When Bryan County Schools first suggested a uniform policy, I was for it. Uniforms are used for public schools in almost every country of the world with great success. My children wore uniforms at the schools they attended prior to our relocation to Georgia. The benefits that we saw firsthand (forget about all the various "studies" that each side will quote to you) were:
- far less expensive wardrobe costs, because a student only needed two sets of clothing for school - one to wear while the other was in the laundry
- quicker dressing in the morning because children did not have to stare into the closet trying to figure out "what to wear"
- students looked neat and this made them ACT more serious about school because they looked like they were going to school to learn, not to make a statement or present a fashion show
- no awful, distracting sayings on t-shirts (one look in the middle school and high school yearbooks demonstrates the type of issues Bryan County currently has)
However, the proposed Bryan County uniform policy is unthinkable for the following reasons:
- The only color allowed for pants will be tan/beige. Why? Any parent of an elementary school boy knows that you dress kids in dark colors, otherwise they will be dirty before they even get out of bus room. And, forcing middle school girls to wear only light colored pants during that certain time of the month - well, that would just be downright cruel.- The only shirt colors are white or navy. Many girls do not like to wear white shirts because their developing bodies and/or bras show through. This would leave them with only one choice for a shirt color - navy.
- The policy states that turtlenecks and sweaters do not need to be tucked in. One of the benefits of uniforms is making it more difficult for students to smuggle in guns and drugs. A student could easily conceal a gun in the waistband of their pants if they are allowed to cover the waistband with an un-tucked turtleneck or sweater.
- Brand name insignias and logos are allowed. Although the School Board states that one of their reasons for uniforms is to remove some of the visible class differences, allowing insignias and logos introduces the financial class issue right back into the clothing. The well-to-do children will have Nike, Izod, Aeropostale, etc., while the less fortunate children will not.
Parents, if you do not support this policy, please make your opinion known by calling board members and attending the School Board meeting Thursday, May 24, 6 p.m. at Carver Elementary School. If you do not express your opinion, the school board is assuming that you support it, "as written."
Mother of three Bryan County students