School Dress Codes
The First Amendment of the US Constitution protects a person's freedom of expression. This freedom can be limited, however, for students attending public schools. The school must provide a safe academic environment for all students, which may result in infringements on students' freedom of expression, particularly as it relates to restrictions on the clothing students can wear. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that about 20 percent of US public schools required students to wear a uniform in 2018. Many schools that do not require a uniform have dress codes in place that may restrict students' freedom of expression. The NCES reported that in 2018 nearly 50 percent of US public schools enforced strict dress codes.
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