Hat wearers take issue with dress code, teachers left to enforce policy
Juliana Discher | Staff Writer
Hatters gonna hat.
Beanies, ball caps, flat bills, and other headwear are being seen more frequently in the halls of Mason High School. Whether for fashion or to help combat a messy hair day, more students are adding hats to their daily attire. Sophomore Kip Roe said he is an avid hat wearer because of the convenience of them and their ability to enhance an outfit. Roe said for the most part, teachers are lenient about allowing him to wear a hat, despite it being a violation of the student handbook.
“I’ve worn hats to school every single day since freshman year,” Roe said. “I have really long hair so most days it’s pretty messy. Usually it’s a lot easier to wear a hat to school because it makes the hair look a little better. I only have one teacher that doesn’t like when I wear them. She tells me to take it off because it is a rule violation, but most of my teachers don’t care.”
Senior Griffin Buress is also a hat wearer and said wearing a visor to school helps him as he grows his hair out.
“I got to be growing the ‘fro out for when I go out to California for school, so the visor is for sure a must have because everyone’s hair goes through an awkward stage,” Burress said. “It honestly brings out the inner dad in me, and so far, I’m definitely loving it. Rain or shine, I’m always gonna rock the visor.”
Burress said he feels frustrated when teachers tell him to remove it because it is a part of his look.
“Almost every day I have some teacher ask me to take it off,” Burress said. “It amazes me how mad they actually can get. I’m wearing a hat, like, come on. I feel naked without it.”
Rule 8 in the ‘Dress Code’ portion of the Student Handbook states: “no headwear may be worn in the building. This includes, but not limited to: hats, earmuffs, bandannas, scarves, head coverings, hoodies or sunglasses.” Burress said he is not sure why this rule is necessary.
“With what the kids are wearing these days, I don’t know how a hat is still not allowed,” Burress said. “I could walk into some classes shirtless, and a teacher wouldn’t bat an eye, but a hat is a death wish these days.”
Roe said he is also unsure why hats are banned, and has been told a plethora of reasons.
“Some teachers have told me that the rule prevents cheating because students could put paper in the bill of the hat,” Roe said. “Some teachers have told me it’s a fire risk, which I don’t understand either. They have said it prevents distractions and prevents students from shielding their eyes while they look down at their phones. I am not sure if there is one sole reason.”
Junior Brianna Elam regularly wore a Nike hat to school and said she thinks the rule might be for respect.
“I could just put on my hat and I didn’t have to fix my hair, so it saved me time,” Elam said. “I only had one teacher say something, but I don’t know why there is a rule because so many people do. I think it bothers teachers because they think it’s disrespectful.”
Honors Microsoft Certification teacher Lori Toerner enforces the no hat policy in her classroom. Toerner said she does it to create a professional environment.
“I don’t think students should wear hats to school because it’s kind of like you’re going to work,” Toerner said. “In a work environment, you would not be wearing a hat, therefore, it will create a serious environment.”
Toerner said she believes the no headwear policy should be enforced on all fronts, or removed from the student handbook.
“It’s not enforced, so I have to tell kids every day to take their hats off,” Toerner said. “Some of them don’t have an issue, but some I have to tell them every day, and I get the eyeroll. I would like to see it either enforced or taken out of the rule book.”
Roe said he believes the rule should be removed because hats are accepted by the majority of school officials.
“It’s not enforced, so they should just get rid of the rule,” Roe said. “I have talked to administrators while wearing a hat, and they have never said anything to me. I think it’s unfair and weird that it differs from teacher to teacher. I am not trying to insult anyone by wearing a hat. As far as hats go, I don’t see any harm by them.”