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Dress Code

Dress Code

The San Mateo Union High School District Board of Trustees adopted a dress code that includes these basic principles:

  • The student dress code should serve to support all students to develop a body-positive self-image.
  • All students are encouraged to dress in a manner that is comfortable and conducive to an active school day and allows them to express their self-identified gender.
  • Students should be able to wear clothing without fear of or actual unnecessary discipline or body shaming. 

The following guidelines shall apply to all regular school activities:

  • Clothes shall be sufficient to conceal undergarments. Shirts or tops must be worn at all times and must cover the back, front and sides of the torso.
  • Shoes must be worn at all times.
  • Hats, caps and other head coverings shall not cover the face unless for religious purposes. Masks are not allowed unless for a medical purpose.
  • Students CANNOT Wear Clothing, jewelry and personal items (backpacks, fanny packs, gym bags, water bottles etc.) that depict:
    • Violent language or images
    • Images or language depicting drugs, alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, e-cigarette or vaping, hate speech, profanity, pornography (or any illegal item or activity) or the use of the same
    • Images or language that create a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class (defined as race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion).

Additional information can be found in the policy and admin regulations which can be found on the District’s website:

AR and Board Policy 5132 Students/ Dress and Grooming

The District recognizes that the type of clothing, jewelry, personal items, and style of hair are a matter of personal choice.  Three primary factors influence the District’s expectations for what is acceptable.  Students are expected to dress in a manner, which is not disruptive to the learning process, is safe, and does not construe gang affiliation.  Violations will result in a change of clothing.  As classes will be outside more in the 2020-21 school year, students should plan on dressing accordingly and be advised to have a sweatshirt with them at all times. Students may be required to go home and parents will be notified.  Repeated violations will result in disciplinary actions. Listed below are examples of what the school district considers inappropriate.  This list is representative, but not all-inclusive.

  •     Suggestive, revealing, or transparent attire that could divert attention from the learning process, and contributes to inappropriate conduct. (Examples:  front or back cleavage exposure, short skirts/shorts/high-slit skirts, spaghetti straps, halter or strapless clothing.)
  •     Clothing that promotes obscenity, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex, or violence
  •     Clothing that demeans others with regard to gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, etc.
  •     Clothing that indicates gang involvement as determined by the school administration and based on consultation with the local law enforcement agency (examples:  Hair nets, do-rags)
  •     Clothing, jewelry or accessories, which are potentially dangerous (Example:  spiked rings, necklaces, or bracelets, or sharp studs on clothing.)
  •     Clothing should be free of writing, pictures, insignia which are crude, vulgar, profane
  •     Being barefoot.

(Note: Failure to follow Dress Code may require student to wear school provided tops, including shirts/sweatshirst, and/or other disciplinary consequences) 

  • 1st Offense:  warning, parent/guardian notified, change of clothes
  • 2nd Offense:  warning, parent/guardian notified, change of clothes, 1 week of community service, wellness counselor referral made
  • 3rd Offense:  Friday detention, parent/guardian notified
  • 4th Offense: ATS assigned, mandatory parent meeting