Department of Defense Education Activity

Grooming and Dress

1. The W. T. Sampson Elementary/High School (WTSEHS) student dress code policy applies to all students in grades Sure Start Program through twelve. It is aligned with the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Instruction (NAVSTAGTMOINST) 1020.3, Civilian Attire Policy. The overarching purpose of the student dress code is to promote a safe, positive learning environment and foster school pride. The school administrators and staff will determine if a student's attire or appearance conflicts with these rules and expectations. If there is a question after an intervention is made, a school administrator will make the final determination regarding the student's attire or appearance.

2. All middle-high school students will comply with the student dress code at all school functions on the school campus or other locations, while on study/field trips, and when they represent the school at any event or activity. Teachers or activity sponsors may set additional dress standards for safety reasons, to build team spirit, or to present a good image during study/field trips or other off-campus activities. If a student enrolls in WTSEHS after the school year starts, he/she must comply with this dress code policy within one month after enrolling if clothing was shipped to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (NSGB).

3. At WTSEHS, we expect students to dress in appropriate, clean clothing that does not interfere with the educational process. More guidance, instructions, and information are provided below.

     a. Clothing Tops (Shirts, Blouses, T-shirts, Under Shirts, and Similar Clothing):

  • Blouses/shirts with spaghetti straps, strapless tops, single strap tops, and halter tops may not be worn as outer garments. Sleeveless tops must have straps that are least 3 inches wide. Also, T-tank tops may only be worn with solid clothing underneath. Clothing tops must cover the torso from one armpit across to the other armpit (front, side, and back of torso) and down to the bottom of the waistline. Holes, rips, or tears must be sewn closed or must be covered with a sewn patch. No part of any undergarment may be exposed or visible, including straps. Necklines will not fall below the hand placed flat and horizontally below the chin at the collar bone.
  • The bottom of shirts, T-shirts, and clothing tops must be long enough so that no part of the student's midriff, back, sides, or underwear is exposed at any time when walking, standing, or sitting.
  • Clothing tops that are designed to be underclothes may not be worn as outer garments.
  • Shirts, T-shirts, and clothing tops with offensive or inappropriate language or graphics are not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, any garment that depicts or contains implied acts of or messages /images relating to profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, violence, gore, sex, lewdness, gang affiliation, the illegal use of weapons and knives; messages / images related to or promote the illegal use/abuse of tobacco, drugs, alcohol, and/or illegal substances; creates a threat to or compromises the health or safety of the student or others; and/or is associated with intimidation, bullying, racial /ethnic slurs or epithets, extremism, and/or violent groups.
  • See-through clothing may not be worn as outer attire.

     b. Pants, Trousers, Shorts, Skirts, and Clothing Bottoms:

  • Pants, trousers, shorts, skirts, and other clothing bottoms must be worn at waist level, continuously covering the crests of the hipbones. Pants, trousers, shorts, and similar garments must not sag. Students are expected to wear a belt if such garments are too large. No bare skin may be visible between the top of the waist band and the top of the kneecap (see guidance for pants and trousers). Holes, rips, or tears must be sewn closed or must be covered with a sewn patch if above the 5-inch inseam. No underwear or underclothing of any kind may be visible above or outside the pants, trousers, shorts, skirts, and other clothing bottoms. No see-through outer garments are permitted.
  • Pants and trousers may have no holes, rips, or tears above the 5-inch inseam, and no bare skin may be visible above the inseam. If they are above the 5-inch inseam, any holes, rips, or tears must be sewn closed or covered by a sewn patch, and frayed parts of the pants and trousers must have a sewn patch underneath if above the 5-inch inseam.
  • Shorts, skorts, and similar garments must have 5-inch inseam or longer. The length requirement applies to the entire bottom hem of these garments.
  • Skirts, skorts, dresses, and similar garments may be no shorter than 5 inches above the knee cap. The length requirement applies to the entire bottom hem of these garments.
  • Swimwear and undergarments may not be worn as outer garments. Leggings that are for outer wear must not be see-through. Leggings, tights, hose, and similar garments may be worn under other clothing, but the outer garments must meet the student dress code requirements, including length.

     c. Shoes:

  • Safe footwear shall be worn always. Footwear must have at least a strap over the front of the foot and heel strap. House slippers/shoes, flip flops (also called "shower shoes"), "slides", and/or shoes with wheels (also called "heelies") are not permitted.
  • For safety reasons, students will wear closed shoes during science laboratory activities, Art classes, and Industrial Technology classes.
  • For student safety, students must wear proper athletic shoes during physical education (PE) classes. Students will not be allowed to participate in PE activities if they are not wearing the appropriate shoes.

     d. Headgear/ Accessories/Other:

  • Headgear will not be worn inside any part of the school building, offices, media center, or classrooms. This includes hats, caps, hoods, do rags, sweatbands, combs, picks, bandanas, and/or scarves worn on the head. Elastic circular headbands, U-shape plastic headbands, hairpins, and similar hair accessories may be worn to tie the hair in ponytails or other hair style. The elastic headbands will not be worn around the forehead and will have no sharp items extending from them. Hats may be worn outside.
  • Sunglasses, goggles, and/or gloves will not be worn inside any part of the school building, offices, media center, or classrooms. Goggles may be worn only during classes that require the use of goggles for a prescribed activity. Sunglasses may be worn outside.
  • Excessively long or oversized jewelry chains, large medallions, extremist or gang-related items, and jewelry and attire items with spikes or sharp edges are not permitted. For safety, jewelry and visible body piercing items will be removed in PE class.
  • Chains attached to wallets or trousers /pants are prohibited.
  • Accessories (e.g., scarves worn around the neck, neckties, and belts) may be worn if consistent with this policy.
  • Other than school sponsored group or team clothing and items, clothing or items that indicate membership or affiliation with gang, extremist, or similar groups are prohibited.
  • The students' appearance, clothing, jewelry, accessories, book bags, and any other articles may not promote or encourage gang affiliation, extremism, anarchy, illegal use of drugs, tobacco, or alcohol use. Also, they may not contain, depict, or display profane or derogatory words; culturally, socially, and/or sexually offensive language or images; or those that depict gore or death.

4. If an item worn by or in the possession of a student presents a safety concern, the Principal may direct that it be removed and not be worn or brought to school property or school events.

5. If a student's dress or appearance violates this dress code, the student will not be permitted to attend classes until the problem is corrected. The student will be given an opportunity to do this. An alternate, clean clothing item may be offered by a school official (Nurse Office or Front Office) to the student to wear. If the student accepts it, the clothing item may be worn until the end of the school day. If the student does not accept the alternate clothing item, he/she may wear another outer garment that covers the inappropriate item. If it is not possible to correct the problem, the student or the front office staff will notify the student's parent(s) to bring appropriate clothing to the school before the student may go to his/her class. Consequences for subsequent violations could include after-school detention and more serious action.

6. A student exemption to the school's dress code policy may be requested by a parent for a sincerely held religious belief, disability, or medical reason. The parent should submit the request to the Principal, stating the basis for the request. The Principal may make reasonable accommodations based upon a student's disability and/or a bona fide, documented medical condition. Also, the Principal may allow exceptions to the dress code for school special occasions or events, e.g., spirit week, dramatic performances, and military unit support.


7. The Principal or designee will make the final determination regarding the student's attire or appearance. This includes resolving all issues of interpretation and application of the dress code.