Does your PUBLIC school require uniforms? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-31-2007, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Or is that even legal? I would so LOVE to have uniforms for public school. I wonder who I could talk to about that. . .
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:14 AM
 
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Yes they have uniforms in some of the public schools around here... I do not agree with the policy for a number of reasons, but its a non-issue as we homeschool.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:15 AM
 
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Lots of school systems require uniforms now. Ours does not, but schools may adopt an optional uniform. The magnet school dd will attend for kindy next year has had an optional, and mostly ignored uniform for years and we just found out that they are actually putting the pressure on for kids to wear it this year. In our school system the uniform can only be mandatory if there is a program in place to purchase uniforms for low income families.

I am really not excited about the uniform. Dd is a kid who expresses herself through her clothes, but she is happy to shop at thrift stores and get hand-me-downs. We are spending more money on uniform clothes than we would have on regular school stuff, and it is ugly! Her school is just requiring navy, white, or gold tops and navy or khaki bottoms, so it is flexible...but boring. Why are uniform colors never pink or purple! So sexist! I'd rather just have a required uniform jumper really.

Oh well...anyway, to answer your original question, I would first check the regs for your school system. If they are ok with uniforms, or at least optional uniforms, I would check with the PTO.

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Old 07-31-2007, 01:45 AM
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When I lived in Florida, the schools in my county were coverting to uniforms. They made the first year or two optional, but after that it was mandatory. I liked it for the kids for many reasons, but I didn't care for the additional cost. It also would bother me that the kids would not have that form of self expression.

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Old 07-31-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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Where I live in FL some of the county schools require a uniform, like the charter schools and other don't. A few of the regular public schools are starting to. We moved here from LA 2 years ago now and all schools there both public and private had uniforms. After being used to uniforms I wish they required uniforms here. I tell my dd to change to play clothes when she gets home so it wouldn't be that big of a difference for us here. I know there has been some desire from parents in the schools to move towards uniforms and I'm hoping to learn more as the school year goes on.

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Old 07-31-2007, 01:02 PM
 
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No, none of the schools in my area or even further out require uniforms.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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Some public schools around here have them, but DS' does not. There was some talk from some of the PTA people at a bday party recently about it (they were in favor) and I would be really, really, really angry if they try to push it forward. My son's school is about respecting children as individuals while educating them, and not forcing them into a cookie cutter learning model, and I would hope they would respect their other choices as well.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:10 PM
 
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I wish.....

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Old 07-31-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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The local public schools in Kentucky require a uniform. They were khaki pants, shorts, skirts. No cargo style pants. They're shirts have to be one out of a few colors too. My friend has boys and I know they wear polo shirts not t-shirts, I guess its the same for the girls.

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Old 07-31-2007, 04:47 PM
 
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Yup. There are I think 3 elementary schools in my town, and the one DS is going to has a uniform policy. I'm not sure about the other 2? The middle school also has a uniform policy, but not the high school.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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No, but many of the charter schools in our state DO require them so I know it isn't a legal issue. And I really, really wish they would...

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Old 07-31-2007, 05:14 PM
 
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Yes. Not all but some.

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Old 07-31-2007, 05:27 PM
 
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quite a few public schools in our area require uniforms, navy pants/shorts/skorts and white button up or polo style shirts. ours does not. i guess the uniform schools could have some advantages. i like the idea of no uniforms. not sure why.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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1 school in our district is requiring them this year as a test..
many parents are complaining.
I really really hope it goes badely. i dont want uniforms!
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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the ones here don't & if they did I'd pull the kids from the school.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:50 PM
 
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My son's school has a uniform shirt that is worn with brown bottoms.On Fridays they have free dress.
I went to a public school and a Catholic school growing up and we were poor in a rich neighborhood so it was actually nicer wearing a uniform.I hated the colors I had to wear but by the time I graduated they had changed them and gave us more choices.It was nice not looking like the poor kid cuz I couldn't afford the jean of the moment (remember Guess?) and I didn't have to plan an outfit out the night before.
I also worked at a public junior high school as security in an area that had some gangs.When they switched to uniform it was (and still is) optional theparent just had to sign a waiver.The uniform was just a polo shirt with the school mascot like the Lacosta alligator worn with whatever bottoms they chose.The students were sooo different.There were less fights.

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Old 07-31-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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The local public school has uniforms for elem. and middle schools. I have worked in a middle school where they required the uniforms and I don't think that it made any difference to the environment. It was still a mad house :

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Old 07-31-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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Well we live on a military post and the schools on post do not require them...however it is apart of KISD (Killeen, TX) and the elementary and middle schools OFF post are required...
Not sure why that is:

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Old 08-01-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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My children go to a public elem that requires them. We just moved here in March, and at first I was put off by them (the additional expense, not letting her pick out her own clothes,etc) but I have to tell you, I LOVE them now. I can't really express why honestly, I just do. My kids can wear their hair and shoes however (as long as it's safe) and so they usually wear neon colored Crocs w/their uniforms and DD wears crazy bows in her hair, LOL. And they look so cute!! Our uniform isn't a certain brand, just navy blue jumpers/skorts/skirts/shorts/pants and light blue polos.
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:25 PM
 
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The middle school where I teach is a charter school (public), and we have a required uniform. We do provide free uniforms to students on free/reduced lunch program (56% of our student body). Our uniform is navy or khaki bottoms (skirt, jumper, non-cargo pants) and red, white, or navy blue tops (polos, sweaters, turtlenecks, fleece, or sweatshirt without any visible logos). I would assure anyone who is worried about self-expression that all of the students find plenty of ways to express who they are as individuals without having an issue with the uniforms. We treat our students respectfully and value each of them as an individual, even if they are dressed similarly. Many parents like the ease of the morning routine, and personally I just like it that we don't have to deal with a lot of the "iffy" styles that push boundaries of appropriateness (pushing those boundaries is a middle schooler's job, btw), and it makes it very clear and fair when we won't allow something. For example, we do not have to argue about how low her jeans can be or how much of his boxers can be visible. On free dress days (we have them once a month, plus students can win/earn them), the students have a lot of fun picking out what they would like to wear, and it's really fun to see them out of uniform. I DO remember Guess jeans, from the perspective of the girl who was still wearing the Lee's or Wrangler's that her mom bought three pairs of each fall. I was so uncool! With our uniform, I think the kids find ways to be unique that are economically more equal.
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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Ours does. I don't know if they all do here, but ours is an inner city one (if you consider this a city! ) so they all do in this particular area.

I agree with it. I have volunteered at schools and honestly, the way some parents dress/allow their kids to dress scares me to death. I don't think my kids need to go to school somewhere there are 7yo gils wearing Porn Star shirts.

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Old 08-02-2007, 05:26 AM
 
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In our district some do and some don't. But yes, it's totally legal. I think the school board votes on it or something. The school down the street just switched to uniforms about two years ago. THe other school on the other street has free dress. The uniform schoo is in a much lower income level and I wonder if that has somethig to do with it.

My dd attends a public charter school and they have uniforms, too. I love it! I just bought her 3 uniforms last year and they are still in great shape and will be passed on to her sister. I just made sure to wash twice a week! She has lots of choices: skirts, shorts, skorts, pants, or pinafore/jumper. White or red shirts, polo or blouse. White or black shoes. In the winter pants or jumper/pinafore with tights. She has no problems with the uniform at all, but does enjoy the free dress days.

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Old 08-02-2007, 10:04 AM
 
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Ours does not, but the district next to us does. I think it is great. There is a lot of flexibility in the dress code (moreso than the catholic school DS went to for a little while), no brand requirements and more than two colors to choose from. They also require clear backpacks. I would not have an issue with sending my child in the uniform if our district switched. They have assistance for low income families (about half of the enrollement in our districts), a swap program, and an opt out waiver.

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Old 08-02-2007, 10:25 AM
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Most charter schools (which are public) have uniforms. It's possible to push through in a public school, but it's not very popular.

Our public school has a strict dress code which requires PLAIN clothing (no screenprints, etc.) That is very hard to shop for! A uniform would be easier.

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Old 08-02-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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Many of the public elementary schools here have a uniform policy. If you really have a problem with it, you can ask for an exemption. I have found uniforms to be less costly than outfitting a child in whatever this year's style happens to be. Four polo shirts, a Friday school t-shirt, and 3-5 navy or khaki bottoms ( which I always find at thrift stores) and we are set . I do buy Lands' End polos as they are soft and hold up well for a long time. So for around 75.00 we are set as far as uniforms go. I know children who go to private schools and the uniforms are pricier as they have logos embroidered on the items. It makes getting dressed in the morning very simple. As far as people who don't like it, I look at it this way- if you worked in a hospital or were a police officer or even worked at Burger King, you'd have to wear a uniform. It is part of your job to show up wearing that uniform. Being a student is my children's job at this time in their lives. So if part of that means wearing a uniform, I have no problem with that. Uniforms make it easier for parents who are financially disadvantaged as there is uniform assistance available at school. It also means less pressure for those parents to provide whatever brand name item is hot at the moment, though it doesn't totally alleviate that pressure. I had a friend who went to an exclusive all girls school. Yes, they wore uniforms, but they had to have designer purses, shoes and expensive make-up.
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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As far as people who don't like it, I look at it this way- if you worked in a hospital or were a police officer or even worked at Burger King, you'd have to wear a uniform. It is part of your job to show up wearing that uniform.
True BUT most jobs do not have uniforms, alot of them the company pays for, or you can write it off as an employment expense. With the number of people who complain society tries to make kids grow up too fast, is using that adults with certain jobs wear uniforms as a reason to justify uniforms in schools is a questionable justification(generally speaking, not specificaly to you).

Quote:
though it doesn't totally alleviate that pressure. I had a friend who went to an exclusive all girls school. Yes, they wore uniforms, but they had to have designer purses, shoes and expensive make-up.
excatly, kids will always find a way to divide themselves up into classes/groups. It is part of human nature, adults do it all the time & kids pick up on it so they in turn do it. On some level adults do base immediate opinions on what others are wearing. Once they talk to a person & get to know them their opinion may change, but we divide other adults into groups all the time. Even here at MDC.

I don't really by the "easier to pick clothes in the morning" as a valid justification either. My kids seem to have no problems knowing what they want to wear. The only times it is a fight for them to pick is if they're tired because they didn't get enough sleep & that issue would be there with uniforms.
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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Our public schools have a uniform (they call it "standard attire")- any shade of blue or khaki pants/skirt/skort/shorts/capris (shorts/skirts must be fingertip length) and a collared shirt or turtleneck in white or blue. Plus all the individual school allow anywhere from 1 to 5 additional colors of shirts. All shirts must be tucked in, logos no more than 3", and clothes no more than 1 size too big or too small.

However there are provisions in place for families who cannot afford to dress their kids in the standard attire. There is also an "opt-out" for religious reasons.

My kids go to private school, but if they went to public school I would STILL be in favor of uniforms.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:55 PM
 
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Carrie,
I live in an area where many of the schools are comprised of a large percentage of children who receive free lunch. To get free lunch in my state, your income must be below a certain level ( determined by how many people are in your family.) I feel that in areas where many parents are already struggling financially, school uniforms make it far easier for parents to clothe their children for school. The can also be handed down amongst families. The school also collects uniform donations and many organizations collect uniforms and school supplies to donate to families who may not otherwise be able to afford them. So perhaps when I say it is "easier" to get dressed in the morning I am thinking of those who may not be able to afford lots of choices for their children. No one can make fun of you for wearing the same item too many times when you're wearing a uniform. I think this can keep the children from judging a book based on the cover. Perhaps they can then learn to get to know someone before they make judgement.
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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Well, I live in the UK and all schools here have uniforms unless they are alternative schools such as our Waldorf school. The uniforms here are often quite formal as well.
I am sort of on the fence about it. I can see the benefits-no social stigma tied up in clothing issues, no class/status seperation, less cost for parents, less time getting ready in the morning. It all sounds good but the whole uniform thing just rubs me the wrong way on an emotional level.

I really like that my daughter gets to be an individual and express herself through her clothes.

Could be that I went to uniform schools and hated them with a passion. So, maybe I am just projecting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenetabbie View Post
They also require clear backpacks.
What's up with that??
That would really really bother me for so many reasons. I assume it's to keep an eye on what kids are bringing to school?
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Old 08-03-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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Why are uniform colors never pink or purple!
Pink is one of the uniform colors at my son's elementary school!

It's a public school and the "uniform" is solid navy, white, kelly green, pink or khaki clothes. No logos bigger than one inch square (except school t-shirts). Many of the public schools in our area have uniforms so the discount stores have lots of clothes that fit the requirements.

I would have hated a uniform as a student, but I like it as a mom.

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