Carroll County Public School Dress Code: Too Strict or Just Right?

The county school system dress code was recently revised in time for the new school year.

The Carroll County Public School System is reminding students and parents what is appropriate to wear to school, posting the revised student dress code in time for the start of classes on Aug. 29.

"Students of Carroll County Public Schools are required to groom themselves in a manner that is modest, clean, appropriate, decent, and not disruptive to the educational process," read the instructions available on the Carroll County Public School website. "Students are expected to abide by the dress code from their arrival to the school building to the defined ending of the school day." 

The newest addition to the rules includes a stricter policy on skirt, short, skort and dress length. 

"Student’s shorts and skirts need to reach the fingertips when a student is standing up straight. I ask parents to remember this as you shop for back-to-school clothes," said Principal Thomas Clowes in the school newsletter. 

"We hope that students realize the importance of maintaining an appropriate learning environment throughout the year," read a statement on the new policy in the letter to students and parents. "Your support makes a world of difference." 

"We consider school to be the place where students work," said Principal Catherine Hood in the school newsletter. "Clothing that is more appropriate for the beach or weekend sock-hops should not be worn. We appreciate your continued support in maintaining a work environment that reflects respect and responsibility." 

A Facebook group created by a local student titled “I Hate Carroll County Public School Dress Code” has 330 “likes,” with some students expressing their dislike for the policy specifically surrounding shorts at school.

“It would be nice to throw on a pair of shorts today and T-shirt, but oh hey I might get a detention,” read one post.

According to the policy, a student found wearing inappropriate clothing will be asked to change or remove the item and any failure to cooperate will be referred to an administrator.

The rules set forth by the Board of Education are as follows: 

Head Coverings:

  • Hats, sunglasses, or head coverings of any kind, including bandanas and visors, shall not be worn in the school building unless approved for religious or medical reasons.
  • Certain headbands, scrunchies, etc. which are used to hold hair in place and do not cover the entire head are permitted.

Shirts Must:

  • Cover the entire back (i.e., no cutout backs, no shirts that tie in back).
  • Cover the midriff area (bottom of the shirt must meet the top of the lower attire at all times).
  • Cover undergarments (tank-top undershirts and skin-tight compression shirts are considered undergarments, and must have a shirt over them).
  • Not be see-through.
  • Fit modestly so that cleavage area is covered.
  • Have two straps, one on each shoulder (no tube tops or halter tops).


  • Dresses, skirts, skorts, and shorts should not be excessively short.
  • The guideline for “excessively short” is clothing that does not reach the student’s fingertips when the student is standing with arms extended at the side.
  • Pants will cover undergarments at all times and not be excessively long as to drag on the floor.


  • No shoes with wheels shall be worn.
  • No bedroom slippers or pajamas shall be worn.
  • No chains which could inflict significant bodily harm if used as weapon, spiked clothing or accessories shall be worn.
  • No mutilated, cutout or ragged clothing shall be worn that exposes the bare skin between the upper chest and mid-thigh or creates a significant distraction.
  • Underwear shall not be showing and shall not be worn as outerwear.
  • Clothing shall not convey advertisements for or promote the use of condoms or other birth control devices, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or weapons, stated or implied.
  • Clothing shall not convey messages that express hate, racial slurs, or sexual harassment.

Clothing shall not convey establishments or products whose names can be directly interpreted or construed as carrying a “double meaning” involving sexual innuendo, gang symbols, or sexual activity.

William Campion August 23, 2011 at 11:40 AM
It's a shame that the School Board has to enact policy due to the lack of parental supervision. Parents..........step up and act like a parent!!!
Rebecca August 23, 2011 at 01:52 PM
This is entirely appropriate and no unlike surrounding counties' dress codes...it has to be put in writing because there are parents (encouraged by their children, I'm sure) that would fight it...sad, but true.
Liz Codera Morante Kleinschmidt August 23, 2011 at 02:03 PM
should be wearing UNIFORM
david August 23, 2011 at 05:43 PM
I realy hate to use these words but,"When I was in school" and you wore something you weren't supposed too say jeans, you spent the day in your gym uniform. How stylish!
Joey September 23, 2011 at 02:10 PM
we should have uniforms. it eliminates the issues of the dress code and provides more equality in schools. its also less distracting for the students, and will improve the grades of the students.


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