Attack of the Hoodie Ban

Osceola County students have taken to the petition website to voice their concerns over the new hoodie ban

Brendan Guillen, Reporter

As of August 12th, 2019, hooded sweaters without zippers or buttons have been banned from the Osceola County School for the Arts and all other Osceola County public schools unless they have a school logo.

The students of the Osceola County have taken to the petition site to combat the ban. The creator, Ethan Negron, said in the petition’s description that “We [the student body] believe this policy accomplishes nothing, and makes student’s lives worse.” He continued by saying that hoodies are beneficial for students “with self-esteem issues” and who “want to express themselves.”

The general consensus is that the hoodie ban has been implemented to prevent potential school shootings in light of the Marjory Stoneman-Douglas shooting in 2018 and, most recently, the El Paso and Dayton shootings this summer. However, the ban does not include hoodies provided by Osceola County schools. In the mind of the student body, either all hoodies should be banned or no hoodies should be banned.

Dr. Long, Assistant Principle of the Osceola County School for the Arts (OCSA), stated, “The hoodie ban comes directly from district administration and has nothing to do with individual school decision. We regret any inconvenience the students may have, however we are working to get the OCSA hoodies ready to sell.” She also stated that while she was unaware of the petition, the students “should send the petition to the district instead of the school.”

Deputy Young-Griffin, School Resource Officer at OCSA, commented, “From a safety standpoint, it is easier to ask a student to open their sweater than to remove it for them (if necessary). This prevents any issues with students in the long run.”

Students are also inflamed by the fact that while school hoodies are allowed, they tend to cost more than average hoodies.  The cost for OCSA hoodies this school year is $30, whereas an Adidas hoodie can cost between $10 and $60. The question has now changed from ‘Can the hoodie ban make us safer’ to ‘Has the hoodie ban been implemented more for profit than protection?’

As of this moment, 9,064 people have signed the petition. Time will tell if the petition will make a change in the School Board’s decision.