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Message from Superintendent Regarding New Requirements for Hoodies

December 22, 2021

​Dear Parents/Guardians,

On several occasions this school year, I noticed that the combination of hoods and masks is creating a safety risk. Therefore, for the remainder of the school year in all schools, we will be asking all students to remove their hoods. (Hoodies are still permitted but the hood cannot be pulled up.) The combination of wearing hoods and masks is impeding our ability to see our students’ faces and, at times, properly identify them. This is a serious safety concern.

In the beginning of the school year, the district worked with Don Shomette, a national violence prevention expert, who completed safety assessments in all ten school buildings. Mr. Shomette recommended that students lower hoods immediately upon entering the building. He further explained that hoodies and face masks make it extremely difficult for teachers and staff members to recognize students, especially during high traffic times like morning arrival and class changes. Furthermore, it would be very challenging to quickly and accurately spot students who shouldn’t be on school property. It also greatly hinders a teacher’s ability to assess whether a student may be in distress and therefore quickly help students in need. These situations are unsafe and potentially dangerous for school buildings.

The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District remains steadfast in its mission to provide the safest environment for our students and staff. We have a procedure in place for reviewing and revising the district’s Code of Conduct on an annual basis. This process is overseen by the Code of Conduct Committee which is composed of district stakeholders. I understand the hard work that the committee put into the Code of Conduct and I applaud their efforts. My decision was based on our current circumstances and climate and is consistent with the following stipulation on Page 13 of the 2021-22 Code of Conduct: “any article that poses (or may pose) a threat to the health, safety, and wellbeing of others (including but not limited to decorative chains, wallet chains, studded bracelets, belts, and/or jewelry) is prohibited.”

I hope you can understand that I am very sensitive to the needs of all of our children. The safety and security of our students is our paramount responsibility.

Thank you!


Sabatino Cimato
Superintendent of Schools