Our Hat Policy Explored

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Our Hat Policy Explored

Our school's mascot with a hat

Our school's mascot with a hat

"20160303-DG6_5205" by zhaohui008008 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Our school's mascot with a hat

"20160303-DG6_5205" by zhaohui008008 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

"20160303-DG6_5205" by zhaohui008008 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Our school's mascot with a hat

Nicole Perera, Writer

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Schools nationally are banning hats on their campus grounds. Black River’s hat policy, part of the student dress code, is intended to catch and prevent illegal/suspicious activity during class.

Dean of Students and writer of the hat policy, Mr. Donnelly, says that he both dislikes and likes the hat policy. He states that there are multiple different reasonings for why the policy exists, and one of the most important being gang affiliation. “The Holland Area has had an uprising of gang-related issues in the past 2 decades, and the school has previously been a target of graffiti work,” Mr. Donnelly mentions.

Donnelly also clarifies that he does not automatically think that if a student is wearing a hat, they’re a gang member; instead he perceives it as an indicator if the hat has affiliations on it. In his opinion, it would be most appropriate for the students at Black River to not wear hats, in order to avoid one indicator of possible gang affiliation, and so that Black River can maintain its professional environment.

Mrs. Heneghan, the school’s receptionist, usually spends her time in the main office, which gives her the ability to see different students throughout the day. The hat policy is an absolute necessity for the students, in her opinion, because “… it is very easy with hats to conceal your face.” She voices that hats subconsciously promote certain students to hide all sorts of things in their hats, which influences a land-fall of negative aspects.

However, there are some adults at Black River that wish the hat policy could be relaxed. A Black River chemistry teacher that does not particularly like the hat policy is Mr. Ewald. He understands why it is important to ban hats on campus, but he personally wishes “… that I could wear a hat around campus, especially since I’m bald.” Mr. Ewald states that it would be much more convenient for him if he could freely wear a hat or hoodie around campus, and adds on, “… I’m sure the students would prefer that too.”

Black River students are similarly divided. The majority of students interviewed here at Black River dislike the idea of not wearing a hat, especially if they have a messy hair-do or if they do not feel in the mood to groom their hair.

A Black River freshman, Hailey Mayer, states enthusiastically, “I think that the rule is unnecessary.” She voices that “99%” of the students she has come across, have never had an issue related to drugs/alcohol, gang affiliation, etc. Hailey essentially states that it is pointless to have a wide-spread rule that limits the well-behaving children. She understands the staff’s stances towards the topic, but she states that it does not apply to everyone: “Why does the public get restricted based on certain individual’s actions?” Hailey also mentions that nowadays, students really enjoy wearing hats because of aesthetic and/or fashion purposes.

But some students approve of the hat policy, like Black River freshman, Roger Hernandez. He states, “I know a lot of people who use their hoodies to sleep in class, and I think it’s not the smartest move on their part. School is indirectly paying us with an education, and if you use your class-time to be sleeping, it’ll influence a lazy work ethic in your future career.” Roger says that wearing no hats enhances a student’s participation, which results in a higher grade.

Furthermore, he mentions that wearing no hats can prevent controversial issues and follows up by voicing, “The hat rule opposes the probability of having issues related to clothes. For example, if you wore a Trump hat, that would be controversial. The no hat rule helps tame unnecessary controversies between students.”

Despite the previous facts mentioned, wearing a hat at Black River has certain exceptions, such as medical and religious reasonings. Black River integrates a policy of allowing students with a 504, IEP, IHP, and/or other medical reasons, to be able to wear a hat. Mrs. Heneghan states, “On certain occasions, such as religious reasonings/events, it is absolutely acceptable to wear a hijab or turban.”

In short, occasionally, it is acceptable to wear a hat, but there are evident reasons as to why it is unacceptable.