Our position: Requiring school uniforms is a decision best made...

In considering a proposal to have all students wear uniforms to school, the Osceola School Board shouldn't feel an obligation to do all or nothing. Full Story
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Jessica

Orlando, FL

#1 Mar 12, 2008
I think it needs to be across the board. Parents can be the biggest supporters, but they can also be the biggest whiners. If the middle schooler doesn't have to wear a uniform, but the high schooler does, parents are going to freak. They need stability and consistency across the board. Don't put this all on one school principal. IMO, it should be a state rule, but districts are also capable of making the decision. I am tired of being the 'clothing police' at the school where I teach. The way SOME parents allow their children to dress for high school is very inappropriate, and it truly takes away from their learning time, and the learning of others. School is for learning, not for a fashion show. Save that for evenings and weekends.
THE SHADOW KNOWS

Kissimmee, FL

#2 Mar 12, 2008
The people elected the school board to run the schools and in turn hire a Superintendent to follow their lead. Principals are to run the schools as required by the school board. Where did the idea come from that each principal in Osceola county could run a school any way they wanted to and disregard the mandate of the elected school board ?
Obie Won Grandma

Winter Springs, FL

#3 Mar 12, 2008
No, I totally disagree on that. Either we're going to have uniforms or we're not. We're not going to leave the decision up to each individual school administration to decide so we have a patchwork quilt of compliance based on each individuals decision. Uniforms are required in most every worldwide school but here - except our private schools. They "level" the differences in kids so everyone appears the same - rich or poor, black or white or brown. They are a great discipline and order tool and reduce problems with little gang bangers and gothic characters in black, etc. I hope that they add strict rules too about hair, pierciings, and makeup as well. It is time kids behave and look like kids and not like cartoon characters, gangsters and hookers.
bodiddlie

Orlando, FL

#4 Mar 12, 2008
Again The Sentinel proves they are fully out of their collective minds. Who would advocate such a stupid idea that each school should decide on uniforms individually. For Pete’s sake what a group of morons. That is a decision made on a district level by elected officials and senior staff.
THE SHADOW KNOWS

Kissimmee, FL

#5 Mar 12, 2008
Obie Won Grandma wrote:
No, I totally disagree on that. Either we're going to have uniforms or we're not. We're not going to leave the decision up to each individual school administration to decide so we have a patchwork quilt of compliance based on each individuals decision. Uniforms are required in most every worldwide school but here - except our private schools. They "level" the differences in kids so everyone appears the same - rich or poor, black or white or brown. They are a great discipline and order tool and reduce problems with little gang bangers and gothic characters in black, etc. I hope that they add strict rules too about hair, pierciings, and makeup as well. It is time kids behave and look like kids and not like cartoon characters, gangsters and hookers.
Osceola county schools have a reasonable dress code..most principals have chosen to ignore the rules backed by a weak Superintendent.
BLANTONA1

Winter Garden, FL

#6 Mar 12, 2008
Obie Won Grandma wrote:
No, I totally disagree on that. Either we're going to have uniforms or we're not. We're not going to leave the decision up to each individual school administration to decide so we have a patchwork quilt of compliance based on each individuals decision. Uniforms are required in most every worldwide school but here - except our private schools. They "level" the differences in kids so everyone appears the same - rich or poor, black or white or brown. They are a great discipline and order tool and reduce problems with little gang bangers and gothic characters in black, etc. I hope that they add strict rules too about hair, pierciings, and makeup as well. It is time kids behave and look like kids and not like cartoon characters, gangsters and hookers.
There is no research that concludes students fare better in schools that require uniforms. I could understand it if a particular school has a large number of issues with inappropriate attire or if there seems to be a lot of theft (as there was a few years ago kids stealing each others expensive sneakers).

For the most part, seems to me the ones calling for uniforms aren't doing so because of issues with the kids within the school or to help the kids but because of their OWN issues with what kids are wearing in general.

For example when I was in high school, the big fashion was jeans with holes in them. If you could get your jeans to look like they had been run through a lawn mower....that was cool. My parents threw fits about the cost of torn jeans, how it looked and felt it was inappropriate attire. Fact is none of us paid that much attention to specifics of others clothes. Fact is never did it cause such a stir that we couldn't study. Fact is none of us were so preoccupied by clothes that we couldn't manage to get on with our day. Fact is I wore them just like everyone else did and managed to grow up and become a productive citizen. Fact is my parents got over it and so will the parents today.
Ginger

Tallahassee, FL

#7 Mar 12, 2008
BLANTONA1 wrote:
<quoted text>
There is no research that concludes students fare better in schools that require uniforms. I could understand it if a particular school has a large number of issues with inappropriate attire or if there seems to be a lot of theft (as there was a few years ago kids stealing each others expensive sneakers).
For the most part, seems to me the ones calling for uniforms aren't doing so because of issues with the kids within the school or to help the kids but because of their OWN issues with what kids are wearing in general.
For example when I was in high school, the big fashion was jeans with holes in them. If you could get your jeans to look like they had been run through a lawn mower....that was cool. My parents threw fits about the cost of torn jeans, how it looked and felt it was inappropriate attire. Fact is none of us paid that much attention to specifics of others clothes. Fact is never did it cause such a stir that we couldn't study. Fact is none of us were so preoccupied by clothes that we couldn't manage to get on with our day. Fact is I wore them just like everyone else did and managed to grow up and become a productive citizen. Fact is my parents got over it and so will the parents today.
AGREED. I am a junior at FSU right now and I attended public schools all of my life. I was never asked to wear uniforms and I turned out just fine. Parents, when it comes to your kids, please focus on more important things.
SteveO

Sanford, FL

#8 Mar 12, 2008
It is a huge mistake for the school board to atempt to mandate a district-wide uniform policy for Osceola schools. The bottom line is that it has been scientifically proven that school uniforms do nothing to improve academics or discipline, but they come with significant costs that our district can simply not afford. A district-wide uniform policy is an ill-conceived recipe for disaster.

While there is admittedly some anecdotal evidence that uniforms have helped with academics (usually interviews with principals or other administrators who initially championed uniforms in their districts), all of the scientific studies have unanimously shown that school uniforms do nothing to improve discipline or test scores. If you would like examples, I suggest reading "Effects of School Uniforms on Attendance, Behavior Problems, Substance Abuse, and Academic Achievement" by David L. Brunsma from the University of Alabama, or "Order In The Classroom: Violence, Discipline, and Student Achievement" by Paul E. Barton and published by the Educational Testing Service. Both have shown statistically that there is absolutely no correlation between school uniforms and improving test scores or improved discipline. There was also a recent study by the Orange County school board reviewing the adoption of uniforms by Polk County that concluded "...there is no national or FLDOE evidence that school uniforms significantly impact student achievement or crime and violence." As a result, the Orange County school board decided not to implement a district-wide uniform policy.

While uniforms will not provide any of the improvements that the school board is hoping for, they will increase expenses! On a personal level, this means parents will have to purchase uniforms for school hours, in addition to jeans and t-shirts for after school and weekend playtimes. It will double the family's clothing bills! In addition, the school board will be required to provide stipends for parents who cannot afford the uniforms. This is an additional cost to a school board that can barely provide enough books for its students. Where will this money come from?

In addition to the costs caused by the uniforms themselves, there is a high probability of litigation arising from a uniform policy. The current uniform proposal severely restricts logos or other writing on shirts. In other cases where this has happened, the ACLU has successfully sued the school board for infringing on a student's First Amendment rights. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education Manual on School Uniforms states, "...a mandatory school uniform policy without an "opt out" provision could be vulnerable to legal challenge." There is the very real possibility of our school board having to defend its policy in court - more expense for a terribly underfunded school district.

I understand the concern over the possibility of students wearing gang insignia at school, and of the distraction that revealing clothing can provide our older students. However, our current dress code specifically prohibits both of these types of dress. With all the scientific evidence showing that school uniforms have no impact on discipline or academics, and with the additional costs of stipends and potential lawsuits, the negatives far outweigh the positives in requiring uniforms for Osceola County. A much better solution would be to vigorously enforce the current dress code across the county - you will achieve the same gains with none of the risks.
MMM

Orlando, FL

#9 Mar 12, 2008
I agree with school uniforms in all public schools. It deters from peer pressure, unsightly teenage clothing, and it saves parents a whole lot of money!!! My question is how long will this decision take?
Angel Face

Saint Petersburg, FL

#10 Mar 12, 2008
BLANTONA1 wrote:
<quoted text>
There is no research that concludes students fare better in schools that require uniforms. I could understand it if a particular school has a large number of issues with inappropriate attire or if there seems to be a lot of theft (as there was a few years ago kids stealing each others expensive sneakers).
For the most part, seems to me the ones calling for uniforms aren't doing so because of issues with the kids within the school or to help the kids but because of their OWN issues with what kids are wearing in general.
For example when I was in high school, the big fashion was jeans with holes in them. If you could get your jeans to look like they had been run through a lawn mower....that was cool. My parents threw fits about the cost of torn jeans, how it looked and felt it was inappropriate attire. Fact is none of us paid that much attention to specifics of others clothes. Fact is never did it cause such a stir that we couldn't study. Fact is none of us were so preoccupied by clothes that we couldn't manage to get on with our day. Fact is I wore them just like everyone else did and managed to grow up and become a productive citizen. Fact is my parents got over it and so will the parents today.
While there is no research showing that students fare better in schools where a uniform is required, I still think it is very necessary in this say considering the way kids push the dress code now. I too went to school at a time when raggedy jeans were cool. But for the most part, we didn't have little girls coming in looking like street walkers and boys coming in looking like they were destined to life on a street corner. Considering the way children come to school dressed now, I can't see a uniform being anything but beneficial.
FSM

Orlando, FL

#11 Mar 12, 2008
Ginger wrote:
<quoted text>
AGREED. I am a junior at FSU right now and I attended public schools all of my life. I was never asked to wear uniforms and I turned out just fine.
Well, I wouldn't say you turned out just fine. I mean, you did end up at Florida State, so something must have gone wrong somewhere down the line...
Angel Face

Saint Petersburg, FL

#12 Mar 12, 2008
SteveO wrote:
While uniforms will not provide any of the improvements that the school board is hoping for, they will increase expenses! On a personal level, this means parents will have to purchase uniforms for school hours, in addition to jeans and t-shirts for after school and weekend playtimes. It will double the family's clothing bills! In addition, the school board will be required to provide stipends for parents who cannot afford the uniforms. This is an additional cost to a school board that can barely provide enough books for its students. Where will this money come from?
In addition to the costs caused by the uniforms themselves, there is a high probability of litigation arising from a uniform policy. The current uniform proposal severely restricts...
I think that uniforms could actually assist with clothing costs. You can find plain khakis and white polos at Steve and Barry's for about $8 each. That is considerably less than the amount of money parents spend on designer jeans so their kids can keep with with the others in their class. My child went to a public school when we lived in NY that required uniforms of pants in either khaki, black or navy blue with white shirts in either button up or polo style. They were also allowed to wear a sweater in either black or navy. I spent much less on clothing at that school than I do currently.
Seth

United States

#13 Mar 12, 2008
Boys who dress like rappers and girl who dress like Bratz dolls to school are the reason we should adopt uniforms across public schools. This way, kids will spend more focusing on work and less if they look cool / fashionable.
Seth

United States

#14 Mar 12, 2008
Ginger wrote:
<quoted text>
AGREED. I am a junior at FSU right now and I attended public schools all of my life. I was never asked to wear uniforms and I turned out just fine. Parents, when it comes to your kids, please focus on more important things.
I hope you are not one of those FSU Cowgirls.
feather

Apopka, FL

#15 Mar 12, 2008
As a middle school teacher I LOVE THE IDEA OF UNIFORMS. Sometimes, I can't even look at a student because they show too much. And too many times then I can count, I've seen boys pants drop to the floor.
r hernandez

Austin, TX

#16 Mar 12, 2008
uniforms are nice. less clothes to buy for the year. i wore uniforms grammar school to high school. no big deal. it will not make a person. for people to get nuts over this shows where priorities are. uniforms may make life a bit easier on parents who have a crazy schedule. or limited budget. no having to pick out what to wear, just put it on. as we all know, nothing in life gets easier. it looks nice, but it should not be something people go to blows over.
A Springs

United States

#17 Mar 12, 2008
1. Uniforms havent been as necesary in the past as now.

2. I moved around a lot as a kid (9 states) and clothes/fashion was a HUGE concern for me. Some places I got it right and was accepted, others I got it wrong and was riddiculed. I always wished for uniforms but never got them just so that I wouldnt have to worry about dressing the right way.

Its easy to say 'clothes are no big deal' when you were one of the ones that got it right, had the money, fashion sense, etc to get the right clothes. For everyone else it IS a concern.

3. Its cheaper.

4. All you saying it is not proven to help...I think we can all agree it has not proven to HURT...so why fight it? There is no reason.
Phil Paunxitauney

Palm Bay, FL

#18 Mar 12, 2008
If the schools are going to require uniforms,then that code should carry over to employees from the principal down.This should also apply to random drug testing.All gov.employees should be randomly tested.I went to a school that had a dress code and partial uniforms but the school provided them to the families who were too poor to afford them.All of our teachers wore uniforms also.They were nuns!!!!
Ann

AOL

#19 Mar 12, 2008
MMM wrote:
I agree with school uniforms in all public schools. It deters from peer pressure, unsightly teenage clothing, and it saves parents a whole lot of money!!! My question is how long will this decision take?
How does it save money? You have to buy uniforms, and clothes for after school? Kids aren't going to wear uniforms after school.
jbd

Austin, TX

#20 Mar 12, 2008
the united states is proud to be free, ask anyone living here. but in our so called "free" country, why would you ever let one person (a principal) make a decision that will effect hundreds of others? students should have the choice in this matter. everyone should have the right to express themselves freely, not just those of us who have reached a certain age. so dont let a school principal make rules like these, leave it up to public sovereignty.

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