After about a half hour of discussion the Washington Community School Board unanimously approved the administrators’ request to allow hats and hoods to be worn by students in the middle and high schools.

High School Principal Theresa Beenblossom and Middle School Principal Curt Mayer explained that after many conversations they determined that hats and hoods do not affect a student’s ability to learn. Mayer explained that a majority of the students they ask to remove hats or hoods on a daily basis struggle with anxiety, mental health, and trauma, “It’s a way that they can cope, like Theresa said, but also when they put up their hood they’re able to filter out all the distractions and possibly some of the triggers around them. We have kids that are using it as a comfort, they feel safe with it, they’re using it as a coping strategy.”

The administrators stated that they have received recommendations from doctors and therapists to allow students to wear hats or hoods, and if they become disruptive in a classroom or to an individual student’s learning they will address it on a student-by-student basis. Like other articles of clothing the handbook states that hats or other head coverings that promote the use of alcohol or drugs, include profane or offensive language or pictures, or include sexually inappropriate or racially-biased material or references are prohibited. It was noted that the Mid-Prairie School District allows wearing of hats, and Clear Creek-Amana allowed hats and hoods at the start of the school year.