No uniforms for the county#039;s public schools for the 2007-2008 school year

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 17, 2007

Students in the Crenshaw County School System will not be wearing school uniforms when the new school year begins in August.

At its regular meeting last Thursday, Schools Superintendent Kathi Wallace said that she did not think there was &#8220a clear mandate at this time to move in this direction (of voting on school uniforms).”

&#8220But, if you want to vote on this issue, I will entertain that motion, but I don't see it as a clear mandate at this time,” she said.

Wallace said that the results of the uniform dress code committee meetings indicated that there were people who felt &#8220passionately both ways.”

She added that the school system had had not only committee meetings on the issue, but it had also held P.T.A. meetings at each school, had allowed the faculties at each school to vote on it, and had left surveys at each school for parents to fill out and submit. Plus, an open forum was held at Luverne High School for those wishing to speak publicly.

Of the forms/surveys received, Wallace said there was a total of 329 votes for uniforms and 339 against them.

&#8220That tells you how close of an issue it was,” she said.

Board member Bertha Jones said that her feelings on the subject were no secret.

&#8220I say ‘yes' to the uniforms, and I'm not trying to take anything away from anybody, especially not their individuality,” she said. &#8220I just think it would be a good thing for the school system.”

Board member Steve Sanders said that he appreciated all of the parents who had come to him to discuss the uniform issue.

&#8220This issue has certainly drawn us together and has shown us the need to work together whatever the issue is,” Sanders said. &#8220I'd love to see that same passion when we discuss what our kids are doing at school and in the classroom.”

Jones said that she understood there would not be a mandate for the board to vote on concerning the uniforms, but she felt there &#8220has to be a change in the dress code system.”

&#8220It's on the books, but it's not being carried out,” she said. &#8220There is no reason for a young man who a wears a size 32 pants to come to school with a size 38Š.or girls with half their stomach showingŠ.and no three-inch heels - there's not a beauty contest going on at school,” Jones said.

&#8220If we are not going to pass the uniform now, then the dress code should be enforced, and that goes for teachers, too,” she added.

Sanders agreed with Jones when it came to students dressing appropriately for school.

&#8220It's got to start at home,” he said. &#8220Parents have more of the responsibility.”

Board Chairman W.B. Smith, Jr., noted that school systems that had implemented school uniforms had not changed back.

&#8220There may be a time when we will do it, but now is not the right time,” Smith said.

Board members Troy Hudson and Ronald Rhodes had no comments on the issue.

The next Crenshaw County Board of Education meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 29, at 5:30 p.m.