BVNW to implement new hat policy

A new hat policy will be instituted as a one-quarter pilot to conclude the first semester.


Katie Herndon

BVNW will implement a new hat policy starting Monday Oct. 16 that allows students to wear hats during school.

Gabe Swartz, Editor-in-Chief

The hat policy at BVNW will be changing. Principal Amy Murphy said after hearing from students for multiple years about the hat policy, and deliberating with Student Government, the administration decided to amend the policy beginning Monday.

“We’ve talked about the hat policy for the last two years, if not three years,” Murphy said. “I think the push from kids has really come this school year, since August, of just some kids asking “why do we have a hat policy?’”

Student Government President senior Ben Murdock said that although the hat policy was something he did not have a strong opinion on, either way, he was open to hearing from students who wanted to see change.

“I kind of live in a limbo world where I see both sides of everything,” Murdock said. “I completely understand… that it’s an expression tool, and it’s really something that’s becoming more prominent.”

While students will be permitted to wear baseball caps, hats that are deemed as distracting or disruptive to the learning environment will not be acceptable. Along with a ban on outrageous and distracting hats, students will not be allowed to wear hoods.

After a meeting between administration and student government, Murphy said she sent a survey to the faculty at BVNW asking for input on the prospect of hats at Northwest. Murphy said teachers voted roughly 2-to-1 in favor of making a revision to the policy, which has not been amended since 2000. Factoring in teachers who failed to respond to the survey, which Murphy said she would count as a vote in favor of change, the response was 3-to-1 in favor of the change.

I kind of live in a limbo world where I see both sides of everything. I completely understand… that it’s an expression tool, and it’s really something that’s becoming more prominent.”

— Ben Murdock

Teachers in the building will have the ability to designate their rooms as a hat-free classroom. Murphy said which rooms end up being no hat zones is something that is entirely up to the teachers themselves, and that decision will be non-negotiable. The respect level and reactions of students to teachers with hat-free classrooms is one a worry of Murphy’s, something student government sponsor and science teacher Sarah Derks said will be important for her to see.

“I can tell you that in the classroom, I probably haven’t told a kid to take their hat off very often,” Derks said. “There are some kids who just wear it to be spiteful, and when I tell them to take it off they’re like ‘cool’ and they never wear it again. But when they bring it back every single day, then we’re going to have a problem. And that means that there’s just a disrespect of that teacher in my opinion.”

“I’m pretty lax and lenient, you know that, but if it’s going to be a distraction, if you’re going to be a jerk about it then we need to rethink this… but you’re going to have teachers that don’t want to do it, it’s just a respect thing,” Derks said.

With the institution of this rule being a one-quarter pilot until the end of the first semester, Murphy said students will have to show the administration that they can handle it, much like the implementation of Husky Halftime last year.

With the rule change, BVNW joins Blue Valley Southwest as the only two schools in the Blue Valley district that deem hats as acceptable to wear in school.