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UPDATED: Hats top S-G dress code discussion

Board member says there is some confusion about when policy applies

At a recent Scotia-Glenville Board of Education public hearing on the district's code of conduct, there was some concern that the dress code regarding hats in school overstepped its bounds.

At the Monday, June 28, hearing, board member Benjamin Conlon said he was concerned with the wording of the dress code. Condon said the Supreme Court has ruled that hats cannot be worn in a classroom, but they can be worn in the hallway.

The wording is probably stricter than to how the interpretation is, but we don't want to tell the kids, said Conlon during an interview. "Generally, a kid should take their hat off during school. Why do you need to wear your hat in the hallway?"

Conlon suggested changing the wording of the dress code out of concern that, however unlikely, the legal implications of forcing students to take off their hats could be potentially costly for the district.

The current S-G dress code states: "Hats or other head coverings are not to be worn in the building during the instructional school day unless for a medical or religious purpose."

The wording has typically been interpreted to mean that hats are not to be worn at all during the school day, even though they can be worn in the hallways.

"I really don't know if [the dress code] is going to be adjusted or not in relation to how it is presented," said Conlon in a later interview. "How it is enforced is a separate matter."

Currently, if a student wears a hat in school, someone from the school would likely ask him or her to take it off.

Pamela Carbone, board of education president, said, "Kids must not be punished for wearing hats in the hallways."

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