St. Mary's Schools Implement New Student Dress Code

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (July 22, 2008)—The St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) announced that they have developed a Student Dress Code which will be implemented with the start of the 2008-2009 school year. A press release from SMPCS said the purpose of the new dress code was to "support a safe and positive learning environment that is free of distractions and disruptions." They added, "There is a close relationship between student dress and student behavior. Therefore, proper dress is important to setting the pattern of school and social conduct."

Key elements of the new code prohibit clothing that is sexually provocative, promotes gangs or violence, and promotes vices such as drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products.

The code makes allowances for headgear that is worn for religious or health reasons.

The school system is advising parents and students to be mindful of the new student dress code when purchasing school clothing for the upcoming school year. Parents who have questions about the code are asked to contact the child's school or the St. Mary's County Public Schools Department of Student Services at 301-475-5511, Option 2.

The Student Dress Code states:

Clothing and Accessories in General

-- Clothing displaying or suggesting profanity; sexual activity through graphic images, words, or innuendos; weapons; drugs/alcohol or drug paraphernalia; violence; or tobacco products may not be worn.
-- Clothing with identifiable gang/crew representation or paraphernalia may not be worn.
-- Suggestive or provocative clothing such as see-through clothing or shirts/blouses/dresses with low necklines which show cleavage may not be worn.
-- Official St. Mary's County Public Schools' athletic uniforms may be allowed at the discretion of the coach.
-- Student dress for mixers (informal dances) must be in compliance with the Student Dress Code.


-- Hats/Headdresses may only be worn indoors for religious or health reasons.

Shirts and Blouses

-- Shirts and blouses should be continuous from the neckline to the waist of the pants/skirt/skort. Shirt straps should be at least two (2) inches wide over the shoulder or covered by a sweater, jacket, or other shirt and in any case, strapless shirts/blouses may not be worn. The midriff area (front, back, and sides) must not be visible at any time even when seated.
-- No undergarments should be exposed.
-- Shirts having large armholes and neck holes, such as muscle shirts, may not be worn.

Skirts and Dresses

-- Skirts, dresses, and spandex skirts should be approximately one (1) inch below the fingertips.
-- Dress straps should be at least two (2) inches wide over the shoulder or covered by a sweater, jacket, or other shirt and in any case, strapless dresses may not be worn.

Pants and Shorts/Skorts

-- Pants and shorts/skorts should be secured at waist: no sagging below waist to expose undergarments.
-- Tights, stretch pants, leggings, and spandex body suits must be worn with clothing which meet the skirt/dress directives.
-- Shorts/skorts should be approximately one inch below the fingertips.
-- Pajama pants may not be worn.


-- Shoes must be worn that are safe for all activities.
-- Elementary school students must wear shoes that are secured behind the ankle.
-- Shoes with wheels may not be worn.


-- Jewelry, belts, chains, and other accessories that may be used as or look like a weapon or create a significant disruption may not be worn.
-- Studded accessories are not permitted.

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