Students Disappointed in Loss of Hoodie Privileges


Jay C., Stephen L. Griffin S., and Karam A.

For a short time, students could wear their hoodies up, but not any longer.

As second semester began, everything seemed normal enough. Everyone was refreshed from their long weekend marking the end of the semester. However, there was one noticeable difference. Though students still wore hoodies, there was not a single hood up. 

It was January 25th, 2022, the beginning of the third quarter, and a new rule had been implemented by the school administration banning students from wearing their hoods up at school. Principal Jim Patrick sent an official email to parents and students on January 24th.

“Many students are pulling their hoods tightly over their faces making it very challenging to identify them,” the email said. “When we make decisions around what students are and are not permitted to do, it is based on safety and learning. Therefore, Longfellow will no longer permit hoods to be worn at school.”

Hector Martinez, Longfellow Middle School’s safety and security assistant,  explained that while students may not appreciate the rule, it was designed to help teachers and administrators keep students as safe as possible. 

“I know that it’s not popular [with] students, but it’s definitely a help for staff to identify students for safety on our campus,” Martinez explained. “It’s really all about adults in the building, being able to recognize students if there’s a situation or threat.” 

However, he was careful to point out that the hood itself is not dangerous, just that it could mask someone’s identity in a potentially dangerous way. 

The problem was especially noticeable to administrators because of Covid-19 mask requirements. In January, students were all required to wear masks. While that mandate was lifted on March 1st, a majority of the students still feel the need to wear a mask.    Students wearing both a hood and a mask at the same time, would make it very hard for a teacher to identify them.

Seventh grade student Alexandria M. understood some students being upset, but still believes that the rule was for the greater good. 

“[I kind of like it] because most people are just having their AirPods in and not focusing on class and they’re just goofing around,” she pointed out.

Teachers have a hard enough time determining when a student is focused and on task.  Having hoods up was making that even harder.

“I feel like they went a bit too far with it,” said seventh grader Larry J. “but at the same time, kids were hiding their AirPods… I think maybe they didn’t have to totally ban it, but maybe just add a couple restrictions.”  Larry did not elaborate on what restrictions he would suggest, however.

Though most wouldn’t go on record, there were many classroom conversations about the unfairness of the rule, even among those who don’t wear hoodies. 

“I’m fine with [the rule] because I personally don’t get affected by this because I don’t wear my hoodie in school,” explained seventh grader Cayden F. “[Still], I don’t think it was justified at all.” 

It is worth noting, however, that before the Covid-19 pandemic, the hood ban was a regular part of the dress code for students at LMS along with hats of any kind. Mr. Martinez believes that the ban on hoods will continue into the 2022/23 school year and beyond, meaning that not putting up a hood will have to become a normality again.