The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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No Cats in their Hats

Photo by Jake Luce
Hats have never been allowed in LHS, but some students are questioning this rule.

If you happen to be reading page 31 the LHS student handbook in your free time, you will come across a specific rule that makes you ponder its existence.  The rule states that “Articles of clothing considered offensive or inappropriate will not be allowed. This includes hats, sweatbands, bandannas, headgear, and any item of apparel or jewelry commonly associated with gangs and undesirable groups.”  Wearing hats in LHS has never been allowed, but our administration and handbook should make the reason more clear and understandable to students.

There are many excuses for not being able to wear hats during school in general, but none of these reasons seem to be applicable to our school, nor do they seem to be genuinely good reasons for the lack of headware.  In the past, men used to take off their hats in public places as a sign of respect, which, according to assistant principal Eric Maroscher, is still a legitimate reason for the regulation against hats.  However, in today’s society, hats are worn by many people in basically all-indoor venues, but schools happen to be an exception.

“Part of dressing appropriately for school entails a certain appropriate appearance,” Mr. Maroscher stated.  “Removing your hat when you enter a building is still the polite and respectful thing to do.”

In the rule explaining why hats cannot be worn in LHS, it only gives one reason: the hats may be affiliated with gangs or undesirable groups.  However, here in Libertyville, we have little to no gang activity.  So why can we not wear hats?

Apart from the issue of respect, Mr. Maroscher believes that the gang affiliation issue can affect our school as well.

“Hats have been and still are used in some instances as identifiers of a specific gang affiliation.  As we have many visitors to LHS, all… reasons for this rule are still applicable,” Mr. Maroscher explained.

Although gang activity in Libertyville is limited, the main concern of our administration is to keep the students safe.  Even if it means outlawing hats, it is a price that students must be willing to pay in order to stay safe.

Senior Daniel Morabito, however, disagrees with the rule of no hats in school.

“I believe that we should be able to wear hats in school because they aren’t any distraction,” Morabito explains.  “I always wear a hat when I’m not in school so my hair stays out of my eyes. It can be distracting when hair gets into my eyes during a test.”

As of now, hats are not allowed indoors under any circumstances.  The rule does not have to be overturned completely, but the administration could possibly make exceptions to the rule.  For instance, students could be allowed to wear hats one day a week (i.e. only on late starts).  Or they could make students pay $1 to wear a hat and donate the money to charity or use it to fund new projects at LHS.  The  rule stating that no hats of any kind are allowed is quite strict, and the students and faculty should try come to an agreement or make an amendment to the handbook.

Morabito also strives to make an exception to the rule.

“If the administration is worried about gang symbols on hats, then they should let people wear LHS hats in the building at least,” Morabito stated.  This could also be a good solution to the problem. Being able to wear LHS hats in the building would not only make the students happier, but it would increase the amount of school spirit as well.  If many students wore Libertyville hats within the school, it would emphasize our solidarity and togetherness as a student body.  If this rule were to be made, it could improve many students’ overall feelings about LHS, thus making the school a more positive learning environment.

However, Mr. Maroscher raised another point for the elimination of all types of hats in school.

“Being able to identify the occupants in the building at all times has become increasingly important,” Maroscher stated.  If somebody broke into a locker at school with a hat pulled over their eyes, Mr. Maroscher and school officer Mr. Robert Uliks would have a difficult time recognizing that person.

Not being able to wear hats in the building causes some Libertyville students to be discontent.  To certain students, the rule seems unnecessary and overly severe, and an agreement should be discussed between the student body and the administration.  However, in order to ensure the safety of the student body and staff, the rule may be necessary.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
No Cats in their Hats