Why should hoodies be banned in school?
What can schools and teachers prohibit their students from doing?
The message should be of interest to all parents whose children eagerly swapped collective pictures with others during the European Championship to complete their albums: At some schools, students were not allowed to swap football pictures in the schoolyard or even just to exchange albums bring with you. These bans are surprising, as football pictures are rather harmless. On the other hand, it is much more understandable, for example, when schools rule that their students are not allowed to use the cell phone in class.
From a legal point of view, such bans are not clear, at least they are not expressly regulated by law. The school laws of the individual federal states contain rough guidelines and information on what is forbidden in school playgrounds. The School Act of North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, provides that no outsiders are allowed to be economically active in the state's schoolyards. Drinks and food may be sold to the students with the approval of the school conference, but the school authority must also agree.
The North Rhine-Westphalian School Act also provides, for example, that nobody is allowed to be politically active or advertise for political parties in a school playground. According to the law, collecting donations for a good cause is allowed, but the school conference must agree to this.
Prohibitions can result from school regulations
"Some rules also result from the specifications in the individual school regulations," says the lawyer Dr. Frank Schulze from the German Lawyers' Association (DAV). Schools can have school regulations with their own rules of conduct. If they are in accordance with the law, these requirements are binding for all students.
The school regulations see as important values and legal interests to be protected, for example, school peace and order within the school. Schools can therefore enforce bans in order to maintain school peace, security and order. "If the exchange of football pictures, to stay with this example, regularly triggers or encourages disputes among the students, teachers can see this as a threat to the peace of the school and establish rules," says lawyer Dr. Schulze.
Can schools have a dress code for students?
With reference to a threat to school peace, a school in southern Germany issued a “dress code” last summer, according to which pupils were no longer allowed to appear to class in apparently provocative clothes. This was justified by the fact that such clothing would distract the children and young people from class.
General personal rights and school regulations: possible contradiction?
Such measures could, however, collide with the general personal rights of the students. Because the right of personality allows everyone to develop their personality freely, which also includes dressing and hairdressing themselves as they please. “In order to be able to restrict this right, schools always need a plausible, important and legally recognized reason to prohibit certain clothing or certain behavior from the student body,” says Dr. Frank Schulze. “Without such an occasion, these requirements would be arbitrary and therefore illegal. So, from a legal point of view, you always need recourse to the law and the legal interests protected there, for example the maintenance of school peace. "
Are students allowed to leave the schoolyard?
It should also be seen in this context when schools forbid their pupils to leave the schoolyard during class and break times. "In principle, schools can forbid this in order to protect the students from dangers such as busy roads," says Dr. Schulze. Parents leave their children in the care of the school and the teachers who work there, who are responsible for the physical integrity of the children during school time. In order to maintain this, there are also smoking bans in schools. In terms of social law, children and young people who leave the school premises may not be insured against accidents in the event of an accident. The schools should also take into account the degree of maturity of the children in their rules.
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