‘It’s Cold In The School’: Student Suspended For Wearing Hoodie Speaks Out

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.

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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.

More from Amy Wadas

One Comment

  1. Oscar Diggs says:

    Yeah right, it’s cold. They are playing games and KDKA bites on it and gives them the publicity they seek. Wake up already. Who are you playing to with a story on this nonsense?

  2. “That’s a little severe I would think so because the kids need their education,” parent Rasheeda Socolove said. Well I’ll just say this. If the education is important, here’s an idea. Follow the rules. Is that so hard? We are among a generation of entitlement expectations. Well education is a valid entitlement, wearing clothing against school rules is not. If people disagree with certain rules, there are ways to get the rules changed, Blatantly breaking the rules is not the way. And remember the weather we had last week. I pretty hot out. In the mid 80’s actually. So being cold is not a valid reason. Please, this millennial generation, work to make it a better, just, and equality based Country. The USA is worth saving. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, yeah there were real race issues, but people like MLK brought those injustices to light and did so for the betterment of our country and all of it’s people. We need to keep his dream alive. We were doing it until something happened on the way. Remember, the Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal”. even though the height of the worst race relations in the late 60’s, I was serving my Country in Vietnam. When it hit the fan, nobody cared about skin color, we were all in this together, regardless of race, creed, or other inalienable rights. We were united in a common cause. I think that was part of the Dream. God Bless you all, the student involved, the teachers, and the school board. I hope these differences can be worked. It’s not funny, but it is actually. Penn Hills was our biggest foe in the 60’s and 70’s. Very fond memories of that rivalry.

  3. Made a couple of typos, sorry. My thoughts move faster than my fingers.

  4. Deputy53 says:

    It’s real simple…the rule was made, posted, everyone knew what could happen IF they wore a hoodie to class. This individual chose to disobey the rule, so he suffered the consequence of his action. End of Story! I agree with Lou A. Teach your kids to obey the rules-and you won’t have a problem. Parents that don’t like/support that rule…take it to the school board to change it. But don’t teach your kids to disobey the rules.
    And Lou A: Thank you for your service brother. Very few can understand what it was like there. FYI- I was regular Navy, but served with the Marines at Marble Mountain in 70-71. I was “loaned” to them. MOS was missile specialist. I maintained the Huey systems.
    Deputy Dave

  5. Seriously, KDKA, you’re going to fuel the fire on this issue? This isn’t even a newsworthy story. It’s simply a small minority who feel they don’t LIKE the rules and thus, don’t WISH to comply. The RULES state NO HOODIES may be worn INSIDE the building. I have experienced first hand, how hoodies are a disruption when students pull them up over their heads, put their heads down and refuse to pay attention in class because they’re SLEEPY or they NEED to listen to music on their earbuds. Some students have also used this same ploy to “huff” illegal substances. Still others use this tactic as a display of insolence.
    As for the argument it’s COLD in the building, try wearing a sweater, long sleeved shirt, or sweatshirt WITHOUT a hood. These same students are probably the ones who wear shorts year round to school. No, it’s just easier and attracts more attention if they REFUSE to follow the rules.
    How hard is it for you and these students to understand that hoodies are problematic in the school setting? Why is someone ALWAYS feeling like they have the right to NOT FOLLOW the rules without said consequences? What if people decided they didn’t feel like stopping at red lights because it took too long to change. What if people decided they no longer were going to pay for their purchases at a store? Or better yet, what if people decided the only way to settle a disagreement was by using a gun? (Oh wait, that seems to be happening already)
    Until you have spent your career IN the classroom and LEARN first hand how disruptions impact ALL students and interfere with their learning you’ll NEVER get it. It’s simply a way for you to sensationalize an issue of minimal importance. Stop condoning rule breaking and just report the news…

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