LUBBOCK, Texas — It’s no secret that masks are must to keep students safe as schools reopen across the country this week, but now school officials are having to decide whether the same dress code rules also apply to masks.
The administrators at Lubbock ISD said they do.
“You wouldn’t see me go to school without a shirt, so I go to school with a shirt. I go to school with a mask now,” said Doyle Vogler, associate superintendent of LISD.
LISD allows students to use any type of face covering as a mask from N-95 masks to motorcycle masks or even masks made at home with bandanas.
“It must cover the nose and the mouth,” Vogler said.
But what’s on the masks is another question.
“Students aren’t to wear things that are offensive, dealing with alcohol, drug type references, things like that … Whatever would not be allowed on a t-shirt would not be allowed on a mask either,” Vogler said.
That means no masks advertising beer brands, e-cigarette products or brandishing offensive words or imagery.
LISD schools are applying their typical dress code policies to masks, meaning what works for decoration on a t-shirt also works for a mask.
However, administrators emphasized that they don’t want masks to become a disciplinary issue. They have a supply of masks for students to use in case they don’t have one or in case a student comes in with one that violates school policy.
“If a student comes in with a mask that’s inappropriate, all we have to do is say, ‘Can you please take that mask off, and here’s another mask,'” Vogler said.
The school is also allowing students to display political messages on their masks.
“That’s a freedom of speech. As long as it’s not a distractor to learning, then we’re great,” Vogler said.
Administrators, such as Vogler, encouraged students and families to get creative with their face coverings. He said that just because it’s the new normal doesn’t mean it “can’t be fun.”