by Vivian Y '16

Why Hats Are Banned: An Inside Look

Heat leaves the body quickly through the hands, feet, and head. As the colder months are rolling in, fuzzy socks, gloves and hats protect us with their cozy properties. But, one of them is banned: hats. Why are hats banned in classrooms when they’re not illegal on the streets?

The NYC Department of Education Discipline Code states in rule B09: “Wearing clothing, headgear, (e.g., caps or hats), or other items that are unsafe or disruptive to the educational process is prohibited.” It is classified as an infraction: an uncooperative or noncompliant behavior. However, it’s a level one offense, the least serious one out of five possible levels.

The rule leaves room for interpretation. “Unsafe” and “disruptive” are vague words to work with. In the past, hats were banned in school areas with high gang-activity. Specifically with snapback hats, they were popular as a way to sport gang identity through key colors or symbols. Despite the previous association of hats with gang activity, the analysis of what hats stand for can be taken too far. Anowar Bashal ‘16 said, “Hats can represent team names. I was told not to wear a hat once, and it simply said New York. I don’t think they should be banned.”

Another student agrees that this dress code rule should be lifted. “It’s not fair,” said Brianna Carty ‘16. “What if we’re having a bad hair day?” Carty is a fan of wearing beanie hats to accessorize her hair, among many other students who enjoy donning this slouchy, laid-back statement piece.

“Hats define me and it’s my style,” said Alvaro Bermejo ‘16. Bermejo is iconic for the hats he frequently wears to class, and the teachers who just as frequently confiscate or order him to remove his fashion statement. Several times, he had his hat confiscated from him. “It angers me because people should be allowed to wear what they want. Schools should be about education, not what you wear. Hats aren’t distracting unless you have a sombrero that covers the student behind you.”

But at the same time, students understand the setbacks of wearing hats to school. Not only can large hats obscure the view of the person sitting behind, but they can also hide your face. “They might be sleeping and the teacher might not see,” said Kara Larochelle.

“Sometimes, hats cover the head in a way that makes it dangerous for the school environment,” said Stephanie Pichardo ‘16. Hats can make it harder to identify someone, so a criminal can disguise himself with a hat and enter the school building. For the same reason, masks are annually announced as prohibited around the Halloween holiday because they cover the face, and hide the identity.

“One person hid something in his cap so everyone in the city can’t wear them. We’re a good school, its’ not fair” said Nikolaos Filooulos ‘15. “Beanies are for love not for hate.”


By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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