Remove the Hat Ban at Waterloo Collegiate Institute

#HatsOnWCI

"Waterloo Collegiate Institute is a school that values diversity and inspires a passion for living."

The hat ban is an outdated policy, the purpose of which is constantly questioned by students at Waterloo Collegiate Institute. It has grown into an ineffective rule that limits self-expression and undermines the accepting learning environment at WCI. In fact, similar policies have been removed from many High Schools in the Waterloo Region including SJAM and KCI for this very reason. It is time for WCI to update its dress code policy.

The no hat rule at WCI is based on the premise of an obsolete tradition. Limiting what students wear without a valid reason is restrictive to the rights of the student population. School should be a comfortable environment that students enjoy attending. Many use hats (and clothing in general) as a form of self-expression. As an educational institution, the school should respect the students’ rights in choosing their appearance. Additionally, cultural norms surrounding hats have changed; it is no longer perceived as disrespectful to wear hats in public.  High school is hardly a formal environment anymore and tradition for the sake of avoiding change is counter to the innovative culture that education should foster. 

Administration has presented minimal reasoning that supports the no hat rule. Its preservation has been primarily justified by the claim that hats present a security risk. Administration has stated that hats are a problem when identifying individuals through security cameras. However, criminal activity at WCI is an extremely rare occurrence considering our school demographic and such a situation does not affect the school on a daily basis. Moreover, if someone were to commit a crime and were worried about security cameras they could nevertheless wear a hat. As a result, this justification makes no sense.

We certainly agree that hats should be removed upon requests from teachers who wish to have no hats in their classrooms or during other appropriate occasions. However, in general, the hat ban must change.

WCI “values diversity and inspires a passion for living”. We must move forward as a school that molds the future rather than dwells in the past.

We call upon WCI Administration to provide students with the freedom to express their individuality and diversity by removing the hat ban.

This petition will be delivered to:
  • WCI Administration


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