Know the Code Teacher Notes

As crime has risen amongst teens, the familiar cry has gone out that this generation is worse than the one before, and unless something is done about it we are doomed as a society. In response to campus crime and the threat of gangs, schools across the country have instituted rigorous dress codes and in some cases, have required students to wear a uniform to school. As the president of your local school board, you are keenly aware of the controversy surrounding school dress codes and have asked that before you and your members render a decision in your district, each affected group present its position. You have received petitions from these groups wishing a time to speak at the next school board meeting.

Groups in Favor of School Uniforms Groups against School Uniforms
Teachers ACLU
School administration officials PSST! ( Parents Should Shop, Thanks!!)
SCORED ( Schools Can Organize Reasonable Expectations for Dress) A parent group in favor of uniforms/dress codes Students
You have the choice to decide among a number of options, or make no choice at all. There has been a slight increase in on-campus crime at your schools so the pressure on you is to do the right thing, whatever that might be. With the next elections coming up, your political survival will rest on the direction you lead.


The Task

Your job is to assume a role in one of the above described groups and research a position on the issue of uniforms and dress codes for your presentation to the school board. One group should also take on the role of School Board and research all issues related school safety and uniforms so that an informed opinion can be made. Each group is required to submit a written proposal and make a ten minute presentation to the Board using written, oral and/or a computer presentation program such as PowerPoint. The school board has promised an open and fair hearing with equal representation from all sides concerned. Feel free to express the position of your assigned group.


The Process

Each group should devise a system so that each member of the team has a role to accomplish. With regards to your presentation. It has been recommended that you utilize a multimedia approach, as the combination of words and pictures can be a moving experience. As with many issues, this can and probably will be an emotional one with each side arguing their feelings as well as facts. However, a presentation that is weighted too heavily with feelings will not not stand the test of time and so will be less persuasive in the long run.



Plan on utilizing as many of these sources as possible from the Internet so as to bolster your case.

Litigating School Dress Codes
Subscription Required
School Uniforms: ACLU Point of View

Your Right to Free Expression

Student Rights and Dress Codes

Learning Advice

Since this is a highly charged, controversial issue, it is up to you and your team to end the controversy in a positive way. Your position should be based on as much fact-based information as possible, allowing the truth of what you speak to come through. As you are already aware, the learning environment in today s schools is already cluttered, it is up to you to bring clarity to this issue. The best way to do this is to anticipate the needs and the ideas of the opposition groups. In your argument, include ways to meet the needs of those groups using your position on the dress code.



You will be evaluated based on the clarity and soundness of your presentation. Your team's work will be reviewed as to the details and facts presented directly connected to your argument. Both a written and oral presentation are required and extra points will be awarded on how your proposal is delivered and whether or not it is chosen as the direction the school board will follow.


The issue of school dress codes/uniforms and their effects on learning and school safety will continue to be debated as long as school doors remain open. There has been very little middle ground reached in past discussions. As your work here comes to an end, reflect on these questions and prepare a written answer for each.

1. As a student, do you feel that a regulated dress code/uniform policy would help students to learn more and provide a safer learning environment?

2. Is it the school's responsibility to enforce what was once a parental decision?

3. What should the school's role be regarding student dress?


Last Revised: 03/28/06