Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, May 26, 2016.
May 27, 2016
If your school has uniforms, what is the enforcement procedure?
Our uniforms are mostly khaki-type pants, shorts, or skirts and polo tops of a particular color (depending on grade level), although technically it can be any shirt with a collar. Because uniforms are so prevalent in my town, you can find these items at all major department stores--WalMart, Kohl's, Target, KMart--for very, very low prices. I mean, the polo tops are usually under $4. Most parents would be hard-pressed to find non-uniform tops for that price. Besides this, we have tons of uniform exchanges, both at the school site and elsewhere, where families can trade up or down sizes for free. My school also has a huge room full of uniform pieces for students whose families cannot afford uniforms and cannot, for whatever reason, participate in an exchange.
If you don't have appropriate attire, you will be sent home. If it's a matter of needs, like if a kid is wearing jeans because he literally has no other pants to wear, the school will usually provide several days' worth of uniform pieces at no cost.
Every so often, the class (grade) with the least amount of referrals gets a free-dress/no-uniform day
I am in favor of any enforceable dress code, but only if all the teachers buy in and write up infractions. What tends to happen, though, is that a few teachers enforce the code, and many others look the other way, making the enforcing teachers the "bad guys", and those teachers who turn a blind eye the "good guys" who are frequently cited as "saying it is OK as is." All I want is consistency across the board, with teachers enforcing and students complying.
This is exactly what happens at our school. The infractions are little, like colored socks or not the right shoes, but I call kids out on it and I end up looking like the mean one.
May 28, 2016
Oh, I don't know. Many low-income schools manage uniform policies just fine. I think.it's stranger to expect a public school to provide free uniforms.
Remember, I was replying to someone who said if their school changed to uniforms.
There is a big difference between an established uniform policy where the community and school has used uniforms that are affordable for the poor or can be given to the poor and a school just deciding to have a uniform policy and there is nothing in the area except for new.
As another poster described their uniform policy had a rather wide range of acceptable. Three different color pants and a collard shirt or something like that. I can see that being a much more affordable and accessible option for almost all families. It is wide enough to allow families to have some options if they can't find the one specific type of pants or shirt. Something like that might work, but a very defined one might cause problems until the community built up supplies of old clothing.
I can see how some may feel that if a public school requires a uniform in order for a student to access their education that the school should be supplying that uniform like they supply textbooks. Especially in some states, public schools can't require parents to pay to attend even in terms of supplies. Uniforms are required to attend, not jut any clothing that covers the body appropriately which makes them a required supply.
As a teacher in a dress code ran school district, it's okay. Not the perfect situation. I feel like I'm more of a dress code police than a teacher sometimes. I truly envy teachers that are allowed to wear jeans like their students. It's true, we can see the difference in the "leveling of the playing field".
Our district had to delete a few dress code rules due to being a rural community because each year the dress code was changed and getting a little bit tighter on what was allowed--the two page, back to back, single spaced size 10 font document was growing. Apparently the girls hair bows and socks/stockings having to be matched was something of importance to someone for a year, and then quickly not so when the staff showed up at a dress code meeting. We asked the person who decided on this idea to come and policy the dress code for a day to ensure this was being followed. They declined, and so went the matching code. Gang related activity was the reason behind the "only colors allowed". Because if you wore pink colors in your hair and on your socks on Wednesday, you were in a gang.
As a parent in a dress code ran school district, I hated it. When my youngest was finally in high school in the non-uniform dress code, life was so much better for my family...even on my wallet. I spent more money from k-8th grade on dress code than I have during the high school years. And the kids at the high school could care less what people are wearing. They're all just excited they get to be themselves...or whoever they're trying to be.
I don't entirely get the argument that uniforms are prohibitively expensive.
In my state, my school is required to give one free uniform shirt each year. Extras can be purchased at a very affordable price.
Kids have to wear pants, shoes, and socks whether they're wearing a uniform or not. Our dress code requires colors, not specific brands, for these items, so they can be purchased at thrift stores if desired.
Ultimately, it all shouldn't cost any more than a regular school wardrobe. Many kids wear hand-me-downs if they have an older sibling.
Yeah... how are uniforms more expensive than regular clothes? Uniforms can be found in almost every store, including Walmart, and they're pretty cheap. "Regular" clothes are way more expensive, especially if your kid wants name brand whatever whatever.
AND it would never be a problem as a hand-me-down if your kids are into different styles of clothing since they have to wear the same thing anyway. Even if it's passed from sister to brother and vice versa since polos & pants are pretty gender neutral.
I also like that you can't tell who has more pieces, necessarily. At my school, the girls wear plaid skirts (or navy pants, but many wear the skirt most of the time). Except for occasional issues with frequency of laundering, it's impossible to tell who has one skirt vs who has 5. Same with the blouse - as long as they're kept fairly clean, who knows how many each kid has. That would not necessarily be the case with non-uniform pants and definitely not with shirts, where it would be noticeable if a kid wore the same shirt almost every day.
To me it's not a price issue, so much as telling parents that something very specific must be bought. I'd expect to face derision from parents if I posted a class supply list with specific brands marked off required. To me, this is no different. A poorer family can get clothes from goodwill, Salvation Army, yard and garage sales, etc. the second you require a uniform, you start closing those avenues. Sure, if it's a big enough school, the Goodwills, Salvation Armies, etc will eventually catch up, but that won't be much consolation for the first few years of a uniform policy. You also will run into situations of parents needing to buy double the clothes (unless they/their kids are okay with them wearing drab school uniforms 24/7/365.)
There are tons of stores that sell uniform clothes very inexpensively (Walmart, Target, Old Navy). Also most schools around here do have systems in place to support students whose families really cannot afford to buy the items whether it's exchanges or closets maintained by the counselor or whatever the case may be.
As far as double the clothes, we really haven't found that to be true for our family. Our son has his school clothes and then a few items of play clothes. He doesn't usually need to change out of his uniform when he gets home, so he usually only needs play clothes on weekends and off days. During the summer he will wear his uniform khaki shorts with regular t-shirts (voluntarily - he picks out his outfits on non-school days).
I see the benefit of uniforms in areas where gang colors are an issue. I don't know if it's much use anywhere else. Though I have heard the argument that it provides school spirit and unity. I don't mind non-uniform schools, as long as there is a dress code that is applied equally towards boys and girls.
One of the things I'm annoyed with my school about right now is that the admin is fine with providing consequences for female students who break the dress code, but feel like it's not worth the effort to hold boys accountable for their saggy pants. I address it every time I see it, but my statements basically have no teeth as the admin won't back it up. As such I don't bother to address female dress code violations anymore, because it's not fair to.
Also, school uniforms are the majority in other countries, even in 3rd world countries. It's just the opposite here.
Plus, I think students just look more scholarly in uniforms! Haha. I would have loved a uniform as a kid.
Me too. One year I went through a growth spurt and only had two pairs of pants in the size I was wearing. It would have been less noticeable that I only had two pairs until the spurt was over and I stabilized for a while.
When my kids went to elementary school it was the only school that required "uniforms." It was also the poorest school in the district. I was in the PTA and helped run the community closet. We had donations (from parents and stores) of brand-new clothing as well as clean, used clothes that students could get if needed. Want to know who got clothes from the closet? Almost always it was "rich" kids that forgot something or tried to sneak non-uniform pieces. Seldom did we have to provide clothing out of true need.
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