Dress Code for Secondary School Students

The Dress Code for Secondary School Students can be found in the 2023-2024 Student Parent Handbook.


Policy FNCA [Local] of the Brownsville Independent School District provides general guidelines and a listing of appropriate dress and grooming for students on BISD campuses and at school‐sponsored events. Violations of the dress code can have disciplinary consequences ranging from in‐school suspension for a single violation to more serious disciplinary action for repeated violations. This list is not exclusive, but it is adopted to address specific issues, which have been determined by the 16 administrators to be disruptive to the instructional environment, and to provide guidance as to the type of dress and/or grooming, which will be considered to be a violation of the BISD Student Dress Code.


Parents and students are expected to use good judgment in selecting appropriate clothing for students to wear at school. Each student shall wear clothing that is neat, appropriate, fitting, and not so revealing as to cause a distraction. Girls’ apparel must not be above the knee to the point of being a distraction. Muscle shirts, see‐through shirts or blouses, bare midriffs, strapless and/or backless outfits, and beachwear are prohibited. Clothing displaying obscenities, suggestive slogans nudity, and crime/violence, drugs, beer, or alcohol designs also is prohibited. State law requires shoes to be worn at all times. No article of clothing or other accessories shall be worn in such a way as to advertise, promote, or be associated with gang activities. Other specific criteria and guidelines regarding student attire are shared with parents on the first day of school. Schools may develop additional and more specific dress code guidelines with the approval of the respective Area Assistant Superintendent.

NOTE: Beginning with the 2014‐2015 school year, all elementary and middle schools implemented a standardized attire requirement as designated by the respective campus administration. All elementary campus dress codes will include a white polo style (collar) shirt, which may also include the BISD official logo.

1. Dresses, shorts, and skirts shall not be so short as to cause a distraction. Anything shorter than the end of the student’s fingertips when the student arms are held extended to his/her sides shall be conclusively deemed to be too short. Longer lengths may be determined by the administrator to be inappropriate in individual cases. Dresses or skirts with slits above the level permitted for shorts and skirts shall not be permitted.

2. No baggy pants or shorts are allowed. All pants must be worn with the top around the wearer’s waist and must be covering undergarments. The waist size of pants must be an appropriate size for the wearer. No oversized or baggy clothing is allowed. No exposed undergarments are allowed.

3. No tight or transparent clothing are allowed.

4. No torn jeans or other garments are allowed.

5. No sleeveless shirts, which expose undergarments, are allowed

6. No tank tops, halter tops, bare midriffs or chest, see‐through outfits, backless, spaghetti straps, strapless, or beachwear are allowed.

7. No low‐cut shirts or blouses are allowed.

8. Shirts which extend below the rear pocket are to be worn inside the waist of pants or skirts; trench coats are not permitted.

9. State law requires that appropriate shoes be worn at all times. Thongs, shoes without heel straps and steel‐toed boots/shoes are inappropriate. No shoes with metal taps or noisemakers are allowed.

10. No hairnets, bandanas, or similar scarves may be worn on the head.

11. Sunglasses will not be worn inside the school building other than prescription dark glasses.

12. Articles of clothing which display gang symbols, obscenities, suggestive slogans, nudity, crime, violence, death imagery, drugs, alcohol, or which promote the use of tobacco are prohibited.

13. No article of clothing or other accessories shall be worn in a way determined by the campus administrator to advertise, promote, or be associated with gang activities. Upon the campus administration in determining that a particular style of dress or accessory should be prohibited under this section, the student body on that campusshall be so advised, and thereafter, anyone participating in such activity shall be in violation of this code.

14. All students are prohibited from wearing clothing or grooming that, in the administrator’s judgment, may reasonably be expected to cause disruption of or interference with normal school operations.

15. Jewelry and accessories shall not be excessive or distracting, and shall not be worn in such a way as to promote violence, crime, gang activity, or drug, alcohol, or tobacco use. The following items are specifically prohibited, and shall not be worn or brought onto school property: metal chains, pet collars, and religioussymbols which have been altered with the intent of causing offense or inciting or promoting gang activity, violence, or other prohibited behaviors.

16. On days specified by principals, designated attire will be treated as appropriate dress not withstanding anything to the contrary elsewhere in this code.

17. Students are required to use well‐fitted masks consistently and correctly while in school. If a medical need arises from the use of a mask, and it's documented by a licensed physician in the United States, the respective committee will review and include any modifications in the ARD/Section 504 committee minutes. Administration will adhere to the Student Code of Conduct Discipline Management Techniques when a student does not wear a mask (pages 5‐6).


1. Hair and facial hair will be properly groomed. Distracting hairstyles and/or hair colors, as determined by the campus administration on a case‐by‐case basis, will not be permitted. Examples of the type of hairstyles, which have been determined by the administration to be unacceptable, are Mohawks, spiked hair, and the like.  

2. If makeup is used, it must be discreet. Makeup shall not be worn in such a way as to be distracting as determined by the campus administration.  

3. No exposed tattoos that display gang symbols, obscenities, suggestive slogans, nudity, crime, violence, death imagery, drugs, alcohol, or which promote the use of tobacco are allowed. No body piercing will be permitted, other than pierced earrings of a reasonable size and number [Revised 9‐16‐15]. 

As stated previously, this list is not exclusive. Campus administration may at any time make reasonable determination that an item of clothing, style or manner of dress or grooming, or accessory poses an unacceptable risk of disruption to the instructional environment because it is inappropriately distracting, is intended or likely to cause offense or incite conflict among the campus population, is  unacceptably,  conducive  to  the  concealment  of  weapons or  other contraband,  or  on any other  reasonable grounds. In that case, the campus administration shall be entitled to use the provisions of this code and the BISD Policy FNCA [Local] to address the matter.