Why Are Hats Not Allowed in School?

     I have always wondered why hats are not allowed in school, so I decided to do a little Google search on the matter. Provided below are a sample of the answers I found, and my comments are in italics. Enjoy!

 

     The first website I arrived upon was Debate.org. Here, the question was phrased as should hats be allowed, rather than why they are not. 88% said yes; 12% said no. I will review the top comment for the yes side and the main arguments for those who say no.

 

     On the yes side, the user calls the belief that hats should not be worn in school “outdated and without reason.” He claims that the only reason behind the practice is tradition. He then further goes on to state that the type of reasoning behind the guideline at question “perpetuates pointless and illogical tradition.” After mentioning a multitude of other possible reasons why hats should be banned (and subsequently refuting them), he concludes by reinforcing his earlier point that there is no logical reason for the outlawing of hats. I agree with what this commenter has to say. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any logical reason why hats would be detrimental to the school environment. I agree that the practice of tradition does perpetuate outdated, unnecessary, and oftentimes harmful actions.

 

     On the no side, some of the arguments included the following: hats create a less safe environment because it is harder to identify someone with a hat, hats create a distraction during class and can hide a student who is not paying attention, hats promote the proliferation of lice, and removing your hat is a sign of respect dating back to military tradition. None of these reasons persuade me to join the other side. I feel that a teacher does not rely on the physical appearance of a student when gauging his or her participation level and that the danger of lice is insignificant. Also, if someone was planning to vandalize or bully, taking away his or her hat would not stop such a thing.

 

     Next, I took a trip down memory lane and visited Brainpop.com, a site that I visited constantly in middle school to learn basic science and other subject concepts. Tim, who has a robot friend named Moby and who is the main character of the website, wrote the article I read. In summary, here is what he said:

 

The etiquette of hat wearing has many different caveats. For example, you are expected to remove your hat during the National Anthem. Also, tradition held that men removed their hats while in the presence of women, and some religions have rules that complicate the matter even further. He then states that students may hide under their hat brims in order to avoid participating in class. Lastly, he suggests to ask your teacher why this rule is enforced. Again, all I am hearing is the way it used to be, how it is polite, and how it is respectful to take off one’s hat. The one logical argument here is that teachers might be tricked by the student. I am being honest here; if you need a kid to take off his hat in order for you to do your job, that’s a problem. None of these reasons are persuasive. And I have yet to ask a teacher this question, but I expect that his or her answer will be along the lines of what Tim had to say.  

 

     Lastly, I read an article by Paul Young on why hats should be forbidden from school performances  on Educationworld.com. One of his points was that it makes it more difficult for the person behind the hat wearer to see. He also cited a general lack of respect and manners in public by his students. Alright, I understand the idea of a hat ban at a school performance. I can sympathize with his point that hats can obstruct the view of the person behind you. However, what if this is not the case? What if you can see past the person who is sitting in front of you with a hat on? Then, there is absolutely no logical reason that wearing that hat is rude, in poor taste, or harmful to anyone. For this reason, I still believe it is wrong to ban hats at performances of any sort. If someone cannot see because the person in front of him or her is wearing a hat, you know what he or she can do? Ask the person to take it off. It is that easy.

 

     In conclusion, I was not persuaded that the rule of no hats in school is right. If someone can find a good reason, I would love to have a discussion. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be a good reason. I would still love to talk about our difference of opinions. But for now, I can’t see the rationale.

 

Sources:

     * http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-hats-be-allowed-in-school

     * https://www.brainpop.com/socialstudies/usgovernmentandlaw/studentrights/qanda_popup.weml?qanda_id=12240&category_safe_name=socialstudies

     * http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/The-No-Hat-Rule.shtml

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Eric Solomon

Eric Solomon

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