Opposition mounts on uniform policy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Following several months of work by various committees, the Butler County Board of Education seems poised to institute a mandatory uniform policy for its 3,000 students.

It was the main topic of discussion last Thursday at a board workshop and one board member said the positive votes to pass the policy are in place.

While it is a good idea at first glance, many are opening up about it.

They are falling along yea or nay lines.

Some parents approve it. Others do not.

The students are the same way and the schools’ administrators are wondering what side to fall.

Wanda Young, who works for Key Safety Systems and has two sons in the school system said Tuesday she was not for a uniform policy and that more should be done to enforce the existing district dress code.

&uot;I think the whole idea stinks,&uot; she said.

&uot;I don’t believe that it is going to make any difference at the schools on what the children wear.

It is just going to put a bigger burden on parents to buy the correct uniform.&uot;

She went on to say that no two children are alike and that with all the shapes and sizes, it could be difficult to find comfortable fitting clothes.

&uot;I know my children will learn more if they’re comfortable and having to wear khakis and a starched collar shirt isn’t going to make them comfortable,&uot; she said.

Young went on to say that the schools have a dress code and it should be enforced.

&uot;Instead of looking at a uniform policy, maybe they should be looking at why they can’t enforce their own dress codes,&uot; she said. &uot;If the schools are enforcing it and they are overturning it at the board level, they are at fault for not enforcing the rules.&uot;

One of the biggest issues with student clothing is the popular way young men are wearing their slacks and jeans where they hang low on the buttocks like they were unable to pull them up all the way.

This exposes their trendy underwear and is strictly prohibited by the schools’ dress codes.

Another dress issue how tight a young lady’s clothes may be and how much skin shows.

On Tuesday, several Greenville High students voiced their thoughts on the school uniform policy proposal and all seemed against it.

&uot;They say it will be prevent violence in schools,&uot; Aundrea Poole said.

&uot;If someone is going to do something violent, I don’t believe what they are wearing is going to make a difference.&uot;

She said she understands that one issue is how some students wear their clothing in a &uot;sag.&uot;

&uot;I don’t believe it is right to punish everyone because a few break the dress code,&uot; she said.

&uot;Students who want to wear the sag are going to sag anyway.&uot;

She also pointed out that she doesn’t believe it will save money for parents.

&uot;I believe they will have to us everyday clothes to wear when we’re not wearing the uniforms,&uot; she said.

Shawn Tyson agreed with Poole by saying students who wear inappropriate clothing will continue even if they wear uniforms.

&uot;It does punish those of us who don’t sag and that’s not fair,&uot; he said

&uot;It is not fair for the ones who don’t have dress issues.&uot;

Jae Perryman said she believes students will continue to break the dress code even in a uniform.

&uot;Are they going to tell us what sizes to buy?&uot; she asked.

&uot;People are still going to find a way to break the rules.

And will they be full uniforms or khakis and a polo type shirt?

You’re not going to be able to find all the needed items in the area for that number of students and parents are going to have to travel to Montgomery and elsewhere to find the right uniforms.&uot;

Josh McGough said money will be a problem for some students.

&uot;You have students who can afford to pay $6.75 a week for lunch and we actually believe they’ll have the money to buy the uniforms?

I don’t think so,&uot; he said.

&uot;And you are still going to have people who would wear the name brand clothing who will pick on those buying their clothes at Wal-Mart.

They’ll still wear their American Eagle and Tommy Hilfiger.&uot;

Dr. Mike Reed, superintendent of the system, said he is for a uniform policy in some fashion, but does not see it as the end-all-be-all of solving any educational problems.

&uot;It is fine to have the uniforms, but we cannot see it as the solution to all our problems,&uot; he said.

&uot;We must implement and enforce other polices that will make the schools more of a learning environment.&uot;

He said the uniform issue is not new to this board or his tenure in the Butler County System.

&uot;I know a committee was looking into it before I arrived during Superintendent Suzanne McGill’s time here,&uot; he said.

&uot;So you see, it is an issue that has been around for several years.&uot;

Deborah Holley said she is for the uniforms because she knows that children can be cruel to other children.

&uot;I don’t understand why the fuss is about having the go to uniforms because they are things that makes everyone equal,&uot; she said.

&uot;You don’t have a choice in going to school and law mandates that you are schooled in some fashion until you’re 16.&uot;

She went on to say that schools are government agencies and can like any business set the dress standards.

&uot;You don’t see men and women wearing inappropriate outfits at the post office or in city hall, so why should student get away with it?&uot; she said.

&uot;Do you believe I would leave my home and go to a job and wear my slacks down around my knees?

I don’t think so.&uot;

She also said the cruelness of other children falls on the parents, not the schools.

&uot;Why would anybody want anyone for a friend who is going to criticize what people wear or where they shop?&uot;

she said.

&uot;These are usually the same people who act this way all through school, they think they’re gods and end up popping pills, married to someone they hate, with children they don’t care for by the time they’re 35.&uot;

She said she knows that everyone is not like that but that some of the same people she graduated with from Greenville High in 1977 are like that today.

&uot;I think they should bring the uniforms to life,&uot; she said.

Dr. Kathy Murphy said as the principal of GHS she would enforce the uniform policy if it is voted in.