Office of Civil Rights continues investigation into St. Johns County school dress code policy

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A survey about dress code violations was sent to families at five St. Johns County schools.


It’s from the Office of Civil Rights and was sent with a letter. Action News Jax told you in 2021 when it opened an investigation looking into the district’s dress code policy and whether or not it discriminates based on sex.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]

The survey is related to the federal Title IX investigation.

“It was a physical representation they’re taking the investigation seriously and it’s still ongoing,” Bartram Trail high school student, Riley O’Keefe said. “I’m hoping it gives them some direction where to go so it’s not so broad.”

The survey was sent from the Office of Civil Rights to five schools, Bartram Trail, Nease, St. Augustine, Switzerland Point and Creekside.

O’Keefe is a junior at Bartram Trail high school and one of 80 girls who had their 2021 yearbook photos edited at the school. She got the survey and thought it was thorough.

“Were you dress coded from 2020-2021 school year? If you hit yes, more questions popped up,” she said. “You had the opportunity to select was it a warning, was it a suspension what were the consequences?”

Related Story: SJC School Board unveiling proposed changes to the dress code policy for the upcoming school year

O’Keefe said as far as Bartram Trail goes, the dress code enforcement isn’t as extreme compared to two years ago, but said she wants to see more from the district in the future.

“It makes it less stressful just being a normal student, I can just focus on my homework like normal,” she said. “The environment of the school has gotten better, at least at my school, I just don’t feel like the school is being very proactive...just dealing with what they’re given.”

The St. Johns County School District sent Action News Jax the following statement:

“We are fully cooperating with the investigation. We have made changes to the dress code since the initial complaint was filed in 2021. These changes support a gender neutral dress code and were made based on public and school board input, research of other districts and the topic of school board workshops. The changes were also included in trainings for staff responsible for enforcing the dress code.”

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Action News Jax called the representative from OCR, left voicemails and sent an email but didn’t hear back.

Comments on this article