Harrison County Schools adds controversial rules to dress code ahead of Friday start

Watch to learn about the new guidelines.
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 5:35 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Harrison County schools are back in session Friday but with stricter rules in place regarding students’ attire.

This comes after the school district made national news following its graduation ceremony in May when school officials refused to let students walk the stage if their outfit underneath their gown did not reflect their gender assigned at birth.

At the time, one transgender student told us she was allowed to dress in feminine clothing throughout her four years of high school with support from her own school staff until it came down to graduation.

The district has now strengthened the rules to apply year-round.

These are the new guidelines that now apply to all elementary, middle and high school students during the 2023-2024 school year that did not apply last:

  • “Boys must wear shorts or pants, and shirts and footwear according to the dress code of the Harrison County School District.”
  • “Girls must wear dresses or skirts or shorts or pants, and shirts or blouses and footwear according to the dress code of the Harrison County School District.”
  • “Boys and girls must follow the dress attire consistent with their biological sex that is stated in the student’s cumulative folder and permanent record the School District prepared under the guidelines of the Mississippi Department of Education Manual of Directions.”
  • “Garments with hoods – Hoods may not be worn indoors or on buses.”

The handbook goes on to state school administrators will determine whether or not a student’s attire is appropriate.

Anyone not complying with the rules will be placed in I.S.R. (in-school reassignment).

The full dress code includes about 30 rules in total.

Superintendent Mitchell King has declined WLOX’s numerous requests for an interview regarding the changes.

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