Dress Code Equity Act; guidelines and policies for dress or grooming codes in schools. (HB837)

Introduced By

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Woodbridge)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Board of Education; school boards; dress or grooming codes. Requires the Board of Education to include in its guidelines and model policies for codes of student conduct (i) standards for reducing bias and harassment in the enforcement of any code of student conduct and (ii) standards for dress or grooming codes, which the bill defines as any practice, policy, or portion of a code of student conduct adopted by a school board that governs or restricts the attire of any enrolled student. The bill permits any school board to include in its code of student conduct a dress or grooming code. The bill requires any dress or grooming code included in a school board's code of student conduct or otherwise adopted by a school board to (a) permit any student to wear any religiously and ethnically specific or significant head covering or hairstyle, including hijabs, yarmulkes, headwraps, braids, locs, and cornrows; (b) maintain gender neutrality by subjecting any student to the same set of rules and standards regardless of gender; (c) not have a disparate impact on students of a particular gender; (d) be clear, specific, and objective in defining terms, if used; (e) prohibit any school board employee from enforcing the dress or grooming code by direct physical contact with a student or a student's attire; and (f) prohibit any school board employee from requiring a student to undress in front of any other individual, including the enforcing school board employee, to comply with the dress or grooming code. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/07/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20104462D
01/07/2020Referred to Committee on Education
01/15/2020Assigned Education sub: Pre-K-12
01/17/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB837)
01/27/2020Subcommittee recommends reporting (4-Y 3-N)
02/03/2020Reported from Education with substitute (20-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2020Committee substitute printed 20107220D-H1
02/05/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB837H1)
02/05/2020Read first time
02/06/2020Read second time
02/06/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20107220D-H1
02/06/2020Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB837H1
02/07/2020Read third time and passed House (81-Y 17-N)
02/07/2020VOTE: Passage (81-Y 17-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2020Constitutional reading dispensed
02/10/2020Referred to Committee on Education and Health
02/18/2020Assigned Education sub: Public Education
02/27/2020Reported from Education and Health (8-Y 4-N 3-A) (see vote tally)
02/28/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (37-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/02/2020Read third time
03/02/2020Passed by for the day
03/03/2020Read third time
03/03/2020Passed Senate (24-Y 15-N) (see vote tally)
03/06/2020Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB837ER)
03/06/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB837ER)
03/06/2020Signed by Speaker
03/06/2020Signed by President
03/12/2020Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on March 12, 2020
03/12/2020G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., April 11, 2020
04/06/2020G Approved by Governor-Chapter 678 (effective 7/1/20)
04/06/2020G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0678)