I am greatly concerned with the way this whole uniform issue has been handled by our school board. We first heard that it was because of the parent survey sent home last fall – a survey whose results could not be viewed because they were destroyed, according to Dr. Brewer. Next we were told that the teachers wanted uniforms, based on a secret poll taken two weeks ago. The questions posed and the results of this survey were also not available to be viewed, although the Bryan County News reported the totals on May 16.
I am a registered nurse and, in my profession, when I take a patient’s blood pressure, give a medication, notify a physician of patient status or do anything for or to my patient, I have to document it in the chart. That makes it available for the patient, family and other medical staff to review. If I don’t chart something, legally, it didn’t happen.
It is the same in other professions, such as real estate, banking and education. Just because a person "says" that he will buy a house doesn’t make it so. There are numerous documents that must be signed and registered. In banking, just because the bank president "says" he believes a person will pay back the loan doesn’t make it so. He must have signed documentation before any money changes hands. In education, in order to give a child a grade, there must be documentation of tests, quizzes and homework results to support the grade that is given.
We have seen no appropriate documentation that uniforms are wanted by either parents or teachers.
With this proposed uniform policy, it seems that there is an agenda to rush it through without proper input from those most profoundly affected by it. There are three examples of this.
First, parents were given no notice until the March 26 board meeting that uniforms were even being considered for this next school year. I buy my children’s fall and winter clothes when they go on sale in January and February and, as a result, I have already purchased their school wardrobes for next year, according to the current Bryan County school dress code.
Secondly, there are only two choices of shirt/sweater colors, one of which is white, As a mom of a first grade boy, I know full well that if I send him to school with a white shirt or sweater, it will come home looking more like the lunchroom, playground or art room than a white shirt. Hence, the only choice every day, all year long for my son is a navy shirt.
Thirdly, this proposed uniform policy doesn’t allow for the children to wear "red on Fridays" to show support for their moms and dads who are currently fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas of the world.
An appropriate parent survey, involving only the issue of uniforms would have, I believe, referenced these and other areas of concern, which could then have been easily adapted into the uniform policy.
As a parent, my taxes support these schools, my vote put these representatives on the board and it’s my money that will have to pay for the uniform that they choose. For these reasons I ask the board to consider the negative impact that rushing a uniform policy will have on the children and families in Bryan County.
Instead, let me suggest that the board perform an appropriate "Parent Uniform Poll" once school is back in session. Compile the information statistically and post the results on the Bryan County Schools web site. At that point, if uniforms are something that the majority of parents want, work on implementing it for the following school year, with plenty of notice given to all who will be affected.