Time is right for adoption of dress code policy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 8, 2005

The discussion to bring a mandatory school uniform policy to the Butler County School System is now in the final stages with the board.

At their next meeting, they will likely vote yes or no on the matter.

As we have in the past, we want to be one of the first to publicly say we think it is a good idea that all of our schools have a mandatory dress code.

Study after study has been performed in all region of the country, in all socioeconomic backgrounds and despite what the children say; uniforms work.

First, it takes the burden off trying to look hip and cool with the latest culture trends in clothing and shoes.

Second, less chance of gangs forming using their clothing colors as their identification.

Third, it firmly reminds children that they are just that, children and that adults and parents control the schools.

We do wish to caution the board on creating an "opt out" clause.

This is causing problems in other school districts and in reality, nulls a uniform policy.

Finally, in these post Columbine days, we have to look at the safety picture.

In Long Beach, Calif., the first school system ever to adopt a uniform policy in the U.S. recently reported that school crime has dropped 76 percent; assaults on school property has dropped 85 percent;

vandalism is way down; and attendance is at 95 percent, an all-time high.

So to the Board of Education, we say pass the uniform policy and adhere to it.

We believe parents who do not like the policy will quickly learn how much they'll save by not having to buy the expensive clothes or shoes, but rather the uniform.

Remember, we send our children to school to learn, and school uniforms will level the playing field, making sure our teachers and administrators can put the emphasis on teaching and not on policing wardrobe malfunctions.