St. Johns County School District surveys parents on dress code

Parents have until July 16 to submit their responses

St. Johns County School District headquarters in downtown St. Augustine. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

The St. Johns County School District sent parents a survey Thursday, seeking input on a dress code that has been a source of controversy for months and is now the subject of a federal investigation.

The nine-question survey asks parents for their students’ grade levels and aims to gauge their feelings on a wide range of topics, including: whether it’s okay for students to wear pajamas or lingerie, see-through or mesh clothing, and clothes with rips or tears five inches above the knee. It also asks about headwear and whether it’s okay for student garments or school supplies to bear “gang graffiti.”

DOCUMENT: View a PDF copy of the survey or see an embedded version below

An introduction to the survey states that the school district expects students’ families to govern their own dress, saying the primary responsibility lies with them.

“The St. Johns County School District will implement a dress code that supports a safe and positive school climate,” the survey states. “The dress code should be fair, equitable, and consistent for all students,” while following state law that forbids students from wearing clothes that expose their body parts in an “indecent or vulgar” way.

The distribution of the online survey comes about three weeks after News4Jax learned that the U.S. Department of Education launched an investigation into a complaint that the district’s enforcement of its dress code discriminates against female students. A spokesperson said the district has until July 16 to provide documents as part of that investigation.

For months, the dress code has generated controversy, from student complaints about how staffers’ comments on their attire made them feel “uncomfortable” to a series of poorly edited yearbook photos that resulted in national headlines.

The survey will remain open until July 14.

Here’s the survey

About the Author:

McLean is a reporter with WJXT, covering education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.