NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Teachers at Norview High School are enforcing a new “directive” from the principal that prohibits students from wearing hooded jackets, shirts and sweatshirts in an effort to enhance security.
Principal Walter Brower issued a letter to students and sent several notifications to parents within the last week, according to Norfolk Public Schools spokeswoman Khalilah LeGrand.
In a series of phone calls, Brower told parents the change comes after an assault, strong-armed robbery and a fight in which the students tried to disguise themselves by covering their heads with a hood. LeGrand says one of the incidents happened off-campus.
“I feel it necessary to more strictly enforce the NPS dress code,” said Brower, in the phone recording. “Students will no longer be allowed to wear slides, hats, do-rags, skull caps or other head gear while in the building … Hoodies will not be permitted in the hallways, with the exception of the senior sweatshirts that have their names on it.”
LeGrand tells WAVY.com the school policy already prevents students from wearing hoods on their heads in the building.
“There was an assault that happened and the person had a hoodie around their face and they were not able to be identified,” said LeGrand. “It was harder for us to identify the student because they had a hoodie on.”
Some students have expressed frustration with the change that LeGrand describes as “temporary.”
“They tell us to cover our skin. We cover our skin with the hoodies and then we are told to take them off,” said senior Skylar Jula.
Tyler Pleasant, who says he volunteers in the principal’s office, says he understands the ban and says teachers are being flexible if classrooms become too cold.
“I don’t see the problem with it. I believe it’s a safety precaution,” said Pleasant. “We are here to learn so we can go further in life.”
LeGrand says there is no timeline for when the ban will be lifted.
“Students are not in school to do any type of harm to other students,” she said. “Teaching and learning is the primary focus for schools, should something occur to impede this, adjustments may sometimes need to be made.”
LeGrand says the suspect in the recent school assault was eventually identified and disciplinary action was taken.