It is a generally recognized principle in the world of work that dress is important. Standards for work attire are set in literally hundreds of occupations. Businesses have long recognized that the clothing one wears has an effect on both the employees and customers. For employees, a uniform or dress code establishes a sense of unity or “esprit de corps.” It provides a visible and ongoing reminder that each one is part of a larger group or team. The limits on individual freedoms are considered a worthwhile sacrifice in order to emphasize the importance of the company and its work. For customers, the clothing symbolizes professionalism, pride, and dedication. Clothing both attracts them initially and leads to confidence in the company
These principles also apply in a school setting. Clothing can contribute to a sense of pride and professionalism in the students’ workplace. It can contribute to a sense that school is important business. It emphasizes the importance of the mission of the school and the success of the entire body as opposed to the individual. (In fact, some educators argue that a dress code can be a tool to reduce violence and gang behavior). It also serves to attract those who visit the school and give them confidence in the dedication of those who work there, students and staff alike.
It is also evident, particularly in our day, that clothing has become a means of calling attention to, and exalting oneself. The time and attention given to dress by both sexes attests to the importance placed by all on how one looks. Something that plays such a vital role in our culture needs to be addressed by the Christian school.
The difficulty lies in establishing the specific set of standards. Feelings about clothing run high, even among Christians. In a Christian school, few issues generate more debate than the dress code. In part this is due to the fact that the Bible, while it does give general principles about how one should dress, does not give specific details. This means that any dress code will have certain arbitrary elements to it. On the other hand, the alternative (not having a code) results in dress that may violate Biblical principles and/or is offensive to some.
It was God, after all, who replaced the clothing designed by Adam and Eve with one of His own design. It should also be noted that while there is no such thing as a “Christian” dress code, there are certain Christian principles that should undergird whatever code is adopted by a Christian school.
The goal of the HCS Dress Code is to help create an atmosphere that is conducive to education. This means that students come to school prepared to work effectively with their classmates. They should appear well groomed and in properly fitted clothing that is appropriate to the situation. They should dress modestly so as not to call attention to themselves. Teachers have the right to warn students who are not following the Dress Code (or the spirit of the Code) and to take appropriate disciplinary measures including, in the case of serious offenses, sending students home to change.
Our standards for dress and grooming are in keeping with the high Christian ideals that we seek to establish in those who attend our school. The code does not attempt to embrace every conceivable situation in the realm of dress but is meant to provide a reasonable standard for parents, faculty and students. The Scriptural support for a dress code may be found in 1 Timothy 2:9, 10; 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Peter 3:3,4; and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
- The Bible enjoins us to dress modestly, and live not for ourselves but for others. Modesty refers not only to avoiding that which is sensual but also to avoiding that which calls attention to oneself.
- The Bible teaches that we should recognize and honor the God-ordained distinctions between male and female.
- Clothing should be appropriate for promoting the goal of academic excellence. It should therefore be comfortable for the wearer and not a distraction for others.
- Good stewardship requires that clothing be practical and affordable.
- A good dress code will be easily interpreted by parents, students and teachers.
- Clothing for school or work should be distinct from clothing for play or recreation.
- The dress code will apply to all school related activities.
- All final decision on the dress code will rest with the administration.
- All aspects of dress should be neat, clean, and modest. This includes styles of hair, clothing, makeup and jewelry. No offensive printing or offensive pictures are allowed.
- Tops must fit properly with a modest, well-fitting neckline. Sheer material must have proper undergarments. Tank Tops, Tube Tops, Spaghetti Straps, or bare midriffs are not allowed.
- Pants should fit so that undergarments or bare skin are not evident. Shirts with tails are to be tucked in. Dresses and skirts must be no shorter than the top of the knee. (Culottes and split skirts will be treated as skirts if they look primarily like skirts as opposed to shorts.)
- Shorts for classroom wear should be no shorter than two inches above the knee. Shorts for phys. Ed. should be at least mid-thigh length.
- Properly fastened indoor shoes must be worn in the buildings and outdoor shoes worn outside at all times.
- No hats worn in the school, unless specified by a school spirit day.
- No bare feet on school property.
- No wheeled footwear or skateboards on school property.
- Students may be asked to dress more formally for certain public events such as field trips, concerts, ministry groups, game day for sports teams, etc.
- Students are permitted to dress more casually for sporting events, retreats, etc.
- Students are encouraged to dress appropriately for School Spirit days (Hawaiian Day, Western Day, etc.)
- Parents are to ensure that their children understand and abide by the Dress Code.
Teachers are to check during attendance that students are dressed properly and inform the office of those who are not.