Public high schools have the power to decide what kind of clothing students are allowed to wear in class. Across Sussex County, the rules vary district-by-district.
At Kittatinny Regional High School (KRHS), for example spaghetti straps are not allowed — but students at High Point Regional High School can wear them problem-free. Students at West Milford Township High School could get away with wearing pajamas to class, while those at Sparta High School and Vernon Township High School cannot, according to student handbooks.
Some rules are more consistent across districts: a majority of schools have explicit rules against wearing hats, and clothing with alcohol or drug messaging, for example.
At KRHS, students cannot wear spaghetti straps or crop tops, but muscle shirts are allowed.
Some dress code rules tend to target clothing traditionally worn by girls, such as the banning of spaghetti strap shirts or dresses, crop tops that would expose one’s midriff, and regulations for skirt, short and dress lengths. Handbooks with these length rules often use the “finger tip rule,” stating that the skirt’s hem must be longer than the students’ fingertips with their arms at their sides.
Repercussions also vary by district. If a students violate the dress code at Jefferson Township High School, they have to change into different clothing. They can do this by having a parent bring in a change of clothes, or by wearing clothing supplied by the school. At Delaware Valley High School, on the other hand, students are given hall pass restrictions or detention for breaking the dress code.