Hats Off? More Like Hats On!

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Ethan Rainsbarger, Author

The new school year brought new school rules and updates to some old policies. One of the biggest changes was the policy on hats/headwear. Now students can wear headwear in classrooms and inside the school. Since hats had been banished from being worn during school hours for so long it is quite a change but everyone seems to have become comfortable with the change. Although with a change like this, there can also be subtle changes in the way students or teachers about the way school. 

Students might have been surprised by this change but some decided to welcome it with open arms. Bryce Barber, a junior here at Baxter, thought it was great and helped him out with the changes from summer to school. “I was really happy because it is kind of hard to transition from working all summer long to having school. I would keep having to take off my hat because I would forget that it was on since I was so used to wearing it while I worked all the time.” The new change has helped students get back into the rhythm of having school since they don’t have to worry about taking their hats off all the time. 

Another thing is expression. Here at Baxter students don’t have to wear uniforms so they can express themselves through the clothing they wear and having hats is just another piece of clothing they can express themselves through. Leah Shanks, who is a sophomore, had this to say when asked if students were able to express themselves more freely thanks to the new change, “Yes because hats are stylish and sometimes you just need a hat to pull an outfit off.” Now students are walking around school sporting hats that represent their beliefs whether it be religion or their favorite sports team. All around it looks like students are a lot more comfortable with the hat policy.

Now the other side of this new change in policy is the teacher’s point of view. These are the people that grew up where it was quite disrespectful to wear a hat indoors. These people went to school where they were required to take off their hats This is what Mr. Vaughn, one of the most dedicated and respected educators at Baxter, had to say about the change. “I was conflicted. There’s a part of me that thinks that not wearing hats is respectful, mannerly. We are on a continual decline on that in general which bothers me but I’m bothered by people who don’t wear ties at a wedding.” He is coming from a time when he was taught to be very respectful and to take off hats when entering a building. Now times are changing so he is a bit conflicted at the fact since he grew up with those things being normalities.

Then there are the newer teachers who may have a different point of view such as Mr. Amadeo. Mr. Amadeo has been teaching at Baxter for a few years now and he had a different perspective on the situation. “The hat policy came at the same time as the new phone policy. It was like, ‘I have to give up my phone but I get to wear my hat.’ To me, that seemed like a fair trade-off and makes classrooms more effective for learning. Hats seem like a small issue but I can see that teachers who grew up in a time where school was a bit more strict could be more uncomfortable with hats in a classroom.” Mr. Amadeo seemed like he felt that it was more like a trade that students had to give up their phones to be able to wear hats and that it was overall a good deal since it eliminated the bigger distraction which was phones being used in the classrooms. 

Overall, students and teachers alike seem to think that it was a great move to allow hats in classrooms. Students can express themselves more freely, students can easily transition back into school, teachers feel like distractions have gone down thanks to the new changes in the policies while some teachers have to get used to these new changes. It is a positive outlook on the changing policies with the changing times at Baxter.