Students, administrators discuss MHS hat ban


Photo Courtesy of Milford School Store.

A Milford Mavericks branded baseball cap. While sold as school merchandise, students are not allowed to wear it during the school day.

Brandon Vivian, Staff Writer

As another year of school starts, the war between hat-wearing students and the school administrators thoroughly enforcing the hat ban at Milford High School is in full swing.

The hat ban is a policy that many students have been questioning for years. Seniors Patrick Pilchowski, Ryan Saeed, and Nolan York all have argued the hat ban should be lifted. Saeed noted that he just wanted to wear a hat for his personal appearance.

“I got messed up hair today,” he said. “Man, I need a hat, but ‘Big School’ says no.” Pilchowski and York also agreed that the hat ban should be lifted. All three students also said that they would wear hats almost every day. Pilchowski also said that absolutely no hats should be banned, while Saeed stated that hats should not be allowed if they violated “normal dress code stuff,” which might include “offensive or political hats.”

On the other hand, York said “hats that are not teams from Michigan” should not be allowed, further stating that “people may fight over teams from out of the state.”

Saeed ultimately just felt like the policy was unnecessary, stating “There is no negative side to wearing hats.” York said that he “Likes to show brands I support”, and that “it also allows you to not mess with your hair if running late.”
After receiving student input, Milford staff and administration weighed in on the issues well. To start, Gina Pryor, a counselor here at Milford, was asked if she thought that the hat ban should be lifted.

While she did not give a yes or no answer, she did say that “a big part of the hat ban is for safety reasons. If a student is giving another student a hard time, it can be difficult to identify the perpetrator if they are wearing both a mask and a hat. It’s hard to support a repeal to the hat ban if it could keep us from being able to protect students.”

She noted that all hats had the potential to create problems, regardless of the type.  “I think a hat is a hat,” she said. “However, any hat that obstructs the view of students sitting behind the hat in class should not be allowed.” Another aspect of the debate are reasons to repeal the hat ban, and reasons to keep it. Pryor stated

“Reasons for being lifted: Helps some students feel more comfortable,” and then also stated “Reasons for staying banned: Safety, avoiding obstructions within the classroom.” Pryor said that she believes many students would wear hats if the ban was lifted.

“It might become less appealing to wear hats if they are no longer forbidden,” she stated.  It is also interesting to note that Lakeland and IA do not have a hat ban in place, yet Milford still does. 
Kevin McKenna, the Milford High School Principal, also weighed in on the hat policy. McKenna said that there are essentially two main reasons why the hat ban exists: professionalism and safety.

McKenna stated that hats aren’t allowed in most government buildings since it is “more professional to not wear hats.”

McKenna said that, “Milford wants to maintain a more professional education environment,” so one of the things that Milford does is not allow students to wear hats during school hours.

McKenna said “most of the staff supports the current hat policy” and that students wearing hats in class is simply “another point of conflict” that can occur between staff and students. McKenna also stated that “identifying students wearing both masks and hats can be extremely difficult” and that not being able to identify students could be a major safety concern.

As to why Lakeland and the IA don’t have a hat ban, but here at Milford we do, it is important to note that while Lakeland and the IA don’t have a hat ban right now, they have had one in the past.

McKenna said that, “There have been times where Lakeland and the IA have a hat ban, and Milford hasn’t.” but the last time that occurred was a while ago since the current hat policy at Milford has been in place since the early 2000s.

Different schools and different administrators are simply going to have different policies. The hat policy here at Milford has been a point of discussion for a while now, and it is good to see the policy from both a student and staff perspective.

Most students want to wear hats since it allows students to express themselves and to show who they support, while most staff want the hats to stay off since it looks unprofessional and could cause issues identifying students. Both sides have good arguments to make, but it doesn’t look like the hat policy will be changed any time soon.