The hoodie! A staple in our students’ wardrobes. Most adults wear them too. SO why does the hood provide so much discussion and conflicts in schools?
Many schools have rules banning the wearing of the hood. This rules is created out of good intentions. Schools want a safe and engaged environment. Hoods impact both the school safety and engagement. Students often wear earbuds under hoods. Earbuds playing music can lead to students running into each other in the hallways or not engaging in the lessons in the classrooms. In some cases students hid vape devices under their hoods. Hoods also conceal students identity to cameras around school campuses.
Do all of our students have these intentions when wearing a hood? No absolutely not. Most students like the feeling of the hood, like curling up with a blanket. In the winter students enjoy the warmth of the hood, especially when up to 10% of the bodies heat can be loss through ones head. Tired students like to hide in their hoods, resting their hooded head on their arm as it lays on their desk.
So what is the dilemma?
Is a school rule banning hoods, criminalizing it? I think not. It is teaching our students how dress for different situations and follow the rules/norms for an situation. In my school the rule is explained to students. Most students follow regularly. A few need gentle regular reminders, I just give them a look and show a hand motion of putting the hood down; no issue arises and no conflict. Of course there might be 1 or 2 in a grade level who want to make it an issue by fighting the rule, this just leads to a discussion where teacher and student come to a mutual understanding of expectations.
Our society is full of norms/expectations. School need to teach students how to follow these expectation. Many businesses have rules banning or requiring certain clothing.
Isn’t the hood rule similar? Don’t we want students to be rule following citizens in our society? It shouldn’t be a dilemma, just a discussion of expectations.
ON A Side Note: I also always tell my students if they don’t like a rule they can go through the process of changing it. Explaining the process and how to make changes to make our school better.