District-wide Elementary/Middle School/High School Dress Code
Current students will receive a copy of the Lorain City School (LCS) Dress Code Policy through their school building. Additional copies of the dress code will be available at the school. Upon registration a copy of the LCS District Dress Code Policy will be shared with parents.
- Black, khaki, gray, or navy pants are required. Denim pants, jeans, painter pants, or athletic pants are prohibited. Pants must fit at the waist.
- Belts are optional since pants must be fitted properly. Large, oversized belt buckles, sparkly buckles, rivets, studs, inappropriate language, or medallion type buckles with logos/pictures are prohibited.
- Baggy, saggy pants are not permitted. Pants must be fitted and secured around the waist area.
- Jegging pants are allowable at the Elementary grade level. They must conform to dress code colors (Black, khaki, white, gray, navy blue) and policy.
- Middle and high school students are not permitted to wear Jegging or Yoga/Exercise Pants.
- Black, khaki, gray, or navy blue skirts or jumpers (knee length or longer) are required. Skirts shall be no more than 3 inches above the knee. Slits are not permitted above the knee.
- Students are permitted to wear (Black, khaki, gray, or navy blue) length appropriate shorts. Cargo shorts are permitted.
- All shirts must be a solid-color of white, navy blue, gray, or black and must be either a collared polo shirt with buttons, dress shirt or turtleneck. Tucking shirts inside of pants is optional. Shirt shall be no more than one size above the student’s regular or normal size. Shirt must appropriately fit student and not be altered to form fit.
- All buttoned shirts are to be appropriately buttoned.
- Shirts can be long sleeve or short sleeve. Sleeveless is not permitted.
- Sweat outfits or t-shirts are not permitted.
- Any articles of clothing with negative or inappropriate wording, logos or graphics are prohibited.
- Crew-neck sweatshirts, fleeces, or sweaters will be of the appropriate color: white, navy blue, gray, or black. They may be worn over the shirt and may not contain any writing, stripes, or designs.
- Hoodies are prohibited at any time during the school day with the exception of travel to and from school and must be stored in student’s locker.
- Sandals, flip-flops, slippers, open backed or open-toed, shoes are prohibited.
- Shoes with laces must be tied at all times.
- Shoes cannot have graffiti on them.
- Shoes with rollerblades (Heely shoes) or any retracting device is prohibited.
- Students will wear proper gym attire – athletic short, shirts, gym pants, socks, and appropriate gym shoes.
Additional Dress Code Information
- Jackets, coats, hoodies and other outerwear must be placed in student lockers or cubicles prior to first period and remain there.
- Nylons, leggings, tights, and knee hi’s must conform to dress code colors (black, khaki, white, gray, navy blue). These items must be worn under appropriate clothing (skirt/ jumper).
- Head gear of any kind such as hats, caps, bandannas, visors, sunglasses, nylon headwear, ties as well as scarves and gloves are not permitted for wear during the school day. All head gear must be removed upon entering the building. All head gear must be placed in student lockers prior to the first period and remain there.
- Hair clips, scrunches and plain headbands are allowable. All other head gear is prohibited.
- Wrist sweatbands or head sweat bands are not permitted for wear during the school day.
- Torn, ripped, or cut-off clothing is prohibited.
- Any attire, jewelry or accessories promoting or advertising drugs, alcohol, vulgar language, sex, violence, gang paraphernalia or are otherwise offensive or disruptive in nature are prohibited.
- Studded, spiked jewelry or chains which can become a threat to the safety of the student are prohibited.
- Bare midriffs or bare backs are prohibited.
- All book bags, large purses, tote bags and backpack-style purses are to be placed in student lockers or cubicles prior to the start of the first period and remain there.
- Adequately sized purses are allowable.
- Any towels, rags or blankets are to be stored in student’s locker or cubicle and remain there.
- An assigned LCS lap top carrying case is permitted.
- Suits, vests, sport jackets and ties are permissible but must conform to dress code colors (black, white, navy blue).
- At no point during the school day students are allowed to have inappropriately exposed areas of the body visual, this includes undergarments.
Dress Code Policy Exceptions
- Students participating in a nationally recognized, school approved organization may wear the organizational uniform on days that the organization has a scheduled function.
- School spirit wear may be worn on specific days as approved by the building principal.
- Administration will make the final determination on appropriate dress attire when needed.
- Principals will have discretion to suspend the dress code regulations for school-wide events.
- Sponsors of extracurricular activities may impose further restrictions, if necessary. Principals, in conjunction with other administrators and teachers, are responsible for administering the LCS Dress Code. Students may apply for an exemption from this policy if it interferes with a sincerely held religious belief.
Student Assistance Under special circumstances, students qualifying for federally approved free or reduced lunches (as noted on approved free and reduced lunch documentation) may be provided with assistance in obtaining the required dress code wear. This request must be put in writing to the school principal or designee. The school building will share information of locations to purchase affordable school dress code wear.
School violence encompasses physical violence, including student-on-student fighting and corporal punishment; psychological violence, including verbal abuse; sexual violence, including rape and sexual harassment; many forms of bullying, including cyberbullying; and carrying weapons in school. It is widely held to have become a serious problem in recent decades in many countries, especially where weapons such as guns or knives are involved. It includes violence between school students as well as physical attacks by students on school staff.
Internalizing and externalizing behaviors
A distinction is made between internalizing and externalizing behavior. Internalizing behaviors reflect withdrawal, inhibition, anxiety, and/or depression. Internalizing behavior has been found in some cases of youth violence although in some youth, depression is associated with substance abuse. Because they rarely act out, students with internalizing problems are often overlooked by school personnel. Externalizing behaviors refer to delinquent activities, aggression, and hyperactivity. Unlike internalizing behaviors, externalizing behaviors include, or are directly linked to, violent episodes. Violent behaviors such as punching and kicking are often learned from observing others. Just as externalizing behaviors are observed outside of school, such behaviors also observed in schools.
Other individual factors
A number of other individual factors are associated with higher levels of aggressiveness. Compared to children whose antisocial conduct begins in adolescence, early starters have a worse prognosis in terms of future aggression and other antisocial activities. Lower IQ is related to higher levels of aggression. Other findings indicate that in boys early problematic motor skills, attentional difficulties, and reading problems predict later persistent antisocial conduct.
The home environment is thought to contribute to school violence. The Constitutional Rights Foundation suggests long-term exposure to gun violence, parental alcoholism, domestic violence, physical abuse of the child, and child sexual abuse teaches children that criminal and violent activities are acceptable. Harsh parental discipline is associated with higher levels of aggressiveness in youth. There is some evidence indicating that exposure to television violence and, to a lesser extent, violent video games is related to increased aggressiveness in children, which, in turn, may carry over into school.
Straus adduced evidence for the view that exposure to parental corporal punishment increases the risk of aggressive conduct in children and adolescents. Straus's findings have been contested by Larzelere and Baumrind. A meta-analysis of the vast literature on corporal punishment, however, indicates that corporal punishment is related to poorer outcomes in children and youth. The methodologically soundest studies indicate "positive, moderately sized associations between parental corporal punishment and children’s aggression." Gershoff found that the trajectory of mean effect sizes (the size of the effect of corporal punishment on children's problem behavior) was curvilinear with the largest mean effect size in middle school (M = 0.55; on average the mean of corporal punishment group was more than half a standard deviation higher than the mean of the non-punishment group) and slightly smaller effect sizes in grade school (M = 0.43) and high school (M = 0.45).
Gerald Patterson’s social interactional model, which involves the mother’s application and the child's counterapplication of coercive behaviors, also explains the development of aggressive conduct in the child. In this context, coercive behaviors include behaviors that are ordinarily punishing (e.g., whining, yelling, hitting, etc.). Abusive home environments can inhibit the growth of social cognitive skills needed, for example, to understand the intentions of others. Short-term longitudinal evidence is consistent with the view that a lack of social cognitive skills mediates the link between harsh parental discipline and aggressive conduct in kindergarten. Longer-term, follow-up research with the same children suggests that partial mediating effects last until third and fourth grade. Hirschi's (1969) control theory advances the view that children with weak affective ties to parents and school are at increased risk of engaging in delinquent and violent behavior in and out of school. Hirschi's cross-sectional data from northern California high-school students are largely consistent with this view. Findings from case-control and longitudinal studies are also consistent with this view.
Neighbourhoods and communities provide the context for school violence. Communities with high rates of crime and drug use teach youth the violent behaviors that are carried into schools. Children in violent neighborhoods tend to perceive that their communities are risky, and that these feelings of vulnerability carry over to the school environment. Dilapidated housing in the neighbourhood of the school has been found to be associated with school violence. Teacher assault was more likely to occur in schools located in high-crime neighbourhoods. Exposure to deviant peers is a risk factor for high levels of aggressivity. Research has shown that poverty and high population densities are associated with higher rates of school violence. Well controlled longitudinal research indicates that children's exposure to community violence during the early elementary school years increases the risk of aggression later in elementary school, as reported by teachers and classmates. Other, well controlled longitudinal research that utilized propensity score matching indicates that exposure to gun violence in early adolescence is related to the initiation of serious physical violence in later adolescence. Neighbourhood gangs are thought to contribute to dangerous school environments. Gangs use the social environment of the school to recruit members and interact with opposing groups, with gang violence carrying over from neighbourhoods into some schools. Alternatively, many children who grow up in violent neighborhoods learn to deliberately find and make "street-oriented" friends as an instrumental tactic used to avoid being victimized. Without the threat of violence, children more commonly develop friendships based on homophily, or shared traits.
Recent research has linked the school environment to school violence. Teacher assaults are associated with a higher percentage male faculty, a higher proportion of male students, and a higher proportion of students receiving free or reduced cost lunch (an indicator of poverty). In general, a large male population, higher grade levels, a history of high levels of disciplinary problems in the school, high student to teacher ratios, and an urban location are related to violence in schools. In students, academic performance is inversely related to antisocial conduct. The research by Hirschi and others, cited above in the section on the home environment, is also consistent with the view that lack of attachment to school is associated with increased risk of antisocial conduct.
Prevention and intervention
The goal of prevention and intervention strategies is to stop school violence from occurring. According to the CDC, there are at least four levels at which violence-prevention programs can act: at the level of society in general, the school community, the family, and the individual.
- Society-level prevention strategies aim to change social and cultural conditions in order to reduce violence regardless of where the violence occurs. Examples include reducing media violence, reshaping social norms, and restructuring educational systems. The strategies are rarely used and difficult to implement.
- Now Is The Time is a federal initiative developed in 2013 in response to the growing number of gun related school violence incidents. The initiative will provide funding and resources to schools in an effort to reduce gun violence in schools. Funding will be provided for implementation of school interventions and training teachers and staff, programs that will support the mental and physical health of students, conflict resolution programs to reduce further school violence, and restoration of school environment after a violent incident.
- School-wide strategies are designed to modify the school characteristics that are associated with violence. An avenue of psychological research is the reduction of violence and incivility, particularly the development of interventions at the level of the school. The CDC suggests schools promote classroom management techniques, cooperative learning, and close student supervision. At the elementary school level, the group behavioral intervention known as the Good Behavior Game helps reduce classroom disruption and promotes prosocial classroom interactions. There is some evidence that the Second Step curriculum, which is concerned with promoting impulse control and empathy among second and third graders, produces reductions in physically aggressive behavior. Other school-wide strategies are aimed at reducing or eliminating bullying and organizing the local police to better combat gang violence.
- The implementation of school-wide early-warning systems, the school equivalent of a DEW Line-like surveillance operation designed to "prevent the worst cases of school violence," has been problematic. Recent developments in early threat assessment, however, show promise. Violence-prevention efforts can also be usefully directed at developing anti-bullying programs, helping teachers with classroom-management strategies, applying behavioral strategies such as the Good Behavior Game, implementing curricular innovations such as the Second Step syllabus, developing programs to strengthen families (see below), and implementing programs aimed at enhancing the social and academic skills of at-risk students (see below).
- Teachers are the professional group who works directly where school bullying takes place and who spends the most time with both bullies, victims and bystanders. Thus, whether and how teachers intervene in the case of bullying is of great importance. Research has shown that teachers prefer authority-based interventions towards bullies but seem to neglect to support the victims. Unfortunately, most teacher training curricula do not include preventive and interventive skills regarding school violence.
- Some intervention programs are aimed at improving family relationships. There is some evidence that such intervention strategies have modest effects on the behavior of children in the short and long term. Patterson's home intervention program involving mothers has been shown to reduce aggressive conduct in children. An important question concerns the extent to which the influence of the program carries over into the child's conduct in school.
- Some prevention and intervention programs focus on individual-level strategies. These programs are aimed at students who exhibit aggression and violent behaviors or are at risk for engaging in such behaviors. Some programs include conflict resolution and team problem-solving. Other programs teach students social skills. The Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, while developing and implementing a universal anti-aggression component for all elementary school children, also developed and implemented a separate social-skills and academic tutoring component that targets children who are the most at risk for engaging in aggressive behavior.
Challenges in measuring violence in schools
Research on violence affecting children in schools is challenging for a variety of reasons.
When trying to measure the scope of violence in schools and to find out about the types of violence experienced by students, some key issues include: from what categories of the school community to collect the data; what data should be collected from each categories; and using which methods. For example, should there be studies or surveys where researchers ask students directly about violence in school, through self-reports about the violence they experienced as targets or perpetrators? Or should they be asked about incidents of violence that they have witnessed as bystanders? Should any of these questions be asked via self-administered questionnaires or questionnaires administered by researchers in schools? Does it make more sense to collect this data outside of schools, for example, through household surveys? Or through online surveys where students have access to the internet? Or is it better to rely on mechanisms for reporting incidents of violence in educational institutions when they are available, either in the schools themselves or outside schools (governmental hotlines, internet-based reporting systems, police and justice sectors, etc.)? What questions can be asked of children, using terminology that is easy to understand, age-appropriate and culturally sensitive?
Legal and ethical issues
In most countries there are strict rules related to research involving children, as they are under the age of consent. Therefore, requesting informed consent from the children in a study involves their parents and guardians. Asking children about violence, and particularly violence they have experienced themselves, can be traumatic. Finally, researching issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity/orientation in education and in relation to children has additional challenges. In some contexts it is not legal to discuss these issues either in schools or even outside of schools. Where it is legal, it may be considered as a very sensitive topic to be discussed with children and young people. Asking children and young people questions related to their sexual orientation and gender identity in the school setting is ethically questionable, as it could embarrass them and expose them to stigma and discrimination, unless questions are asked in strict confidence and anonymity is granted by independent researchers external to schools.
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