletic wear are not allowed at Tallapoosa County Schools.
Superintendent Joe Windle said the dress code gets modified a little bit every year.
“It boils around three things — (if it’s) sexually offensive, racially offensive or politically offensive, and does it impact in a negative way learning in the classroom?” Windle said. “And you’ll also see in some cases it’s specific things you can’t wear or do but it boils around that general theme.”
According to its 2019-20 handbook, Alexander City Schools students must be dressed and wear their hair in a neat, clean and well-groomed style. Students’ hair and grooming should not bring attention to them.
Low-rise pants and pants with holes, slits, frays, designs and graphics are not allowed. Cutoff garments, leather, pajama, fleece, sweat pants and athletic pants or shorts are not permitted.
Spandex material, clinging, form- or tight-fitting garments such as leggings, jeggings, spandex or stretch-knit jeans are not allowed as pants. Slacking pants are not allowed.
Dresses, skirts and shorts cannot be shorter than 2 inches above the kneecap. Shorts for elementary students cannot be shorter than 4 inches above the kneecap.
Extreme makeup and unnatural hair colors are not allowed.
Bare midriff tops, open-backed tops, crop tops, backless shirts, halters, cleavage-revealing tops and transparent or open-back shirts or blouses and dresses are not allowed.
Blouses cannot show cleavage and buttons must be fastened to cover it. Women’s shirts must meet pants at the waistline and not show the midriff when arms are raised. Girls shirt straps must be no shorter than a credit card’s width.
Boys shirts must be tucked in at all times.
Shirts may be unbuttoned only if another shirt is worn underneath.
Students in grades seven through 12 are not allowed to wear jerseys.
Clothing or paraphernalia can not have offensive or vulgar insignias, obscene language, unacceptable graphics or anything denoting illegal substances, including armbands, decals, slogans, controversial writings or drawings having double or questionable meanings or are synonymous with secret societies and gangs.
Clothing that could potentially harm others such as spurs, metal wrist bands and chains are not allowed.
Shoes with spiked heels, shower or athletic slip-ons, shoes with cleats, bedroom shoes and skate shoes are not allowed. Sunglasses and head coverings are not allowed.
Facial piercings, ear spacers or plugs, visible tattoos, controversial, offensive or vulgar insignias, armbands, decals and slogans having double or questionable meanings are not allowed. Controversial and vulgar tattoos must be covered.
Book bags, travel bags and athletic carry-on bags are not allowed in classrooms and lunchboxes should be kept in lockers. Purses larger than a folded 8½-inch by 11-inch piece of paper are not allowed in classrooms.
Looped earrings larger than a quarter and dangling earrings longer than 2 inches are not allowed. Chains and medallions longer than 18 inches are not allowed and long or multiple necklaces should be worn under shirts for men. Men can wear studded earrings.
Superintendent Dr. Keith Lankford said students should use discretion when getting dressed for school.
“We want a dress code that’s conducive to learning for everyone and that’s the thing,” Lankford said. “We don’t want (it to) be a distraction to others and the learning process.”
Neither of the school boards are discussing switching to uniforms.
“I’ve been in all of our schools and I think for the most part, our students and our teachers do a great job of presenting that professional atmosphere where everybody feels comfortable,” Lankford said.