A Project for Better Journalism chapter

‘Hoodies are distracting,” said no student ever.

Imagine it’s freezing outside– meaning if you’re in the Annex, it’s also freezing inside–,  but luckily you have your hoodie on to keep you warm… then bam! You have a teacher telling you to take off your hoodie because it’s violating the school policy.

Lately, there’s been a lot of noise about the “no hoodie policy.” Many students seem to dislike this new policy and in my opinion, I can disagree as well.

Numerous times throughout the school year, I have been either allowed to keep on or required to take off my hoodie.  After recognizing that some of the hoodies I wore were not in compliance with the school colors– white, green or black– I only wore school-colored hoodies to ensure I wasn’t breaking any rules.  While some teachers required that I take it off, others were a bit more understanding.

“I don’t mind the students having hoodies because I know it’s cold in this building,” said one teacher, who wished to remain anonymous. “I feel like if it’s cold and at least [the student] doesn’t have the hoodie part on, they should be fine.”

While he agrees that students, for the most part, are wearing hoodies just to keep warm, he also said,  “The rules are the rules. I just follow them.”

Do other teachers feel this way as well? Do they follow the rules, simply because it’s the rule?  

“[Checking uniforms] takes time out of the day,” the teacher explained.  “And then the students that must get sent to the ALC [are] missing instructions for that day.”

We all know those students who get sent to the ALC for wearing hoodies and don’t come back at all, causing them to miss work, which can lead to failing classes.

Aside from the hoodie-take-off requirement causing students to miss instruction, on a personal level, I feel very uncomfortable when teachers tell me to take off my hoodie. It brings unnecessary attention to me and I also get cold very fast.

Sophomore Katherin Posada agrees.  

“They should honestly just allow the students to wear their hoodies,” said Posada. “The students shouldn’t be allowed to wear their hoods inside as usual, but the students shouldn’t be restricted from the type of sweater they like to wear because personally I only wear hoodies.”

Posada also brought up the point of some students just not having any sweaters without hoods.

“I’m sure my mom is not going to want to go out to the store to search for a sweater with no hood in the back.”

I decided to see just what it would take to find a sweater with no hood.  To no surprise, my mom and I went to four different malls before we finally hit the jackpot and found a hood-less sweater three weeks into our search.

It’s not that sweaters without hoods don’t exist.  They do, but they typically aren’t just solid. For example, Old Navy has hoodies and sweaters, but the sweaters either have prints or their logo on it. So we then, as students, have to decide which uniform violation is worse: a hoodie or a non-hoodie with print on it?

To me, the elimination of the no-hoodie policy at Parkdale would be a positive for all involved.  Rules are necessary to make the school run effectively, and I think we can all agree that the actual hoodies worn on heads should remain against the rules. But given the easy accessibility to hoodies in teenage wardrobe and to ensure everyone is getting their education, a restructuring of the policy could prove to be beneficial.

Plus, it’s cold!