Salem students fight district hat policy

Submitted by amy.huhtala on Tue, 12/17/2013 - 15:38

There has been a petition going around SaJHS involving hats. This petition started at Salem Hills High School (SHHS) by a senior named Justus Thomas. Justus started this petition and got it approved by the principal of SHHS, Bart Peery. The petition reached this school because of Justus’ sister, Adri Thomas, eighth grader. The petition has reached about 500-600 signatures by mostly students. The Thomas’ hope to reach enough signatures to be able to persuade the district to change the hat rule. Austyn Thomas, eighth grader and supporter of the petition, says that most of the students don’t think hats cause distraction. Austyn tried to start a “hat revolution” on December 12. She advertised it on the school’s Facebook page, but the day was unsuccessful. The question now is, will Justus serve justice? Adri would like all the support they can get. Students know that when having a bad hair day, or just a lazy day, that hats would be very convenient to wear. Adri would like to share this message, “The rule has been going on forever and we need a change. We just need to remember to take them off during the pledge and national anthem.” She believes that respect is the only reason why we can’t wear hats.

According to Reed Park, legal counsel for the district, the hat policy exists for 4 main reasons.  One, hats can be a distraction in the classroom; two, hats can be used to hide contraband; three, hats can be gang-related; and four, hats could keep teachers and administrators from meeting the health, safety, and welfare concerns of all students. Park states “ I guess overall, because there are some potential problems with having hats in school, the question is what are the positive reasons for allowing hats and do those reasons outweigh the potential negative consequences?  That ultimately is the discretion and decision of the Board of Education.



Whitney Wilde, Chronicle Staff Writer