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School Dress Code. Canady v . Bossier Parish School District. Dress Code. School Board implemented a dress code for 17 of the 34 schools in the district. Reason was to reduce violence and improve testing scores and data would be collected.

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School Dress Code

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School dress code

School Dress Code

Canady v. Bossier Parish School District


Dress code

Dress Code

  • School Board implemented a dress code for 17 of the 34 schools in the district.

  • Reason was to reduce violence and improve testing scores and data would be collected.

  • Both objectives were achieved and the board decided to implement the dress code policy to all 34 schools.

  • Plaintiffs, group of parents, argued that the policy limited freedom of expression, does not improve learning, are expensive and violate religious rights.


Dress code1

Dress Code

  • District court upheld the boards’ policy.

  • Plaintiffs appealed and the State Supreme Court of LA upheld the lower court’s decision.

  • Reasons for upholding the policy:

    • Sometimes school boards’ regulation of student behavior outweighs individual students’ rights to free speech.


Relevant cases on freedom of speech

Relevant Cases on Freedom of Speech

  • Tinker v. Des Moines – free speech, not directly related to school dress

  • Bethel School District v. Fraser – lewd metaphors during a political speech in a school assembly

  • Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier - students censored in the school paper for writing objectionable stories


How to prevent problems

How to Prevent Problems

  • Collect data on student achievement before and after the policy was instituted.

  • Have full support of the Board.

  • Look at relevant cases and make sure you have a leg to stand on.

  • Always assume there will be a plaintiff in a free speech policy.


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