PENN HILLS (KDKA) — Last week, the Penn Hills School District suspended dozens of students for various dress code violations. KDKA-TV’s Amy Wadas spoke to one of those students on Monday. He wasn’t in school Monday after he says he took the risk of wearing a hoodie regardless of the new policy.
“My first suspension is because of a hoodie,” Penn Hills High School Senior Chris Dixon said.
Dixon, 18, showed Wadas the hoodie that got him suspended from school on Friday.
“Supporting school and get suspended for supporting school,” Dixon said. “Friday was just a regular morning in class and they called a bunch of students down to talk to us in the cafeteria and suspended us for dress code violations and the majority of us was because of hoodies.”
The school district implemented the policy for the 2016-17 school year for students in all grades.
The policy states:
Students may wear garments with hoods to school but must remove them and place them in lockers or bags once school begins. Although the District recognizes that each student’s dress is a manifestation of personal style and individual preference, a garment with a hood presents a unique concern, both in regard to safety and disruption of the educational process.
“They’ve come up with saying potentially gang related and can conceal weapons in it,” former student Tyler Fairbank said.
“‘Cause people put those hoods up,” Dixon said.
On Friday, the district confirmed that it suspended 46 students at the high school for various dress code violations between Monday and Thursday of last week.
“That’s a little severe, I would think so because the kids need their education,” parent Rasheeda Socolove said.
Dixon was suspended for just one day.
“I took that risk ’cause it’s cold in the school and wanted to stay comfortable,” Dixon said.
Even though Dixon disagrees with the dress code policy, he said he won’t wear a hoodie again and will have to buy some new clothes.
Wadas reached out to the district for more information on these suspensions but has yet to hear back.