No Hoods in the Wood: Thoughts on the Tallwood hoodie policy


Cheyenne Knight

Students in the LMC wear their hoodies as they discuss their thoughts on the new hoodie policy.

Cheyenne Knight

Tallwood students may have recently noticed that teachers and administrators are more strictly enforcing the no hats and hoods policy. Some students are even being sent to detention for wearing their hoodies in the halls.

Jaidan Brass, a junior in the Global Studies and World Languages Academy says, “I don’t think giving them detention is going to stop them from putting their hoods up. It’s been a known rule for a long time, and I see plenty of people in the halls with them up. Since detentions aren’t working, they are clearly going about it the wrong way. Personally I don’t mind people with their hoodies up because it doesn’t mean they’re doing anything bad and you can still see their face. I guess it would be a problem if you were trying to catch someone doing something and all you could see was their hood, but that’s a definite minority; and really only a small amount of teachers call out on the other parts of the dress code like off-the-shoulders or wearing serious short dresses and shorts or having their stomachs out.”

Jaheim Nichols a Junior, had a similar feeling about the issue: “It shouldn’t be that strict, I mean, it is just a hood.”

TJ Smith, a senior, had mixed feelings on the subject, stating, “In one way a student is breaking school dress code policy by wearing a hood, but it is just a hood and nothing more. All it really should be is just a verbal warning and that’s all.”

When asked about consequences for violating this policy, Dr. Avila told the Gazette, “Students at Tallwood who are not compliant with dress code are counseled.  When students are non-compliant, they lose their Lion Lunch privilege and have lunch in ISS.”

Drew Styron, a Sophomore, says, “I personally believe that when you see the face that it’s fine, like a hoodie won’t hurt you unless you can’t see the face…If you are like entering they can like have you take it off and then if they see a suspicious face they can handle it then.”

Senorita Gaillard, a Spanish teacher says, “I am definitely in favor of stricter enforcement on hoodies because it’s important that we should be able to identify a student, and a lot of times if you have your hoodie on, it’s just tunnel vision, you can’t necessarily have that peripheral vision to see what going on around you. Not only that, but it’s just a form of respect when you enter a building you take your hat off or your hoodie off, you know, for security purposes.”

Dr. Avila reiterated that the policy is about clear identification of students.

“Students are not allowed to wear hats, hoods, or sunglasses, or any article of clothing that prevents the student from being visibly seen. Everyone in school must be easily identified,” he said.

Elizabeth, a Sophomore in the Global Studies and World Languages Academy simply states, “While I do agree that hoodies should not be worn in school due to identification problems, I don’t agree with the punishments given.”

Donavin Muirhead, a Junior having gone to detention for having his hoodie up said, “I feel like it’s unfair that you can get lunch detention or ISS (In-School Suspension) just for wearing a hood and the staff members don’t give you [a warning].” He also added, “Most of the students wear hoods because it’s cold or it makes our outfit look better. I don’t think that’s detention-worthy, to be honest.”

Ms. Freeman, a Social Studies teacher says, “The idea of hoodies is a safety issue, so there is a lot of research that goes into the decisions the school system makes about safety. If you go into a bank they would say the same thing: ‘no hoodies.’ We understand that in a bank, unfortunately because of the climate of violence and gun shootings and things like that we now are applying some of those same safety features in schools, which is a cultural shift…so it’s unfortunate that those things have led to a necessary cultural shift in our security system, which is unfortunate but necessary, so I support the policy. The idea of detentions–detentions don’t go on your long term record–so I think in order to make a cultural shift you have to have consequences for it to become the norm…and also because it’s advertised so much not to wear them, not to wear them, not to wear them, then its fair.”

While the opinion of the student body appears to be negative towards the hoodie policy, teachers have generally shown favor to the policy and have pointed out the safety issues involved. While students feel the consequences for wearing their hoodies may be too severe, the administration defends its stance, saying it is looking out for the safety of the student body and feels that the penalty is necessary to ensure student safety.