Seattle Public Schools

3224 Student Dress

It is the policy of the Seattle School Board that the student and their parent/guardian hold the primary responsibility in determining the student’s personal attire, hairstyle, jewelry, and personal items (e.g. backpacks, book bags).  Schools are responsible for assuring that student attire, hairstyle, jewelry, and personal items do not interfere with the health or safety of any student and do not contribute to a hostile or intimidating environment for any student.

Core Values 

In relation to student dress, the district’s core values are the following:

  • Students should be able to dress and style their hair for school in a manner that expresses their individuality without fear of unnecessary discipline or body shaming;
  • Students have the right to be treated equitably. Dress code enforcement will not create disparities, reinforce or increase marginalization of any group, nor will it be more strictly enforced against students because of racial identity, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, gender nonconformity, sexual orientation, cultural or religious identity, household income, body size/type, or body maturity;
  • Students and staff are responsible for managing their personal distractions; and
  • Students should not face unnecessary barriers to school attendance.

Universal Dress Code 

Students must wear:

  • Top (shirt, blouse, sweater, sweatshirt, tank, etc.);
  • Bottom (pants, shorts, skirt, dress, etc.); and
  • Footwear.

This policy permits additional student attire requirements when necessary to ensure safety in certain academic settings (e.g. physical activity, science or CTE courses). Additionally, this policy allows for reasonable variation in required student attire for participation in activities such as swimming or gymnastics. 

Students may not wear clothing, jewelry, or personal items that:

  • Are pornographic, contain threats, or that promote illegal or violent conduct such as the unlawful use of weapons, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or drug paraphernalia;
  • Demonstrate hate group association/affiliation and/or use hate speech targeting groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, or other protected groups;
  • Intentionally show private parts (nipples, genitals, buttocks). Clothing must cover private parts in opaque (not able to be seen-through) material;
  • Cover the student’s face to the extent that the student is not identifiable (except clothing/headgear worn for a religious or medical purpose); or
  • Demonstrate gang association/affiliation.

Attire worn in observance of a student’s religion are not subject to this policy.

This policy permits schools with a uniform policy to continue having a uniform policy provided that it is gender neutral and inclusive of attire worn for a religious reason.


Principals are required to ensure that all staff are aware of and understand the guidelines of this policy. 

Staff will use reasonable efforts to avoid dress-coding students in front of other students.

Students shall not be disciplined or removed from class as a consequence for

wearing attire in violation of this policy unless the attire creates a substantial disruption to the educational environment, poses a hazard to the health or safety of others, or factors into a student behavior rule violation such as malicious harassment or the prohibition on harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  Further, no student shall be referred to as “a distraction” due to their appearance or attire. 

Typical consequences for a violation of this policy include parent/guardian contact or conference and the directive to cover, change, or remove the non-complying attire. A student may be instructed to leave their classroom briefly to change clothes. The Principal or their designee should notify a student’s parent/guardian of the school’s response to violations of the student dress policy. 

The Superintendent or their designee is authorized to develop procedures in order to implement this policy if needed.