Tuesday, August 30, 2011

School Uniforms and Why I Don't Agree with Them

This year, the school district where I teach, and where I send my children, is going to school uniforms.
Before you ask, yes, it is a public school.

Going back a little, our district has always had a dress code policy. You know, the whole pants on the waist, shorts/skirts to the knee, no inappropriate words or pictures on t-shirts, no hats in buildings, no pj's, no spaghetti straps or low cut tops for the girls, etc.  It basically just asked students, and their parents, to use common sense when choosing outfits to wear to school.  I thought it pretty much covered everything.  However, students still would come to school inappropriately dressed.  Go figure.  Some teachers would send students who were not following dress code policy to the office where it would then be up to the administration to contact parents, get new clothes, send them home, or do something to fix the problem.  More often than not though nothing would be done and the day went on.

So the powers-to-be have decided it's time for the next step...school uniforms.

Now I am all for students being dressed appropriately for school.  I make a pretty big deal of my kids looking their best for school, just ask Dylan who often grumbles when I tell him to go right back upstairs to find a different outfit.  My kids weren't dressed in a name brand, preppy, trendy, kind of way, but they weren't allowed to wear their athletic wear or tank tops or play clothes to school either.  Zoe wore her cute little dresses and Dylan opted for khaki shorts or jeans with polo or button down shirts in a variety of colors and patterns.  

But now, because some people couldn't follow the rules, we are all paying the price.
Now all students must wear khakis in sand, blue, or black {no jeans at all}.  You can wear shorts, capris, and skirts as long as everything is past the knee.  Tops are only Polo tops in solid colors of red, maroon, gold, yellow, blue, or black.

Gotta love the variety there.

Where is the individuality that I love about my students, about my own kids?
For better or worse, you can tell a lot about a person by the way they dress.
Just go sit down in a public place and watch people for awhile.

I get that we want to raise the standard for our children.
We want to teach them how to be productive citizens and that means knowing how to dress for certain places.
We want school to be a safe place where the focus is on learning.
I get it.

But school uniforms?
Shouldn't we be teaching our students to think for themselves?
To make the right choice, rather than be told the right choice?

The world doesn't dress in khaki's and polos.
Instead we have a diverse world full of unique individuals.
It takes all kinds to make the world go round!

Do your kids wear a school uniform to school?
What are you thoughts of school uniforms in school? Does it make a different whether the school is a private or public school?
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