Snapping Back At Regulations
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With spring in full blossom, one can feel the temperature rising and see the proctors periodically taking away hats.
The BPHS dress code states “Only official Baldwin Park hats or caps may be worn or displayed, with bill forward, on campus but not in classrooms. BP hats are not to be visibly altered or personalized without permission from the Principal”. Failure to comply results in a series of consequences: 1st offense – warning, 2nd offense – Parent contact plus a 30 minute detention assigned, 3rd offense – Parent contact and an one hour detention assigned, 4th and beyond – Friday Night/Saturday School plus parent conference required for pick up of the hat.
Some may argue people use hats to express themselves, but they have a much more practical reason. Although hats are considered dress code, they protect areas that are often exposed to intense sun, such as the ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp according to The American Cancer Society. Furthermore, An estimated one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology .
Senior Andrew Gallegos commented, “Hats provide a lot of cover from the sun, especially when I’m walking to class. I don’t want to have to be squinting all the time when I walk. It’s a lot more convenient”
Hats are not allowed on campus due to their assumed gang related appearance and affiliation. The Baldwin Park School District is concerned that by allowing caps on campus, gang related incidents will go up.
This rule is set up to protect students, but with Baldwin Park having one of the lowest crime rates in recent history, according to city-data.com, is gang activity really that relevant?
Hats are much more than a gang statement. “I do not see what is the problem with wearing hats, as they are practical and not just used for gangs anymore. Hats have evolved to the point where people mostly wear baseball caps, than regular snapbacks with flat brims” protested Christopher Saavedra.
With crime activity down, and the temperature rising, hats are a practical solution for a outdated problem.