With Tennessee’s Tax Free Holiday on the horizon, parents and students will swarming to stores in a quest for the perfect school wardrobe. Before you buy, though, be aware of the specific guidelines (dress codes) for your school. Read through for the CMCSS guidelines and the Clarksville Academy guidelines. The academy guidelines are somewhat more strict and more defined than CMCSS. They can be found by using the weblink at the end of this article.
The board believes that proper etiquette, social customs, and good grooming are part of the educational process. While parents should exercise the primary authority in determining what appropriate dress is and grooming for their children in accordance with their age and grade, it is the responsibility of the school system to work with parents in encouraging students to assume this responsibility and to execute it sensibly as they mature. It is also the responsibility of the school system to provide an educational atmosphere conducive to learning.
The dress code is designed to ensure the health and safety of students and to avoid distractions to the educational process, while preserving the basic rights of individuals. One glaring absence is the specification of what to wear over leggings. Clarksville Academy requires tunics to be worn over leggings, while CMCSS has no detailed specification. Tunics traditional fall to mid- to upper thigh.
The following guidelines for CMCSS must be followed:
1. Attire must not be destructive to school property (i.e. body chains, spikes).
2. Dress must comply with the health and safety codes of the State of Tennessee.
a. For health reasons, shoes must be worn.
3. Dress or appearance must not interfere with the educational process or the rights of others.
a. Headwear or hair rollers are prohibited inside buildings during school hours.
b. Sunglasses are prohibited inside buildings unless prescribed.
c. Bare midriffs, see-through garments, undergarment type shirts, bare backs, halter tops, low-cut blouses and pants, mini-skirts, tank tops, and cut-offs are prohibited.
d. Shorts, in appropriate lengths and materials, are permitted in grades K-12. No spandex or brief type shorts are permitted.
e. Leggings are permissible as long as they are not see-through.
f. Skirts and dresses must be longer than mid-thigh.
g. Obscene, profane, provocative, or inflammatory words or pictures on body/skin, clothing or jewelry, or clothing advertising alcoholic beverages, drugs, drug paraphernalia or tobacco products are prohibited.
h. Students in grades 6-12 are prohibited from wearing, while on school property or at any school-sponsored activity, any type of clothing, apparel, or accessory, which denotes such students’ membership in or affiliation with any gang (TCA 49-6-4215).
i. Extremely low-riding pants are not allowed because they are a safety hazard. “Sagging” is not permitted.
j. Body piercing jewelry, with the exception of earrings, is prohibited in school or at school-sponsored activities.
k. Jewelry ornaments or accessories which distract from the educational process or which present a safety concern will not be allowed (i.e. grills, spacers)
l. Clothes worn with holes above mid-thigh must have garment worn beneath them.
m. Standard footwear including shoes, boots, athletic shoes, and sandals should be worn. House shoes or skate shoes will not be allowed.
NOTE: Individual schools will assume responsibility for determining compliance with the dress code for ruling on specific items of clothing and general appearance for reasons of safety and health, or for the order, well-being, and general welfare of students.
Additionally, existing laws and/or school regulations require the wearing of protective clothing, eye shields or other dress for the health or safety of students participating in certain activities. Each school will notify students of these rules. Students failing to comply with the dress code shall be required to make immediate arrangements for appropriate clothing. Refusal to make such arrangements shall result in suspension for one school day for the first offense and up to 10 days for repeated violation.
The guidelines for Clarksville Academy are available online.