New Britain Schools Issue Restrictions on Hooded Sweatshirts

The New Britain Consolidated School District has issued a rule for students in elementary and middle school. As of this school year, they are no longer allowed to wear hooded sweatshirts.

School district officials say students cannot wear hoodies inside school, including in the classrooms.

However, students are allowed to wear hoodies outside of school walls during outdoor after-school activities and recess. They may also wear them on dress down days.

"Certainly, they can wear them to school. We look at them as ‘outerwear.’ But when they get into school, we’re asking that they remove them. They have their name tags on so their name tags will show and the hoodies will go in their lockers," Said Superintendent Nancy Sarra.

Sarra said the policy aims to help already uniformed students look the part of being college and career ready.

"We want our students to compete with every other student for those jobs 15 years from now. And so it’s working with our families to define – well, what does that look like?” said Sarra.

Students in elementary and middle school are required to wear a uniform. Sarra said if students are cold and require another layer of clothing, they allow students to wear long sleeve shirts under their uniforms. They may also wear sweaters without hoods.

Middle school student Joaquim Bahebura has not decided how he feels about the rule.

“I’m not sure how it…if it’s bad or good. I don’t even really know,” He said.

His father told NBC Connecticut he agrees with the policy.

“I think it’s a good thing to get the young generation ready for the next step,” said Fenias Bahebura of New Britain.

This policy is also in the parent handbook. The superintendent plans to address questions from parents regarding the rule in a Monday night school board meeting at Lincoln Elementary School.

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