This is the model dress code we want adopted. It was written by the Oregon chapter of the National Organization for Women for the Portland public schools. It has since spread across the United States and Canada. You can read more about it in this article on Vox.

These are the core values of the policy:

  • All students should be able to dress comfortably for school without fear of or actual unnecessary discipline or body shaming.
  • All students and staff should understand that they are responsible for managing their own personal “distractions” without regulating individual students’ clothing/self expression.
  • Teachers can focus on teaching without the additional and often uncomfortable burden of dress code enforcement.
  • Students should not face unnecessary barriers to school attendance.
  • Reasons for conflict and inconsistent discipline should be minimized whenever possible.

1. Basic Principle: Certain body parts must be covered for all students

  • Clothes must be worn in a way such that genitals, buttocks, and nipples are covered with opaque material. Cleavage should not have coverage requirements. All items listed in the “must wear” and “may wear” categories below must meet this basic principle.

2. Students Must Wear:*

  • Shirt.
  • Bottom: pants/sweatpants/shorts/skirt/dress/leggings
  • Shoes; activity-specific shoes requirements are permitted (for example for sports)

* High-school courses that include attire as part of the curriculum (for example, professionalism, public speaking, and job readiness) may include assignment-specific dress, but should not focus on covering girls’ bodies or promoting culturally-specific attire.

3. Students May Wear:

  • Hats, including religious headwear
  • Hoodie sweatshirts (over head is allowed)
  • Fitted pants, including leggings, yoga pants and “skinny jeans”
  • Midriff baring shirts
  • Pajamas
  • Ripped jeans, as long as underwear is not exposed.
  • Tank tops, including spaghetti straps, halter tops, and “tube” (strapless) tops
  • Athletic attire
  • Clothing with commercial or athletic logos provided they do not violate Section 4 below.

4. Students Cannot Wear:

  • Violent language or images.
  • Images or language depicting drugs or alcohol (or any illegal item or activity) or the use of same.
  • Hate speech, profanity, pornography.
  • Images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class.
  • Visible underwear. Visible waistbands or straps on undergarments worn under other clothing are not a violation.
  • Bathing suits.
  • Helmets or headgear that obscures the face (except as a religious observance)

Click Here to view their full dress code policy in detail.

This is the final policy as adopted by the Portland public school system:

The District Dress Code policy applies to all schools in Portland Public Schools grades PK-12, with the exception of schools with a Uniform Dress Code policy.

The responsibility for the dress and grooming of a student rests primarily with the student and his or her parents or guardians.

Allowable Dress & Grooming

  • Students must wear clothing including both a shirt with pants or skirt, or the equivalent and shoes.
  • Shirts and dresses must have fabric in the front and on the sides.
  • Clothing must cover undergarments, waistbands and bra straps excluded.
  • Fabric covering all private parts must not be see through.
  • Hats and other headwear must allow the face to be visible and not interfere with the line of sight to any student or staff. Hoodies must allow the student face and ears to be visible to staff.
  • Clothing must be suitable for all scheduled classroom activities including physical education, science labs, wood shop, and other activities where unique hazards exist.
  • Specialized courses may require specialized attire, such as sports uniforms or safety gear.

Non-Allowable Dress & Grooming

  • Clothing may not depict, advertise or advocate the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other controlled substances.
  • Clothing may not depict pornography, nudity or sexual acts.
  • Clothing may not use or depict hate speech targeting groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation or any other protected groups.
  • Clothing, including gang identifiers, must not threaten the health or safety of any other student or staff.
  • If the student’s attire or grooming threatens the health or safety of any other person, then discipline for dress or grooming violations should be consistent with discipline policies for similar violations.


Share This