The purpose of having a dress code is to encourage students to focus on the learning process without the distractions of unsuitable dress and grooming. Research has shown that there is a connection between student dress and student behavior. Students shall maintain a clean, orderly appearance at all times.

The PLDMS dress code is consistent with the dress code guidelines listed in the Student Code of Conduct, Grade 6-12. Individual schools also have the authority to establish additional requirements. We believe our dress code provides guidance to help students make reasonable choices, addresses issues of safety, and supports and enhances a positive environment where learning is a priority.

Students must be in compliance with dress code upon entering school grounds, during after-school events, and at all times while on campus. The responsibility for the personal appearance of the student rests with the parent and/or guardian. Repeated, purposeful violations of the PLDMS dress code will be dealt with in accordance with the guidelines established in the Student Code of Conduct, Grade 6-12, and may, upon issuance of a contract of agreement and understanding, be considered violations of Insubordination/Disrespect.

For  the  2015-2016  school  year,  the  following  information  establishes  the  minimum  acceptable  standards  for  student  dress  to  be interpreted and enforced by the administration and staff at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School.  The Dress Code for 2015-2016 may be adjusted if needed to align with District Policy.



  • Must be a polo-style, collared shirt with sleeves and buttons.
  • Must fit modestly; not too loose or too tight.
  • Must fit loosely enough so that all buttons can be closed; back, chest and stomach areas must be fully covered.
  • Must be tucked in at waist at all times.   Shirts too short to remain tucked in are not permitted.
  • Collared shirts should not be covered by any other clothing other than those listed under Cold Weather Wear.
  • Spirit Gear”, or any clothing bearing the PLDMS logo and/or representing participation in a school-wide group or activity may be worn in place of a collared shirt. Spirit Gear must fit appropriately and be tucked in at the waist.
  • Sheer tops are not permitted at any time.


  • Only  khaki,  Docker-style  or  jean  pants  and  shorts are permitted.
  • Sweatpants, drawstring pants/shorts, joggers, athletic shorts, leggings/jeggings, etc. NOT permitted.
  • Must be worn at the natural waistline and properly fastened.
  • Excessively baggy pants and shorts are NOT permitted. A belt must be worn if pants or shorts are loose fitting.  Students asked repeatedly to correct ill-fitting pants may be required to wear a belt daily.
  • Undergarments must not be visible at any time.
  • Shorts and skirts must be adequate in coverage and length – no more than 3 inches above the knee. Slits above the knee are not permitted.
  • Bottoms  that  are  ripped  or  torn  are  NOT  appropriate  for school.
  • Leggings are ONLY permitted beneath skirts/shorts; however skirts/shorts must be adequate in length as stated above.


  • Must be collared with sleeves.
  • Must be adequate in coverage and length:
    • Chest, back and stomach areas must be fully covered.
    • No more than 3 inches above the knee.
  • Must fit modestly, not too loose or too tight.


  • Must be worn at all times.
  • Backless shoes, flip-flops, bedroom slippers, beach sandals, heels more than 2” high, or any other footwear considered unsafe are NOT appropriate for school.


  • Pull-over hoodies are NOT permitted at any time.
  • All jackets, cardigans, or sweatshirts must have a zippered or buttoned front, which is left open during school hours so that the tucked shirt and pants can be seen.
  • Modest  fitting  pull-over  sweatshirts  and  sweaters  may  be worn  over  appropriate  collared  shirt  as  long  as  the  collar remains visible.


  • The  wearing  of  hats,  hoods,  caps,  bandannas,  grooming combs, headgear, or sunglasses, except in conjunction with authorized athletic practices or activities, is prohibited. There may  be  certain  exceptions  for  medical  conditions  (with a doctor’s note) and when physical education classes are held outside.
  • Hair is to be neat and well-groomed.
  • Hairstyles or hair colors that are distracting, an unnatural color, or become disruptive to the learning environment are not allowed.


  • Articles of clothing, jewelry, or adornments that could likely cause injury–such as chains, bracelets, rings, chokers with or without spikes, or studs–are prohibited. Wallet chains of any length are prohibited.
  • Apparel,   emblems,   insignias,   badges,   or   symbols   that promote the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, violence or any other illegal activity are prohibited.
  • Clothing   with   slogans   or   advertising   which,   by   its controversial  or  obscene  nature,  disrupts  the  educational setting is prohibited.
  • Apparel or symbols which may be gang-related may not be displayed on a student, or on any item belonging to a student, at any time while on school property.  Such symbols may be designated by administration, the school’s Resource Officer or a law enforcement authority.
  • Adornments, either attached or pierced to exposed body parts other than the ears, are prohibited.
  • Drawing on one’s self or other with ink, Sharpie marker, etc. is not permitted.



Students  with  multiple  dress  code  infractions  or  a  history  of documented dress code violations may be placed on a Dress Code Contract, and may be subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct criteria for Insubordination/Disrespect.