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Hoods & Head Coverings: A Problem?

As an educator, I completely understand why the rule of “No Hoods” exist. Considering the number of school shootings in the United States that occur every year, it makes some sense.

However, if you become familiar with a student and their tendencies, why must you continuously disrupt the peace by telling them to take their hood off? Since the semester started, an administrator would look into my classroom, and if they saw someone with their hood, they would open the door and disrupt me while I’m teaching to tell the student(s) to take their hood(s) off.

Part of the reason I wanted to write about this is because part of the interior design curriculum is design thinking. To teach design thinking, I took the students through the steps to solve a problem they feel passionately about, and one student in my class felt passionately about wearing his hood. Around this time, he had gotten a new haircut, and though he liked it, he did not want to hear the teasing of his friends and harmful words of others.

Yes, wearing a hood obscures parts of someone’s face and identity. However, people have various reasons for wanting to keep the hood on their head. For some people, it can be a safety net if they are socially anxious. Some students come from abusive homes, and wearing hoods hides whatever injuries they may have. At my previous school, there were students who walked around with a note to wear their hoods because they had medical reasons for wearing them, such as having a major brain surgery.

There’s also the sense of privacy. As teenagers, parents are consistently on their backs and breaking all sorts of boundaries to get into their teenagers’ minds, making them feel like they are losing the independence they are supposed to be gaining as they get older. To combat that feeling, they do whatever they can for privacy and boundaries, including something as simple as wearing a hood.

Again, I understand why school dress codes across the nation are so strict with the hood rule. However, if the only legit reason they have is for safety measures, they should only be strict about the rules in the hallway—not interrupting anyone’s class.

There is quite literally a petition on change.org to allow students to wear hoods in school.

Moving on, around the same time that we went over the design thinking curriculum, as a teacher, I got in trouble for wearing a head covering. As they say, third time’s the charm, and I was stopped by an administrator my third time wearing a yellow and pink work of art that a friend made for me. What made this conversation so mind boggling, to the point where I’m writing about it a month and a half after it was had, is that she said we are not allowed to wear head coverings but can wear scarves on our heads…

I need some clarity because what in the world?

When I tried to find clarity by typing into Google “difference between head covering and scarf,” all that came up is the difference between a hijab and scarf.

If Google can’t tell me the difference and neither can the administrator who told me the rule, what’s the point of the freaking rule? I am ninety percent sure no one was offended by the bright yellow yarn on top of my head. In fact, I get several compliments whenever I wear it, and it took three times of me wearing it before administration even noticed.

Until someone is physically being harmed by a hood or a head covering, I think schools need to ease up on how strict they are with this element of the dress code.

Why don’t we focus on the girl who is higher than a kite and wearing an “I Heart Sluts” sweatshirt?

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