The following expectations for student dress have been established to promote a safe and optimum learning environment.

    Apparel or appearance which tends to draw attention to an individual rather than to a learning situation must be avoided. In matters of opinion, the judgment of the principal/designee shall prevail, Policy J-260.

    The following standards will be observed in all Knox County Middle and High Schools: 

    1. Pants must be worn at the waist. No sagging allowed.
    2. Shirts, blouses, and dresses must completely cover the abdomen, back, shoulders and must have sleeves. Shirts or tops must cover the waistband of pants, shorts, or skirts with no midriff visible. Low-cut blouses, shirts, or tops or extremely tight tops, tube tops, or any top that exposes cleavage are prohibited.
    3. Head apparel, except for religious or medical purposes, must not be worn inside the school building.
    4. Footwear is required and must be safe and appropriate for indoor and outdoor activity.
    5. Clothing and accessories such as backpacks, patches, jewelry, and notebooks must not display (1)racial or ethnic slurs/symbols, (2) gang affiliations, (3) disruptive, vulgar, or sexually suggestive language or images; nor, should they promote products which students may not legally buy; such as alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.
    6. Skirts, dresses, and shorts must be beyond mid-thigh length.
    7. Sleepwear, pajamas, and/or blankets cannot be worn in school.
    8. Prohibited items include (1) large, long and/or heavy chains, (2) studded or chained accessories, (3) sunglasses, except for health purposes, (4) sleepwear, and (5) skin-tight outer materials without appropriate coverage.


    The school administration reserves the right to determine whether the student's attire is within the limits of decency and modesty. Administration should strive for consistency so the dress code is applied evenhandedly to male and female students.

    The principal may allow exceptions in special circumstances or occasions such as holidays or special performances and may further prescribe dress in certain classes such as physical education, vocational classes, and science labs.

    Any student not attired in accordance with this policy shall be subject to correction of the violation. If a correction cannot be made, the student shall be subject to additional disciplinary measures as described in Policy J-191 “Misbehaviors and Disciplinary Options.”  

    This policy does not preclude individual schools from implementing standardized dress policies with permission from the Director of Schools and the Board of Education after extensive consultation with parents, teachers, and students.  Any deviation from the system-wide policy must be submitted in writing to the middle and high school directors for review and recommendation to the Director of Schools and the Board of Education.