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Please Reconsider the Hat Ban

Please Reconsider the Hat Ban

Drawing by Alicia Campos

"I agree that teachers should be able to see a student’s face, but I’d like to see the rule revised to allow students more options."

It’s soon to be winter in Cleveland, and that means we’ll all be very cold. When we’re cold, many of us would really like to wear hats or hoodies, but the school does not allow it.

The policy of not wearing hats, which is a very old policy, is chiefly for security reasons.  According to Assistant Principal Paul Chase, the idea is that teachers and administrators should be able to see someone’s face and eyes to tell if they could be a risk to the safety of other students. Another reason Chase gave was that it doesn’t look appropriate for the school environment. Mr Chase did note that, for girls, wearing a hat just on the back of the head, “catching your hair [to keep it] out of your eyes,” is more acceptable, and that of course hats and head coverings are fine for religious purposes.

The full text of the rule is as follows: “Head coverings of any kind, with the exception of those worn for religious reasons, are prohibited. This includes hats, hoods, scarves and stocking caps, for example.”

So the rule effectively prohibits any non-religious head covering whatsoever.

I agree that teachers should be able to see a student’s face, but I’d like to see the rule revised to allow students more options. I believe that, as long as we don’t wear hats or hoods pulled over our eyes or covering some other part of our face, we should be allowed to wear them in class. At the least, we should be allowed to wear them after we come into class, so the teachers can see our faces first and ascertain that we are not a threat to the wellbeing and security of the school as a whole.

It doesn’t take away from my ability to learn if you’re wearing a hat, and vice versa.  If it helps you learn to be warmer, and if that includes wearing a hat, I see no problem with it if you are not disrupting anyone (and your features are visible).  I do understand the need for security, but I also think we need to be able to function, and, when you’re in a cold classroom, you need all the warmth you can get.
If wearing a hat helps me learn, I should be allowed to do so. I don’t believe anyone’s learning ability is incapacitated by covering part of his or her head, and I don’t believe anyone will be seriously distracted.  If we are even allowed to put them on after the teachers determine that we’re not threatening anyone’s security, it would still help at least some students learn better.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Please Reconsider the Hat Ban”

  1. Watson on March 5th, 2013 2:27 pm

    Agreed. Some classes are so cold, that it distracts a lot of kids from their classes. There have been days where I have seen kids put away their things early to curl up in their sweatshirts and let their fingers thaw.
    During lunch, the cafeteria is abnormally cold during the winter, and since most heat escapes from your head, a hat really helps. Though the no hat rule is understandable for hats that cover your face, it seems silly that a hat resting on the back of your head and covering your ears needs to be removed.

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