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A proposed solution to school uniforms


Guest Paul

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In posting on another topic, a thought occurred to me. I'm posting it here as a new topic and inviting comment. I really think this could resolve the school uniforms controversy. Here's my suggestion.

Offer a uniform on a voluntary basis. If a student violates the dress code, make the uniform mandatory for that student for the remainder of the school year. The administration should be required to take a photograph of the offensive clothing as proof, in case the student exercises the right (which all students have anyway) to challenge the punishment. That will put the school on firm legal ground and it should put a stop to violations. So as to ease the burden on administrators and avoid non-compliance with punishment, identify students who are required to wear uniforms to their teachers, and insist that the teachers as well as the administrators enforce the punishment.

This will allow parents who have trouble getting their kids dressed in the morning, as some have claimed, to choose the uniform and solve the problem in their home, which is the only place they have any right to be concerned about it.

Students won't violate the dress code because a single violation (or two or three if you like) would put them in a uniform the remainder of the year. They won't risk it, and if they do they'll learn a valuable lesson in personal responsibility. That should solve the problem of inappropriate dress, which is the main legitimate concern in support of uniforms.

It won't make everyone equal, but that is not the government's job.

It will preserve freedom, which is important, especially in the training of citizens in a free society, but at the same time it will make the limits of the dress code practical to enforce.

The school district won't even have to go through the pretense of paying for a uniform or two to get around the state requirement of a free public education. This will also save the taxpayers money.

I look forward to constructive comments.

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In posting on another topic, a thought occurred to me. I'm posting it here as a new topic and inviting comment. I really think this could resolve the school uniforms controversy. Here's my suggestion.

Offer a uniform on a voluntary basis. If a student violates the dress code, make the uniform mandatory for that student for the remainder of the school year. The administration should be required to take a photograph of the offensive clothing as proof, in case the student exercises the right (which all students have anyway) to challenge the punishment. That will put the school on firm legal ground and it should put a stop to violations. So as to ease the burden on administrators and avoid non-compliance with punishment, identify students who are required to wear uniforms to their teachers, and insist that the teachers as well as the administrators enforce the punishment.

This will allow parents who have trouble getting their kids dressed in the morning, as some have claimed, to choose the uniform and solve the problem in their home, which is the only place they have any right to be concerned about it.

Students won't violate the dress code because a single violation (or two or three if you like) would put them in a uniform the remainder of the year. They won't risk it, and if they do they'll learn a valuable lesson in personal responsibility. That should solve the problem of inappropriate dress, which is the main legitimate concern in support of uniforms.

It won't make everyone equal, but that is not the government's job.

It will preserve freedom, which is important, especially in the training of citizens in a free society, but at the same time it will make the limits of the dress code practical to enforce.

The school district won't even have to go through the pretense of paying for a uniform or two to get around the state requirement of a free public education. This will also save the taxpayers money.

I look forward to constructive comments.

It's a good idea but I think it's impractical. The percentage of violations of the current dress code is so high that this plan would be unmanageable.

The main problem with the current dress code is its subjectivity. The students and parents use this against the administrators to push the envelope of what is acceptable. The same problems would happen with this plan.

Also, you’re counting on the students not risking a violation. We’re talking about children here. Many of them do not think through the consequences of their actions. That’s why adults, many of whom can’t control their own behavior, have to make decisions for them.

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Guest 2smart4u
In posting on another topic, a thought occurred to me. I'm posting it here as a new topic and inviting comment. I really think this could resolve the school uniforms controversy. Here's my suggestion.

Offer a uniform on a voluntary basis. If a student violates the dress code, make the uniform mandatory for that student for the remainder of the school year. The administration should be required to take a photograph of the offensive clothing as proof, in case the student exercises the right (which all students have anyway) to challenge the punishment. That will put the school on firm legal ground and it should put a stop to violations. So as to ease the burden on administrators and avoid non-compliance with punishment, identify students who are required to wear uniforms to their teachers, and insist that the teachers as well as the administrators enforce the punishment.

This will allow parents who have trouble getting their kids dressed in the morning, as some have claimed, to choose the uniform and solve the problem in their home, which is the only place they have any right to be concerned about it.

Students won't violate the dress code because a single violation (or two or three if you like) would put them in a uniform the remainder of the year. They won't risk it, and if they do they'll learn a valuable lesson in personal responsibility. That should solve the problem of inappropriate dress, which is the main legitimate concern in support of uniforms.

It won't make everyone equal, but that is not the government's job.

It will preserve freedom, which is important, especially in the training of citizens in a free society, but at the same time it will make the limits of the dress code practical to enforce.

The school district won't even have to go through the pretense of paying for a uniform or two to get around the state requirement of a free public education. This will also save the taxpayers money.

I look forward to constructive comments.

"Offer a uniform on a voluntary basis" ?? Oh yeah, that will work. Idiot.

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Very interesting. It is one of the more sound thoughts I've seen on the topic. I'd suggest a tier punishment structure initially since it may seem a bit harsh to put a child in a uniform the entire year for something done in September.

Is anyone aware of the percentage of students that have volunteered in the past?

One thing I mentioned to my husband yesterday was the thought of gym uniforms first. Maybe 2 different colored t-shirts. One used for week 1 and one for week 2. One of the things I remember from high school were the kids who NEVER switched up clothes for gym, by the end of the year they were cardboard....

Hopefully this will spur some new life into the board-good topic choice Paul!

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It's a good idea but I think it's impractical.  The percentage of violations of the current dress code is so high that this plan would be unmanageable. 

The main problem with the current dress code is its subjectivity.  The students and parents use this against the administrators to push the envelope of what is acceptable.  The same problems would happen with this plan.

Also, you’re counting on the students not risking a violation.  We’re talking about children here.  Many of them do not think through the consequences of their actions.  That’s why adults, many of whom can’t control their own behavior, have to make decisions for them.

Thanks for looking at this. There are two reasons why the violations would be fewer under this system of rules: 1. There's a greater incentive against risking a violation than under the current system; 2. One violation and the student is in a uniform for the remainder of the year. This is the element in the plan that should drastically cut back on the enforcement problem.

For the most part, even a child in elementary school is capable of understanding the consequences of a violation. They'll think through the consequences quickly enough when one of their classmates ends up in a uniform for the remainder of the year.

If the current dress code is subjective, then it's unenforceable and another dress code is needed. Seems to me this is at least worth a try.

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"Offer a uniform on a voluntary basis" ??  Oh yeah, that will work.  Idiot.

It's only one part of the proposal, but it solves one of the "problems." Some parents say they want uniforms because it makes their job easier getting their kids out of the house in the morning. I think that's a poor reason, but taking it for what it is, a voluntary uniform program gives those parents a solution to their problem. They can opt in to the uniform. They'll have enough cover from other parents who are doing the same thing. Beyond that, if they can't handle their own kids, here's another alarm bell that ought to be going off in these parents' heads telling them they have a problem in their own home, which is where they should be dealing with it.

If you want a little stronger approach, still consistent with personal freedom, make the uniform the official policy, but give parents the choice to opt-out. The difference here is that the parent has to act in order to negate the requirement. That will probably result in greater compliance with the uniform policy, and I have no problem with it as long as those who do not wish to participate are not forced.

Or, if parent discipline is really the problem, then make the parents bear some of the cost of their childrens' behavior. If a student has become a discipline problem through his or her dress, and we think the parents aren't doing their job, then adopt a policy of having the parents come down at least to be confronted with that problem. Yeah, I know, some will say that's an administrative nightmare that calls for a commitment of resources that we don't have, but I see it this way: either we have a real problem that merits addressing, or we don't. If we do, then let's address it. If we don't, then let's stop blowing it out of proportion by requiring a uniform.

The local government can do some things to help parents raise their kids, but in the end parenting is up to parents. We're not going to turn discipline problems into models of behavior by putting them in red shirts and khaki pants. They're just going to be discipline problems in red shirts and khaki pants. If we have a town-wide problem with how Kearny's youth are being raised, maybe it's time to convene meetings and discuss that.

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In posting on another topic, a thought occurred to me. I'm posting it here as a new topic and inviting comment. I really think this could resolve the school uniforms controversy. Here's my suggestion.

Offer a uniform on a voluntary basis. If a student violates the dress code, make the uniform mandatory for that student for the remainder of the school year. The administration should be required to take a photograph of the offensive clothing as proof, in case the student exercises the right (which all students have anyway) to challenge the punishment. That will put the school on firm legal ground and it should put a stop to violations. So as to ease the burden on administrators and avoid non-compliance with punishment, identify students who are required to wear uniforms to their teachers, and insist that the teachers as well as the administrators enforce the punishment.

This will allow parents who have trouble getting their kids dressed in the morning, as some have claimed, to choose the uniform and solve the problem in their home, which is the only place they have any right to be concerned about it.

Students won't violate the dress code because a single violation (or two or three if you like) would put them in a uniform the remainder of the year. They won't risk it, and if they do they'll learn a valuable lesson in personal responsibility. That should solve the problem of inappropriate dress, which is the main legitimate concern in support of uniforms.

It won't make everyone equal, but that is not the government's job.

It will preserve freedom, which is important, especially in the training of citizens in a free society, but at the same time it will make the limits of the dress code practical to enforce.

The school district won't even have to go through the pretense of paying for a uniform or two to get around the state requirement of a free public education. This will also save the taxpayers money.

I look forward to constructive comments.

Though I do agree that this plan is unmanagable and has a low possibility of success, I applaud Paul for trying to make a compromise. Though I am in favor of no uniforms whatsoever, it is hard to deny the lack of a dress code that the High School seems to have. I think in regards to this "Voluntary Uniform Program" that the administration also set down very clearly what is considered inappropriate because otherwise it becomes a relative question. I heard someone say that a prism drawn on a sign was a symbol for enslaving egyptians, which knowing who wrote it and what they meant I know they really just meant they love pink floyd. But I digress, the point is instead of everyone complaining that uniforms are a good idea or that uniforms are a bad idea, lets come up with a solution of sorts. I don't agree with uniforms, but I do agree that the High School needs to enforce some sort of dress code. So keep trying to come with an idea, because I personally know that any attempt to enforce some sort of uniform that is not accepted by the student population of the high school will be met with fierce resistance. I don't go to the high school but alot of my friends do, so thats how I know. So it may be good for the kids to come up with ideas for dealing with disobedience to the dress code, teenagers are at the point where they will disobey any order they dont like, but if they come up with it they will be more likely to accept the punishment and probably not violate it as much. Just a suggestion.

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Though I do agree that this plan is unmanagable and has a low possibility of success, I applaud Paul for trying to make a compromise. Though I am in favor of no uniforms whatsoever, it is hard to deny the lack of a dress code that the High School seems to have. I think in regards to this "Voluntary Uniform Program" that the administration also set down very clearly what is considered inappropriate because otherwise it becomes a relative question. I heard someone say that a prism drawn on a sign was a symbol for enslaving egyptians, which knowing who wrote it and what they meant I know they really just meant they love pink floyd. But I digress, the point is instead of everyone complaining that uniforms are a good idea or that uniforms are a bad idea, lets come up with a solution of sorts. I don't agree with uniforms, but I do agree that the High School needs to enforce some sort of dress code. So keep trying to come with an idea, because I personally know that any attempt to enforce some sort of uniform that is not accepted by the student population of the high school will be met with fierce resistance. I don't go to the high school but alot of my friends do, so thats how I know. So it may be good for the kids to come up with ideas for dealing with disobedience to the dress code, teenagers are at the point where they will disobey any order they dont like, but if they come up with it they will be more likely to accept the punishment and probably not violate it as much. Just a suggestion.

When I was in school in the rural Midwest, my debate partner Dave was elected student body president. At our school the student council was actively involved in issues in which the students were interested. With hard work and perseverence, and much to my surprise, Dave was able to convince the school board to adopt major changes to the dress code that the student body had wanted for years. The new policy worked very well because the students felt they had been heard.

It strikes me that the student body here (and now) is apathetic. That seems to reflect a general change in student attitudes since the late 60s - early 70s when I was in high school. It's a pity. The students have more power than they realize, if they act on it.

Honestly, I don't see anything unmanageable about my suggestion. Part 1 is an appropriately specific dress code, which in itself would be a major improvement over what's in place now. Part 2 is a voluntarily uniform, which would be mandatory for students who had violated the code. What's unmanageable?

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In posting on another topic, a thought occurred to me. I'm posting it here as a new topic and inviting comment. I really think this could resolve the school uniforms controversy. Here's my suggestion.

Offer a uniform on a voluntary basis. If a student violates the dress code, make the uniform mandatory for that student for the remainder of the school year. The administration should be required to take a photograph of the offensive clothing as proof, in case the student exercises the right (which all students have anyway) to challenge the punishment. That will put the school on firm legal ground and it should put a stop to violations. So as to ease the burden on administrators and avoid non-compliance with punishment, identify students who are required to wear uniforms to their teachers, and insist that the teachers as well as the administrators enforce the punishment.

This will allow parents who have trouble getting their kids dressed in the morning, as some have claimed, to choose the uniform and solve the problem in their home, which is the only place they have any right to be concerned about it.

Students won't violate the dress code because a single violation (or two or three if you like) would put them in a uniform the remainder of the year. They won't risk it, and if they do they'll learn a valuable lesson in personal responsibility. That should solve the problem of inappropriate dress, which is the main legitimate concern in support of uniforms.

It won't make everyone equal, but that is not the government's job.

It will preserve freedom, which is important, especially in the training of citizens in a free society, but at the same time it will make the limits of the dress code practical to enforce.

The school district won't even have to go through the pretense of paying for a uniform or two to get around the state requirement of a free public education. This will also save the taxpayers money.

I look forward to constructive comments.

So my child should be stereotypes as violating the dress code even if he did nothing wrong? What a stupid idea.

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In posting on another topic, a thought occurred to me. I'm posting it here as a new topic and inviting comment. I really think this could resolve the school uniforms controversy. Here's my suggestion.

Offer a uniform on a voluntary basis. If a student violates the dress code, make the uniform mandatory for that student for the remainder of the school year. The administration should be required to take a photograph of the offensive clothing as proof, in case the student exercises the right (which all students have anyway) to challenge the punishment. That will put the school on firm legal ground and it should put a stop to violations. So as to ease the burden on administrators and avoid non-compliance with punishment, identify students who are required to wear uniforms to their teachers, and insist that the teachers as well as the administrators enforce the punishment.

This will allow parents who have trouble getting their kids dressed in the morning, as some have claimed, to choose the uniform and solve the problem in their home, which is the only place they have any right to be concerned about it.

Students won't violate the dress code because a single violation (or two or three if you like) would put them in a uniform the remainder of the year. They won't risk it, and if they do they'll learn a valuable lesson in personal responsibility. That should solve the problem of inappropriate dress, which is the main legitimate concern in support of uniforms.

It won't make everyone equal, but that is not the government's job.

It will preserve freedom, which is important, especially in the training of citizens in a free society, but at the same time it will make the limits of the dress code practical to enforce.

The school district won't even have to go through the pretense of paying for a uniform or two to get around the state requirement of a free public education. This will also save the taxpayers money.

I look forward to constructive comments.

Two simple questions: Have you been to a Kearny High School Home School Association meeting in the past three years? If so, when, because I have never seen you there and you are trying to make a point about something you have no idea about.

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In posting on another topic, a thought occurred to me. I'm posting it here as a new topic and inviting comment. I really think this could resolve the school uniforms controversy. Here's my suggestion.

Offer a uniform on a voluntary basis. If a student violates the dress code, make the uniform mandatory for that student for the remainder of the school year. The administration should be required to take a photograph of the offensive clothing as proof, in case the student exercises the right (which all students have anyway) to challenge the punishment. That will put the school on firm legal ground and it should put a stop to violations. So as to ease the burden on administrators and avoid non-compliance with punishment, identify students who are required to wear uniforms to their teachers, and insist that the teachers as well as the administrators enforce the punishment.

** I agree on re-writing the "dress code". Making sure it is clear to all of what is acceptable. I don't think putting a student in a uniform for the remainder of the year will work as a punishment. How do you keep track of who should be in uniform? That would only lead to more work and confusion for the faculty and administration. If a student violates the code, he/she should be sent to the office and picked up by the parent to go home and change, but, they receive a "cut slip" for the classes they miss until returning back to school. And if the parent can't get to school to pick up their kid, they stay in the office till school is out and receive a cut slip for every class missed that day. Also a letter sent home to the parent explaining the "cut slips".

The dress code can be very simple, here is my suggestion:

1. Collared shirts must be worn. (buttoned down shirts w/ collar, turtlenecks, mock turtlenecks, polos, Hawaiian shirts, ect.) Even dresses and sleeveless shirts must have a collar. You can layer your outfit w/ a tee shirt and buttoned down collared shirt. As long as you have a collar!

2. Pants can be any color, any material including jeans.

3. Shorts, shirts, caprices may be worn anytime.( these cannot be shorter than the students finger tips when standing at attention)

4. Under no circumstances is any skin exposed on stomach, back and breasts. (this includes when sitting and bending over and even if your wearing layers)

5. Coats and jackets are not accepted as a layered look.

*All first period or administrative station teachers can be responsible for sending a form with any students names on it who are in violation to the office, and they don't even have to speak to the student about it. The students can be called to the office at interval times throughout the morning to alleviate any congestion or embarrassment this may cause at the office.

I think this can be a start and "tweaked" to make an acceptable dress code for everyone, and it's clearly written so there is no misunderstanding.

Anyone want to add to this?

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Guest 2smart4u
It's only one part of the proposal, but it solves one of the "problems." Some parents say they want uniforms because it makes their job easier getting their kids out of the house in the morning. I think that's a poor reason, but taking it for what it is, a voluntary uniform program gives those parents a solution to their problem. They can opt in to the uniform. They'll have enough cover from other parents who are doing the same thing. Beyond that, if they can't handle their own kids, here's another alarm bell that ought to be going off in these parents' heads telling them they have a problem in their own home, which is where they should be dealing with it.

If you want a little stronger approach, still consistent with personal freedom, make the uniform the official policy, but give parents the choice to opt-out. The difference here is that the parent has to act in order to negate the requirement. That will probably result in greater compliance with the uniform policy, and I have no problem with it as long as those who do not wish to participate are not forced.

Or, if parent discipline is really the problem, then make the parents bear some of the cost of their childrens' behavior. If a student has become a discipline problem through his or her dress, and we think the parents aren't doing their job, then adopt a policy of having the parents come down at least to be confronted with that problem. Yeah, I know, some will say that's an administrative nightmare that calls for a commitment of resources that we don't have, but I see it this way: either we have a real problem that merits addressing, or we don't. If we do, then let's address it. If we don't, then let's stop blowing it out of proportion by requiring a uniform.

The local government can do some things to help parents raise their kids, but in the end parenting is up to parents. We're not going to turn discipline problems into models of behavior by putting them in red shirts and khaki pants. They're just going to be discipline problems in red shirts and khaki pants. If we have a town-wide problem with how Kearny's youth are being raised, maybe it's time to convene meetings and discuss that.

Any guy who believes in a Godless world where cats play with mice should not be offering opinions on anything deeper than flavored Kool-aid.

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When I was in school in the rural Midwest, my debate partner Dave was elected student body president. At our school the student council was actively involved in issues in which the students were interested. With hard work and perseverence, and much to my surprise, Dave was able to convince the school board to adopt major changes to the dress code that the student body had wanted for years. The new policy worked very well because the students felt they had been heard.

It strikes me that the student body here (and now) is apathetic. That seems to reflect a general change in student attitudes since the late 60s - early 70s when I was in high school. It's a pity. The students have more power than they realize, if they act on it.

Honestly, I don't see anything unmanageable about my suggestion. Part 1 is an appropriately specific dress code, which in itself would be a major improvement over what's in place now. Part 2 is a voluntarily uniform, which would be mandatory for students who had violated the code. What's unmanageable?

I think its a great suggestion, but who would enforce this? Having the teachers and administrators monitor offenders, and making sure the uniform is followed is another job for them. I think keeping track of offenders, taking their picture for their "file" is a headache. Now, who would determine what is appropriate to wear? What is offensive to one is acceptable to another. I understand your attempt to compromise Paul, but I think this will be more work than its worth. Lets just agree to go 100% uniforms and be done with it. It doesn't have to match the grammer school kids, it could be something "cooler" like black pants/jeans and a Kearny High School shirt in school colors.

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Two simple questions:  Have you been to a Kearny High School Home School Association meeting in the past three years?  If so, when, because I have never seen you there and you are trying to make a point about something you have no idea about.

Home schooling - that tells us where this person is coming from.

What his or her point is remains a mystery.

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Guest ConnieK

How do you keep track of who should be in uniform?

Change the background color on their ID badge, which all students are required to wear. The administration doesn't hesitate to issue a violation if a student isn't wearing an ID badge, so the argument that a clear policy cannot be enforced, takes too much time, etc., is not consistent with the actual experience at that school.

It would be a scarlet letter if it was being done gratuitously, but it's not. It would be done so that the policy could be enforced. If it's not important enough to enforce, then don't make the policy in the first place. And if you want an additional penalty for tampering with an ID badge, you can have that too. It's just a matter of thinking clearly and carefully before you write down a set of rules.

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Guest ConnieK
I think its a great suggestion, but who would enforce this? Having the teachers and administrators monitor offenders, and making sure the uniform is followed is another job for them. I think keeping track of offenders, taking their picture for their "file" is a headache. Now, who would determine what is appropriate to wear? What is offensive to one is acceptable to another. I understand your attempt to compromise Paul, but I think this will be more work than its worth. Lets just agree to go 100% uniforms and be done with it. It doesn't have to match the grammer school kids, it could be something "cooler" like black pants/jeans and a Kearny High School shirt in school colors.

I can't speak for Paul, but I do understand his argument, and obviously you do not. I'm not saying this to be mean. I'm saying it because when you write that the high school could have a "cooler" uniform than the lower grades, you're completely missing the point. It's not about what colors are cool. It's about forcing people to wear particular clothing, including that the local government will dictate the color. The only countries that do that as a matter of routine are dictatorships. Seriously, why does no one on the other side respond to this very important point?

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I think its a great suggestion, but who would enforce this? Having the teachers and administrators monitor offenders, and making sure the uniform is followed is another job for them. I think keeping track of offenders, taking their picture for their "file" is a headache. Now, who would determine what is appropriate to wear? What is offensive to one is acceptable to another. I understand your attempt to compromise Paul, but I think this will be more work than its worth. Lets just agree to go 100% uniforms and be done with it. It doesn't have to match the grammer school kids, it could be something "cooler" like black pants/jeans and a Kearny High School shirt in school colors.

Why is student attire suddenly a problem?

Has anyone actually compiled any statistical data, or any real information at all, on how much time administrators and teachers spend enforcing dress codes in schools that have clear dress codes? It seems to me that the claims made to support uniforms are just that - claims made to support uniforms. But where are the facts?

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