LHS hat policy subject to change

Molly Boufford

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News Briefs
March 9, 2020

Stephanie Luce

Despite signs around the school and current school policy, senior Megan Wolter and other students are still able to wear hats to school and in the hallways without getting in trouble.


With the winter months in full force, there has been recent discussion within the student body about whether the hat policy at Libertyville High School is still in place.

The policy, which can be found in the student handbook, states, “District #128 has a no hat/cap policy that is in effect throughout every District #128 building at all times.”  

The current guidelines for this policy had been the same for the past 15 years. However, as of this year, the policy has been modified to only be in effect during the school day.

“After school and on weekends, students are allowed to wear their hats in the building because a) it’s winter and b) because we don’t really have a way to adequately enforce it, and we have a lot of visitors on the school [campus] who don’t know of our hat policy,” explained principal Dr. Tom Koulentes.

Mr. Robert Uliks, security supervisor, added that the rule has become more lenient in some circumstances. One of these is during spirit week when Student Council hosts “Hat Day” or when students wear hats as part of their spirited attire. Also, during the winter, the policy is more relaxed when kids wear beanies for warmth.

“A lot of my teachers don’t care, and I know there are kids in my classes that have worn hats every day to school this semester and last semester and never been asked to take them off. I feel that most teachers don’t care about the hats anymore,” expressed sophomore and frequent hat wearer Jennifer Short.

The speculation around the hat policy being gone aren’t completely false.

According to Dr. Koulentes, “[There are] some very preliminary conversations [that] have happened both with members of the administration and with students who have talked to me about it.”

The topic has been discussed among students on the principal’s advisory board to potentially change the policy in the future. If students took the issue to the district’s Board of Education, the board would talk about it and then send it to a subcommittee that’s focused on rules and policies. From there, the committee would work with security and talk through the proposal and discuss changes.

“If a new policy were to be proposed, the school would need to study it. There haven’t been any serious efforts to do so or serious recommendations on how it should change,” said Dr. Koulentes.

Since the hat policy is a district-wide policy, LHS would have to collaborate with Vernon Hills High School so that both schools are on the same page.

Both Mr. Uliks and Dr. Koulentes do expect that, if in the future there is no hat policy, there would be an increase of complaints from staff members and students, ranging from not being able to tell if someone is paying attention to not being able to see over another peer’s head.

From Dr. Koulentes’ previous experiences, if the rule was eventually gone, there would most likely be an initial period of confusion and concerns, but things would eventually settle as people adjust to the change.

While hats are the main subject of the policy, sweatbands, bandanas, headgear and hoods are also not allowed.

“[LHS doesn’t] allow hoods…It’s just like how kids dress up for Halloween; we don’t allow masks or anything that covers your face,” said Mr. Uliks.

The reasons the rule exists is for several safety protocols, according to Mr. Uliks. If a student is wearing a cap that shields his eyes, for example, it makes it hard to be able to identify them in case of emergency.

Another reason is that hats can identify a person as part of a specific gang, based on the way they wear their hat. By not allowing caps throughout the day, it eliminates the opportunity for students to communicate to gang groups through hats. But while this is a concern, Mr. Uliks said there hasn’t been an incident regarding this at LHS.