Lowry v. Watson Chapel School District

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In Lowry v. Watson Chapel Sch. Dist., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62127 (E.D. Ark. Aug. 22, 2007), a trial judge upheld a dress code for public school students enforced by a school district pursuant to an Arkansas law stating that:

The General Assembly hereby finds and determines that the clothes and footwear worn by students in the public schools often preoccupy and distract students from their major purpose for being in school, that of becoming educated in math, science, English, history, and other subjects. The General Assembly further finds that student competition over clothes and footwear has, in several instances, led to violence and injuries during school hours; whereas, in those Arkansas schools that have adopted school uniforms, disparities in student socioeconomic levels are less obvious and disruptive incidents are less likely to occur.

ARK. CODE ANN. § 6-18-102(a) (1999).

This was enacted in Arkansas after President Bill Clinton, a former governor of Arkansas, declared in a State of the Union speech:

I challenge all of our schools to teach character education, to teach good values and good citizenship. And if it means that teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms.

See President Bill Clinton, State of the Union Address (Jan. 23, 1996), available at http://clinton2.nara.gov/WH/New/other/sotu.html.