The Hat Rule

The Hat Rule

Benjamin J. Darisse and Riley P. Tebbetts

For the entirety of human history, the ‘hat’ has been forbidden within many public and private educational institutions. For as long as there has been this rule, there have been those who have spoken out against it. In our humble residence of Ipswich, we have resisted this rule for all of our lives. Now we ask: why does this rule even exist? What harm does wearing the hat pose to the enrichment of the education for our children? Is it a single moral opinion pushed onto the greater population of our school or is it something else?

Recently at Ipswich High School, the ‘no hat’ policy has been enforced quite frequently. Students insist on wearing hats in school, despite the rules against it. Because of this, teachers have been forced to constantly remind students to take off their hats or suffer the consequences. Seeing this around school, we decided to inquire about the nature of our school’s policy.

Despite the creation of the ‘no hat’ rule, pre-dating his arrival at the school, Mr. Carovillano, the vice-principal, had some very helpful insights. When asked why we have the no hat rule, Mr. Carovillano first noted that, “It’s a common rule in many schools.” He then went on to explain that the institution of the no hat policy was a faculty decision. Although he wasn’t around to take part in that decision, his experience allowed him to provide some very reasonable rational. One of the reasons that Mr. Carovillano gave us was that it’s disrespectful; hats make it very hard to see students’ faces and to make eye contact.

We were surprised to hear from Mr. Carovillano that his previous school didn’t have a hat rule. Based on his past experiences, it seems that the presence of hats did indeed cause some distractions. For example, some teachers would allow students to wear hats, while others would not. This obviously led to some confusion and minor conflict and distracted people from the tasks at hand. Mr. Carovillano also informed us that students would be caught sleeping behind their hats. Not only was this behavior disrespectful, but it could also be considered distracting to other students. The most surprising thing was that fights started over hats. Because of this, Mr. Carovillano believes that, “[The no hat rule] does remove some distractions.”

Our next area of interest was the enforcement of the no hat rule. When we asked Mr. Carovillano how many times a day he had to tell students to remove their hats, we were astonished to him say, “very seldom.” In fact it seems that this rule only became a problem this year.” According to Mr. Carovillano, a group of seniors began wearing hats at the beginning of this year. It soon spread to juniors and other underclassmen, and so the school needs to be reminded that students are not allowed to wear hats inside of the school.

Our final inquiry was whether or not there was a chance of the no hat rule being revoked. To this Mr. Carovillano said, “Any school rule could be discussed; Policies have been changed, for example the backpack rule.” However, he also noted that the faculty feels very strongly about this particular rule. It seems as though this rule won’t be revoked anytime soon.