Student Dress Code
A mandatory uniform policy for all students in St. Mary Parish has been implemented since the 1999-2000 school year. The information below is a guide for assisting parents with the purchasing of clothing for student(s).
The policy of the St. Mary Parish School Board shall be that no mode of attire shall be considered proper for school wear that distracts from or disrupts classroom and school decorum. In questions regarding student dress and grooming, the principals of each school will make the final decision as to what is considered proper or improper dress.
The School Board feels it is the responsibility of each student to use good judgment in one's total appearance so that the attention of others is not distracted from the purpose of school. Cleanliness shall be a basic consideration.
Any substantial complaint concerning the dress code will be dealt with by the school administration.
The School Board shall notify the parent or guardian of each student of the dress code specifications and their effective date. The dress code shall be distributed in written form or posted on the school’s website annually.
If the School Board modifies the existing uniform policy, it shall notify, in writing, the parent or guardian of each student of the policy adoption or uniform policy modification at least sixty (60) days prior to the effective date of the new or revised policy. Each school shall display any uniform selected for a reasonable period prior to the proposed effective date for wearing of the uniform.
However, nothing shall prohibit the School Board from requiring a new or revised dress code or uniform policy without the required notice in the event of an emergency. For the purposes of this policy, emergency shall mean an actual or imminent threat to health or safety which may result in loss of life, injury, or property damage.
It shall be unlawful and against School Board policy for any student or non-student to wear or possess on his/her person, at any time, body armor on any School Board property, school campus, at a school-sponsored function, on a school bus or other school transportation, or in a firearm-free zone, with limited exceptions as enumerated in La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §14:95.9, which includes permitting a student to wear, carry, or possess a backpack on school property or a school bus that has bullet-resistant metal or other material intended to provide protection from weapons or bodily injury.
School-sponsored functions shall include, but not be limited to, athletic competitions, dances, parties, or any extracurricular activities. A firearm-free zone means any area inclusive of any school campus and within 1,000 feet of any such school campus, and within a school bus, wherein the possession of firearms is prohibited, except as specifically set forth in La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §14:95.2(C) and §14:95.6(B).
Body armor shall mean bullet-resistant metal or other material intended to provide protection from weapons or bodily injury.
GROOM AND DRESS REGULATIONS
Suitability of all rules will be judged and enforced by the school administrators.
- Shoes are to be worn at all times. They must be buckled, buttoned, tied or zipped if so designed.
- Shirts and blouses must be buttoned, collar button excluded. Shirts must be tucked in at all times.
- Proper undergarments are to be worn at all times.
- Haircuts must be neat, clean and presentable. There will be no restriction on a student's hair style or their manner of dressing unless it presents a "clear and present" danger to the student's health and safety, causes an interference with work, or creates classroom or school disorder. Hair in rollers or "set" shall be prohibited.
- Pants must be of reasonable length. Shorts, skirts, and jumpers must be no less than two (2) inches above the knee.
- On special school days, principals may allow students to deviate from the dress code.
- All visible body pierced jewelry except for earrings on the ear shall be prohibited.
- Tattoos deemed as inappropriate by the principal are prohibited and must not be visible.
Mandatory school uniforms have been implemented in all schools in St. Mary Parish. The information below is a guide to utilize when assisting parents with the purchasing of clothing for students.
- PreK to Grade 8
White or navy blue short or long-sleeved polo "golf" or oxford style shirts are to be worn by all elementary and junior high school students. "Polo" shirts must have at least two (2) buttons and a collar. Pockets are permissible. Oxford shirts must button all the way down. Shirts must be tucked in at all times. Name brand emblems are not allowed on shirts.
- Grades 9 to 12
White or school-colored short or long-sleeved polo "golf" or oxford style shirts are to be worn by all high school students with one exception. West St. Mary High School students will wear light blue shirts only to differentiate between B.E.B. students who are on the same campus. "Polo" shirts must have at least two (2) buttons and a collar. Pockets are permissible. Oxford shirts must button all the way down. Shirts must be tucked in at all times. Name brand emblems are not allowed on shirts.
*Designated School Colors:
- Berwick High School = Black
- Centerville High School = Purple
- Franklin Senior High School = Garnet
- Morgan City High School = Forest Green
- Patterson Senior High School = Red
- West St. Mary High School = Light Blue (only)
- Male students must wear khaki-colored, uniform style pants or shorts. Pants/shorts can be pleated or straight fronts. Pants/shorts are to be the appropriate size for the student, must fit properly at the waist and must be neither too tight nor too baggy. Pants/shorts must be worn so that the waist of the garment cannot go lower than the hipbone. No side pockets are allowed on the lower legs of pants/shorts. No external pockets are allowed on the pants/shorts. Exaggerated size pant bottoms (not to exceed 22" in circumference) and/or fraying of hems are not allowed.
No visible name brand emblems are allowed on these garments. Khaki-colored jean/denim style pants/shorts, overalls, corduroys, warm-ups, cargo, joggers and drawstring clothing are not considered to be acceptable uniform style pants. Students in grades (Pre-K thru 2), will be allowed to wear pants or shorts that have an elastic waist.
- Female students must wear khaki-colored, uniform style pants or shorts, skirts, skorts or jumpers. These garments can be pleated or straight fronts. These garments are to be the appropriate size for the student, must fit properly at the waist, (No hip-huggers or low riders), and must be neither too tight nor too baggy. No side pockets are allowed on the lower legs of pants/shorts. Exaggerated size pant bottoms (not to exceed 22" in circumference) and/or fraying of hems are not allowed. Short skirts cannot be wrap around or have splits in front or back. Hemlines of shorts, skirts, skorts or jumpers cannot exceed two inches (2”) above the knee. Only longer skirts (27" or more) may have splits in back or side. No side pockets are allowed on pants/shorts or long skirts. No external pockets are allowed on pants/shorts or skorts. No visible name brand emblems are allowed on these garments. Khaki-colored jean/denim style pant/shorts, overalls, corduroys, warm-ups, cargo, capri, leggings, jeggings, joggers, and drawstring clothing are not considered to be acceptable uniform style pants. In grades (Pre-K thru 2), students will be allowed to wear pants, shorts, skirts or skorts that have an elastic waist.
- Students must wear solid white, black, brown, navy blue or khaki/tan colored socks with no logos or emblems on them. Socks must be worn above the ankle and must be visible at all times. (No anklets or footies socks allowed). The same colored tights or stockings may be worn instead to accompany the uniform.
- Students must wear a solid khaki, black, navy blue or brown (leather or cloth) belt with the uniform style pants. (Standard size buckles are required–not to exceed 2" in height. (No big buckles are allowed.)
- Students must wear shoes such as tennis (including high-tops), casual, or dress styles that are at the ankle or below. No sandals, thongs, boots to the knee, or other inappropriate footwear are allowed. Shoes must have a complete front and back. Shoes requiring laces must have the laces and be kept tied at all times during the day. Boots that are part of a JROTC uniform or vocational course may be worn as required.
- Solid navy blue, white, khaki/tan or school-colored sweatshirts, sweaters or sweater vests may be worn over polo or oxford shirts. No contrasting colors, stripes, etc. will be allowed. Sweatshirts, sweaters and/or sweater vests may have official school mascot/logo on them. Sweatshirts must be pullover in nature and may not have hoods. Uniform shirt collars must be visible at all times when wearing these garments.
- A lightweight jacket, parka, or windbreaker can be worn when experiencing cooler weather (fall) or when buildings are too cool for students. The garment must be solid navy blue, khaki/tan, white, black, brown, or designated school color. No contrasting colors, stripes, etc. will be allowed. These garments may have hoods but no name brand emblems. (Hoods must be removed once inside the building.) Official school mascots/logos may be located on these additional garments. School-issued jackets may be taken into consideration as part of the uniform.
- Face coverings or masks shall be worn as required by BESE regulations.
- All masks shall be solid colors or school appropriate print with no writings, emblems, insignias, or logos except those provided and/or approved by the superintendent or his/her designee.
- As per Presidential Order 13998 (effective Feb. 1, 2021), students are required to wear masks on school buses regardless of bus capacity. Notification of changes to this order will be shared with parents and students as available.
Student Identification Cards
- School issued student identification cards must be worn by all students in grades (6-12th).
- Patterson Jr. High will also require their 5th graders to wear school issued identification cards.
- Students who transfer into St. Mary Parish schools will be allowed two (2) weeks to purchase uniforms and comply with the policy.
- Clothing must be neat, clean, modest, properly worn and the correct size for the student. Blue jeans are allowed (when designated by the principal) but must meet the same criteria as the uniform pants. Accessories, book sacks, backpacks book covers, or any other item containing graffiti, or writing/symbols which may be perceived as vulgar, profane, disruptive, gang-related, violent, heavy metal, tobacco or alcohol-related language are not to be worn or brought on the school campus.
- Schools have the option to require see-through backpacks but must also allow bullet proof backpacks or book sacks as an option.
- Spirit shirts may be worn with approved pants/shorts, skirts, etc., on such designated days as determined by the principal. The students have the option of wearing the spirit shirt or the standard school uniform.
- The school principal/designee shall make final decisions on acceptance of garments within the uniform policy guidelines.
NON-COMPLIANCE WITH DRESS CODE
The student dress code shall apply to all students in all schools in St. Mary Parish. The approved disciplinary procedures for all students (Pre-K-12th grade) who are in noncompliance with the mandatory dress code shall be in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
The student dress code policy shall apply to all students in all schools in St. Mary Parish.
The following are approved disciplinary procedures for students (Pre-K - 12th grade) who are in noncompliance with the mandatory dress code policy:
- First Offense: A telephone call will be made by the principal to the parent/guardian to attend a conference with principal concerning the dress code policy. Parent/guardian should also bring appropriate change of clothing to school.
- Second Offense: A telephone call will be made by the principal to the parent/guardian to alert parent that the child is being referred to two (2) hours in the student adjustment center for appropriate disciplinary action as determined by the principal. Parent/guardian should also bring appropriate change of clothing to school and will be required to attend a conference with the principal prior to the student returning to class.
- Third Offense: A telephone call will be made by the principal to the parent/guardian to alert parent that the child is being referred to four (4) hours in the student adjustment center for appropriate disciplinary action as determined by the principal. Parent/guardian should also bring appropriate change of clothing to school and will be required to attend a conference with the principal prior to the student return to class.
A student enrolled in Grades PreK through 5 shall not be suspended or expelled from school or suspended from riding on any school bus for a uniform violation that is not tied to willful disregard of school policies.
A student's clothing must be the appropriate, standard school uniform as determined by the School Board and as interpreted by the principal. The principal shall make the determination regarding the acceptability of a student's uniform dress, accessories, and appearance.
Students who are in continuous noncompliance of the dress code policy will be referred by the school principal to the Child Welfare and Attendance Supervisor. At this time, a disposition will be made by the Superintendent or his designee for possible court action against the parent and/or student.