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St. Johns County School District releases results of dress code survey

The district sent the survey to students after the controversy surrounding the Bartram Trail High School yearbook, in which photos of female students were altered.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — The results of the dress code survey done in the aftermath of the Bartram High School yearbook controversy have been released, and results show mixed reactions from parents.

In May, students at Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns County opened their yearbooks to find more than 80 female students’ photos were edited to censor out their chests. The yearbook ignited a controversy concerning inequities in the dress code between male and female students.

In all, more than 12,000 people responded to the survey, which covered a wide variety of topics from wearing pajamas to gang-related clothing. 

In the survey, parents were asked to Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree to the following statements:

  1. Personal attire may be in the style of the day. Clothing, piercings and accessories displaying profanity, violence, discriminatory messages, sexually suggestive phrases, advertisements, phrases or symbols of alcohol, tobacco or drugs is unacceptable.

  2. Gang graffiti will not be drawn or worn on backpacks, notebooks, folders, papers, clothing or any other object or on the body of any student on school property.

  3. Pajamas and lingerie shall not be worn as exterior clothing on campus.

  4. Head gear, including but not limited to: caps, hats, bandanas and/or sunglasses, shall not be worn on campus unless permitted by school administration for religious, medical, or other reasons.

  5. Students must wear shoes that are safe and appropriate for the learning environment. Middle school and elementary school students must wear shoes that have a back or strap on the heel. High school students may wear backless shoes. Bedroom slippers are prohibited.

  6. Clothing must cover areas from one armpit to the other armpit, down to 5 inches in length on the upper thigh. Tops must have shoulder straps and be long enough to adequately cover the waistline and not expose midriff.

  7. See-through or mesh garments must be worn with opaque clothing over it or underneath that meets the standard for clothing coverage (as defined in the previous statement).

  8. Rips or tears in clothing should be lower than the 5 inches in length from the top of the knee.

The survey showed that the parents largely favored guidelines set by the district in the survey. However, in the comments, parents appear to be divided on how strict or lenient the dress code should be. 

Some parents said students should for the most part be allowed to wear whatever they choose while others called for uniforms.

"As long as we are ok sending our kids to school in the clothes we buy, and that it is not showing too much, it should be ok!" one parent wrote.

"Adhering to dress code guidelines is challenging. I'm in favor of a school uniform like other neighboring counties," another parent suggested.

Survey Results

1. Personal attire may be in the style of the day. Clothing, piercings and accessories displaying profanity, violence, discriminatory messages, sexually suggestive phrases, advertisements, phrases or symbols of alcohol, tobacco or drugs is unacceptable.

  • Strongly Agree: 72%
  • Agree: 21%
  • Disagree: 3%
  • Strongly Disagree 4%

2. Gang graffiti will not be drawn or worn on backpacks, notebooks, folders, papers, clothing or any other object or on the body of any student on school property.

  • Strongly Agree 78%
  • Agree: 18%
  • Disagree: 2%
  • Strongly Disagree: 2%

3. Pajamas and lingerie shall not be worn as exterior clothing on campus.

  • Strongly Agree: 63%
  • Agree: 27%
  • Disagree: 7%
  • Strongly Disagree: 3%

4. Head gear, including but not limited to: caps, hats, bandanas and/or sunglasses, shall not be worn on campus unless permitted by school administration for religious, medical, or other reasons.

  • Strongly Agree: 31%
  • Agree: 32%
  • Disagree: 25%
  • Strongly Disagree: 12%

5. Students must wear shoes that are safe and appropriate for the learning environment. Middle school and elementary school students must wear shoes that have a back or strap on the heel. High school students may wear backless shoes. Bedroom slippers are prohibited.

  • Strongly Agree: 43% 
  • Agree: 40%
  • Disagree: 11%
  • Strongly Disagree: 5%

6. Clothing must cover areas from one armpit to the other armpit, down to 5 inches in length on the upper thigh. Tops must have shoulder straps and be long enough to adequately cover the waistline and not expose midriff.

  • Strongly Agree: 40%
  • Agree: 36%
  • Disagree: 15%
  • Strongly Disagree: 10%

7. See-through or mesh garments must be worn with opaque clothing over it or underneath that meets the standard for clothing coverage (as defined in the previous statement).

  • Strongly Agree: 55% 
  • Agree: 39% 
  • Disagree: 4%
  • Strongly Disagree: 2%

8. Rips or tears in clothing should be lower than the 5 inches in length from the top of the knee.

  • Strongly Agree: 33%
  • Agree: 38%
  • Disagree: 20%
  • Strongly Disagree: 9%