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View Full Version : ? for anyone whose kids wear school uniforms


crusoe2
05-25-2008, 09:39 AM
Our school system has just voted to require school uniforms next year and there has been a lot of negativity (from parents more so than from students:confused3 ). What have been your experiences? First of all, how does it affect how much you spend on clothes for your kids? That has been one of the biggest arguments - people keep complaining that now they will have to buy two wardrobes per kid instead of just one. Some of the other arguments against the uniforms have been:
1. That it will create more work for teachers and administrators to enforce the dress code.
2. That it will make no difference in academic performance.
3. That it stifles the students' individuality.

I teach high school and I keep thinking that surely it will be easier to enforce the dress code, not harder. There should be less "gray area" left open for interpretation which is one of the problems with the current dress code - what one teacher finds acceptable, another may not. I also would have thought that it would help with academics. One comment I've read in our local newspaper was that "school uniforms won't help little Johnny learn to read." But I think that Johnny could probably focus on his studies more if "little Susie's" double D's weren't falling out the top of her blouse. (And believe me, this is a huge problem on our campus - no pun intended.:rotfl: ) As for the individuality argument, hey I'll give 'em that. I think the uniforms will get pretty boring after awhile. But there are other ways to express your individuality and I think that some people use that argument when what they really mean is that it offends their vanity. I'm not blaming anybody - I would hate to see what I look like in one of those uniforms.:scared1: Anyway, these are my thoughts based on no experience with the uniforms. I would be interested to find out what affect they've had in schools that have been using them for awhile. I would love to hear from both teachers and parents since I will also have two kids who will be affected by this. TIA:)

Tosha
05-25-2008, 09:47 AM
Well my children have worn uniforms all their school life ( and my oldest is in 7th grade) so they know nothing else. But I will tell you it cuts down clothing costs big time, as they only wear regular clothes on the weekends, and my summer spending on their clothes ( summers here are 3 months tops!) is very expensive. All in all I'm greatful for uniforms as I am VERY picky and ticky aboout what they wear, so I'd be in the poor house clothing them year round.....so the argument that they'll have to buy two wardrobes isn't true...unless the kids plan to come home and do something that requires them to change their clothes everyday ( which I doubt)

The ONLY thing I don't like about our uniform policy is that they HAVE to wear all black shoes. I think they should at least have freedom to shoes what shoes they want to wear as they already have no choice in clothing, plus I really don't like black gym shoes on little girls ( I told you Im picky LOL) and when they have gym, the shoes have to be black as well.

anl
05-25-2008, 09:47 AM
My elementary aged child goes to a Christian school and they have to wear uniforms. My son doesn't like wearing them very much, but to me it's easier. There's no big guess/arguing about what you will wear to school...and I'm not buying expensive clothes, so when they get torn up (he's 7), it's not as big of a deal. They can wear navy or khaki shorts/pants and then a few different color polo type shirts. Wednesday is chapel day and that's the only day they have to all wear the same thing and we had to buy specifically. The rest, I bought fairly cheap at Wal-Mart, Sears and JC Penney. I also don't think they need two wardrobes b/c if they are only wearing regular clothes on the weekends, they don't need that many of them.

Also, I teach at a charter school and they have to wear uniforms as well (with less options than my son) and as a teacher, it's definitely easier to enforce dress code.

SnowWhite607
05-25-2008, 09:55 AM
This was my DDs first year for uniforms and I loved it. She never complained either. It took the guess work out of what to wear every day (no arguing!!). I bought all her shirts (5 short sleeved and 2 long sleeved) for about $50 and the bottoms for about $10 each so maybe $150 total for her outfits the whole year. A lot less than I would have spent if she wore "regular" clothes.

DawnM
05-25-2008, 09:55 AM
I think it is great that they are letting you know this before the summer.

In the short run it may cost a little more, but in the long run I think it will save tremendously.

My kids don't wear uniforms (we homeschool), but my oldest seems to love the navy and tan uniform shorts and he loves wearing Polo shirts. They look nice and he can wear it anywhere, even to church, so he would easily fit in to a uniform policy.

The other thing is that certain brands seem to last a LONG time. My older son wore some shorts for 2 years and they were still in good condition so my younger son got another 2 years out of them!

Dawn

LisaInNc
05-25-2008, 10:02 AM
My daughter wears a uniform and I wore one most of the years I was in school. I love it. The main reason is no debate about what to wear. It saves us a ton! I spend a lot less on uniforms than I do on her regular clothing and you don't need two wardrobes, you need some additional clothes but not the amount you would need if they wore regular clothes to school.

Mornings are so easy! :banana:

It takes away a lot of the competition with clothing that kids usually have. Brands don't matter and the kids that don't have parents with a lot of money that can't afford the expensive stores will look like the kids that do have the parents that can.

It does not stifle anything kids will always find a way to be individual, there is jewelry, purses, backpacks oh yes, academic performance. Kids can be in individual on the sports field or the math club or wherever they choose. That is going to have a lot more significance to them in their life than going to school wearing an Abebrombie and Fitch tee shirt.

When I was in HS I was one of the poorest kids in school I was lucky my Mom could even afford the tuition and I was greatful that I didn't have the daily competition of clothing. It's a lot of work to try to keep up.

It's not going to help anyone learn to read but then when did a designer outfit do that? Whati t does is take the focus off what you are wearing.

The teachers will have to enforce the dress code that isn't a lot of work and they should be having to enforce some kind of a dress code already as even without uniforms there are rules about what the kids can and can not wear.

I am all for school uniforma but I will say it did take years of therapy to get me over my aversion to the colors of maroon and gray which were my high school uniform colors. I still won't wear them together but I can see them without running away screaming! :rotfl:

Kriii
05-25-2008, 10:12 AM
DD wore a uniform when she went to private school and I loved it! No competition over who was wearing the latest fashion, no gray area about what was acceptable or not acceptable and much less expensive. Back to school shopping was so much easier. One stop at the uniform store for several white shirts and 3 skirts or skorts. Walk next door and pick out dark shoes and tennis shoes. We were done shopping in about an hour! The school kids didn't crab about it either since all were required to dress the same. I wish my public school would adopt a uniform rule also. I spend a ton outfitting my dd. I also work in a school and would not mind seeing less bared skin, baggy pants etc. It gets old sending kids to the office for a belt, etc.

barkley
05-25-2008, 10:28 AM
our experience with uniforms was horrendous.

once the schools found out that the would benefit financialy (read: monetary kickbacks from the uniform company) if they required the parents to use a particular company and banned any clothing items not manufactured by that company (and it was easy for the school to enforce-said company did very specific embroidery on the front of every clothing item with their brand name on it) the parents were locked out of using any of the identical but much lower priced uniform items.

the school required that all clothing (except underware but including socks) be from their uniform company. this meant that gloves you could buy for less than $5 elsewhere had to be the $25 ones from the company, winter hats (simple knit) $40, coats-well over $100 a peice (and we're not talking heavy warm coats-more like rainwear). the polos ran at least $30 each (and this was 7 years ago), the girls dresses around $60. pants and shorts were never less than $35. long sleeve items (the very few they permitted) were around $40 per piece. the parents tried to get creative and save money-purchasing multiple items that their kids could share, but the company and the school caught on so they made sure that girls authorized versions of the same clothing the boys wore (polos/docker type pants) had the embroidered name on the opposite side. some parents tried to do clothing exchanges each summer so the school counteracted by changing the color assignments each year (so one year the girls could wear one of the school colors for their tops, the next year it was a different one that had not been allowed the previous) and just changing the style selection enough so that the previous year's styles were no longer permissable:mad:

the school my kids go to now has a 'modest' dress code that is very easy to follow. they have a pretty easy way to handle violators-they keep a supply of ugly men's xxx large flannel shirts in the office-and any violator is sent to the office where they are given one that they have to wear over the offending clothing (buttoned from top to bottom). the offender still gets whatever consequence is in place for the violation (and parents are notified that they are responsible for ensuring the kids are appropriatly dressed, and suspension can occur for repeated infractions) but it's not hard for the teachers to administer.

i like the modest code, at least when i see the kids from the school outside the school environment they seem to dress in what i'de consider an acceptable manner since they get a voice in what they wear day to day-whereas the kid's from the uniformed school used to go wild and wear the most skanky revealing stuff whenever given the opportunity.

crusoe2
05-25-2008, 10:48 AM
Thanks to all of you who have posted so far. While I was pretty much on board with the uniforms to begin with, you are making me feel better and better about them. I have been a little surprised by the negative reactions from other adults here in town - even other teachers. The kids seem to be taking it in stride but many adults are really up in arms over this. Some people have commented that they think the kids who would normally try to make themselves stand out by dressing a certain way will now respond by acting out in a negative way. Couldn't it be just as possible that they will try to stand out in some positive way - higher grades, artistic talent, leadership, etc? Some folks also think that this is all about making the haves and have-nots look alike so that the poor kids won't be discriminated against - the old "even the playing field" idea. I don't think anyone with the school system has made that argument but some people use it as their primary reason why this is stupid and won't work. I'd probably agree with that point somewhat - the kids are always going to be able to figure out who has money and who doesn't but it doesn't mean that wearing uniforms won't help at all in that regard. I don't think anyone will really notice at first glance whether the polo shirt a student is wearing is a certain name brand. But they will notice that the student is neatly dressed and not showing any body parts that ought to be covered.:thumbsup2 Honestly, that is one of our biggest problems - dresses that are too short, thong panties under pants or skirts that you can see through, boys wearing pants that won't stay up, low necklines, raunchy tee-shirt graphics, etc. And some of this is on kids from the so-called respectable families who live in the "right" neigborhoods, drive very expensive cars, never miss church on Sunday - I mean, when did mothers stop teaching their daughters to wear a slip under a white cotton skirt?:eek: That should be a no-brainer. But I have seen this repeatedly from a number of the girls in our school and it's the girls who are winning academic honors, being elected to student government offices and such. As a mom, I'm a little disappointed that I won't get to dress my little girl any way I won't (she starts to Kindergarten next year) but I'm also relieved that my 16yo son maybe won't have as many distractions (if you know what I mean.;)). I would still love to hear more on this issue, tho - especially from anyone who has negative experiences with this. It's pretty much a done deal that we are going to uniforms but if anyone has experience with this not working out well it would be helpful to know so that I can be better prepared.

ETA: Barkley, looks like we were posting at the same time. I'm glad you shared your experience. That is something I hadn't thought about - actually I didn't know an arrangement like that would even be legal. So far our system is promising that we can buy the uniforms anywhere. As a matter of fact, they've been very emphatic that parents will have the option to buy pieces at all price points and are working on making sure that several local stores like Walmart, Peebles, and Goody's are aware that we're going to uniforms and will have them available. I haven't heard anything about requiring embroidery or school specific logos but all indications so far are that they are being very reasonable and trying to make sure that there are sufficient options as to where to buy the uniforms. I will keep your information in mind, tho. That is good to know in case our school system tries to do the same thing. As for those kids dressing even more outrageously outside school, I have to wonder if the school system requiring that uniforms come from a particular supplier didn't create such a contentious situation that the kids were hearing a lot of negative comments at home and reacted with an "I'll show them" attitude (maybe even with their parents' blessings).

Debbie
05-25-2008, 11:03 AM
You'll find the transition (parents/teachers/students) a bit rocky, but once in place, it will be fine. :thumbsup2 Change is always hard to accept-especially if you aren't the initiator!

eh24fan
05-25-2008, 11:04 AM
My son's public school went to uniforms last year and there are good and bad things, of course. The good, he knows what he's wearing in the morning. They can wear polos in dark blue, light blue or white, khaki's or jeans (then can be shorts, skirts, skorts, jumpers, etc). Sounds simple enough right? HAHAHA The high school and middle school girls are pushing every limit they can and they do. They have found ways around the dress code, their polos are tight fitting, tealish instead of blue, or they wear a cami underneath and leave all the buttons undone.

The theory that no one can tell the $$ kids from the not so $$ kids is crap. IT's the end of the year and it's very clear whose parents can afford to buy the better shirts that didn't fade or pill, or at least afford to replace the ones that did. I admit to pushing the limits with one shirt my DS wears...it's white with 2 thin navy stripes on the color. Technically, not allowed, but all year long there have been girls with white piping on their shirts, the occasional kid with a striped polo (not allowed supposedly), etc.

My son grew a lot this year. I had to buy all new school clothes AND new outside of school clothes, twice. Once in August and then recently I've had to do it all again. The money saving thing is crap in my opinion. We didnt' save anything I spent more. We are switching schools and I'm thrilled that he wont' be wearing a uniform and so is he. I've hated the uniform crap.

sandisuze
05-25-2008, 11:18 AM
my DD and Step Son - he's Not so dear today :) have always gone to a private school and they wear uniforms-
it costs me about 125.00 a year for DD uniforms
She looks nice and we have no issues about what to wear. Of course this is a small school Pre-k thru 8th and classes are small - as far as enforcing the rules: It's wear the required uniform or go home. many kids in the school are on Scholarships and the uniforms are included with that scholarship.
I have asked a lot of the kids about dressing the same etc.. taking away individuality.
answers I get: Well if we were nurses or worked at Walmart or Chick fil a we all have to wear a uniform- what's the big deal? clothes do not make us who we are - we make us who we are. so we have to follow rules all thru life so whats wrong with wearing a uniform to "our Work" IE: School.
I like the uniforms- i don't feel it costs or makes things more difficult.

crusoe2
05-25-2008, 11:31 AM
Erin, sorry to hear you had such a bad experience but thank you for sharing it. You illustrate a good point - a lot of the success or failure of a uniform code lies in how well it is written to begin with so that it allows some flexibility but is still easy to enforce. What ours says so far is that students may wear khaki or navy pants or shorts (with the addition of skirts, jumpers, and skorts for the girls) and white or navy shirts with collars. They are allowing them to wear tennis shoes in any color but other shoes must be enclosed and in brown, black, navy, grey, tan or white. The same color choices (black, brown, etc) apply to socks and outerwear and undershirts must be navy or white. I don't think they are going to be picky about things like stripes on the collars but I feel sure we will have to make the girls button their blouses with or without a cami underneath. And as a teacher, I'm expecting to have to deal with a lot of the pushing the limits stuff. I also agree that ultimately the kids will know who has money and who doesn't. No dress code is going to solve all problems. But I do think that if it is well-written it could do a lot of good.

Chelley00
05-25-2008, 01:42 PM
My 2 middle ones are in a uniform private school. Oldest DS is in a private school with a modified dress code (no writing on clothing, limits on types of jeans/pants/shirts to buy etc) Let me just say, I LOVE having the uniforms so much more than the other way. NO fighting about what to wear or what to buy, and I do think it is cheaper mainly because you really don't have to buy as much. With older DS, you can't wear the same shirt more than one every 3 weeks (the horror!) so you "need" more. The other ones can wear the same polo shirt once a week or more and no one notices. (and yes, we wash them first!) We buy a few things for church and other activities, but probably the same amount any other person buys. My daughter is non-uniform this year and she has her school clothes and her "play clothes". It will be the same this year now that she's moving into uniforms.

We're lucky in this school has always had a dress code/ It's very up front in what you can and cannot buy, and how it has to fit. We don't have to buy the uniform company stuff as long as what we get is within the guidelines on fit, length, sizing and styles.

The problem I'm having is finding DD slims in uniform styles. :headache:

trivial
05-25-2008, 01:53 PM
The high school I went to had a uniform... not one single uniform, but several different options (several different shirts, polo shirts, pants, shorts, kilts, etc.). I think it ultimately had a positive effect, primarily giving everyone a sense of community, especially when at events with non-uniformed schools. It meant having to buy more clothes, but on the other hand, it means having to buy fewer regular clothes. There were rarely dress code violations, and they were dealt with by students not being able to attend classes until they were in proper dress.

I don't think the point is to increase academic performance; school is about more than book-learning. In addition to helping foster a strong sense of community, it put everyone on a level playing field. As for stifling individuality... I think if children's individuality is limited to the clothes they wear, they don't have much individuality to stifle.

TexasTodds
05-25-2008, 02:49 PM
My DS who is in 2nd grade has worn uniforms at his private school since Kindergarten. It has been so easy to deal with...here is what we have for most of the year:

2 khaki shorts
2 navy shorts
1 white oxford shirt (for chapel)
3 polos (red, navy, and greenish color
1 "Friday" shirt purchased from school.

I certainly feel that if he were going to a non-uniform school he would need LOTS more clothes. For winter, we do have 4 pair of pants, and 2 long sleeve polos, and a long sleeve "chapel" shirt.

His original shorts he wore for both kinder and 1st, and the ones for this year he should be able to wear again for next year, same with pants. I bought him a new chapel shirt last year, and he has worn it this year too. The only thing I always buy is the 3 polo shirts because they start looking a little faded at year end.

Our uniforms are the Mills brand (Sue Mills ??) and I think the quality is great. They are a little more than what you would get at Target, but probably last longer.

Unfortunately he may not go to his school next year, as the price has gone up quite a bit, and his brother will be going into Kinder. Now I just have to see what I will have to buy if they have more clothing needs!

crusoe2
05-25-2008, 04:02 PM
As for stifling individuality... I think if children's individuality is limited to the clothes they wear, they don't have much individuality to stifle.


I'm so glad to see someone else say this. I think it's an excellent point. There are so many other ways to show your individuality. I would much prefer that my kids express themselves in ways that showcase their intellect or a creative talent rather than through their clothing choices. Anyone can do that. And I still maintain that most people who make the individuality argument are actually more concerned with vanity. It's hard to show off your cleavage in a properly fitting polo shirt and shapely thighs don't get much viewing time when all hemlines must be no more than 2 inches above the knee. What a shame - everyone might have to develop some conversational skills rather than relying on their "style" to get them some attention.;)

Kimberly Hill
05-25-2008, 07:00 PM
This will be my first experience with uniforms. DD will be attending a Catholic elementary school and my boys went to public schools. The school is changing uniform companies so no details yet but I know from the school's website that for us, uniforms would be about $200 using last year's prices. No substitutions allowed, just purchases from the uniform company. We'll see...

cndij
05-25-2008, 07:23 PM
In our region (central NC) it seems the public schools are moving in this direction rapidly. In our school district it is still kind of scattered, but this school year at least 2 high schools went "modified uniform" my term, for Khakis (navy or khaki) shorts, pants, skirts. Absolutely NO denim. Collar Shirts: polos or button down oxfors, in 4-5 colors dependent on school, but no striped/rugby type shirts. I know several parents at each of these schools and once they got over the initial expense and late notice (like a couple of weeks before school started this was announced) they all really like it.
In the middle schools here, this year was what I believe is moving in that direction: NO t-shirts (except on Friday and it must be in the school colors with no graphics), all pants/jeans must be worn at the waist, and shirts tucked in. When I went to my neice' open house this year there were posters all over the school saying pull them up/tuck it in. This coming year, we have hear they are moving to the khaki/collar shirt thing, but the details/colors have not been released. I am having to carefully control my "summer wardrobe" shopping for them with the thought in mind, that none of this is going to work for school. Previously summer clothes I bought for them, could be worn for school clothes until November.

Overall I think this a positive trend, when compared to the sloppiness/gang identity wear that has been the trend prior.

Cindi

Magic Mom
05-25-2008, 07:40 PM
As for stifling individuality... I think if children's individuality is limited to the clothes they wear, they don't have much individuality to stifle.

AH! You are my hero for posting this. I hate that argument (uniforms stifle individuality:headache: ). If my child's individuality is wrapped up solely in her looks, then I have failed her.
I am all for her expressing her personality through her appearance (to a limit of course.) but she can do that at home.
However, her (or anyone's) individuality...the things about her that express who she is and make her unique.... should have more to do with her character and actions then the fabric she covers herself with.

My kids have gone to schools with and without uniform policies. Personally I prefer uniforms. I like the atmosphere it creates. And if my child wants to express her individuality at school, then I'll tell her to plan an extra special science project...:thumbsup2

Where'sPiglet?
05-25-2008, 07:50 PM
We have a uniform policy but if the students don't follow it, there are really no consequences. :confused3 We were even told, in front of the children, that WE (the teachers) are responsible for making sure the children are wearing their uniforms. I'm not sure HOW I'm supposed to dress the children each morning before they come to school, but that's getting off topic. :headache:

I can tell you, the students that actually follow the uniform policy tend to be better behaved and also tend to be higher academically than the children who wear whatever they want. I suspect this is less about the clothes and more about the parents of those children who are demonstrating that they care about the school's policies and are involved enough to make sure their children are dressed appropriately for school. Those same parents are the ones who are helping with homework and staying involved in their children's education.

punkin
05-25-2008, 08:00 PM
I do not like school uniforms personally, but my DD9 has to wear one in her school. It is a polo shirt (from lands end) in Navy, Royal, Red or White (either long or short sleeved) and a solid colored skirt below the knee. Last year I spent about $300 per year on school clothes for her and that is only because she has been growing like a weed. The clothes last a lot longer than they fit.

MrsPete
05-25-2008, 08:50 PM
Our school system has just voted to require school uniforms next year and there has been a lot of negativity (from parents more so than from students:confused3 ). What have been your experiences? My girls wore uniforms for years, and I LOVED THEM.

Positives:
The year that our school started wearing uniforms, the cost was high because we had to start from scratch -- no one had any of last year's jeans that still fit or any hand-me-down sweaters; however, it wasn't long before PLENTY of outgrown uniforms were available. The school hosted a twice-a-year uniform sale, which worked out very well for both buyers and sellers. The summer after that first year, used uniforms were easy to find in consignment shops and even at yard sales. When we left the school and no longer needed uniforms, I actually had trouble giving them away; I put them out at a GS meeting, and I couldn't get anyone to take them -- everyone had plenty. Bottom line: After that first year, uniforms were widely available and cost WAY LESS than other clothing.

The "I've gotta buy two wardrobes" excuse isn't realistic. Because there's no pressure to wear something new/different every day, kids who wear uniforms to school have a very small school wardrobe. They can wear the same shirt twice in one week and no one knows -- or cares. My girls always had one red/white/blue jumper and two pairs of khaki pants (or shorts/skorts) at any given time. They had long sleeved and short sleeved shirts to go with these items. With three "bottom pieces" per child -- they always had more shirts -- I could do wash once a week. Actually, my goal was to have FIVE bottom pieces per child per year: one jumper, 2 pairs of long pants, 2 pairs of shorts/skorts; in our weather, our kids wear shorts August-early October, then they wear shorts again starting in late March. I bought mostly short sleeved shirts and they'd wear red/navy school sweatshirts or navy cardigan sweaters over them in our few colder months -- for our weather, it was a perfect plan.

Likewise, since kids are wearing uniforms to school every day, they don't need extensive after-school and weekend wardrobes -- my kids would come home from school and put on sweat suits, which could be worn two days because they weren't getting a full day's wear. Of course, my girls were in elementary school; teens would be out and about more after school, and they'd care more about their after-school wardrobe.

For girls, the most versitile piece of clothing is the jumper. It can be worn in the fall with a short-sleeved white blouse and sandals, then it can be worn with a turtleneck and tights in the winter. We had the choice of white blouses and red, white, or blue polo shirts. Buy as many colored shirts as possible; they don't look dingy as soon. We had the choice of navy blue or khaki pants, shorts, or skorts; always choose khaki -- it can usually make it two "wears" before being washed, while navy always picks up light dirt.

I figured out quickly that you need to buy good quality stuff, and it'll last. I bought what I could from consignment stores, accepted hand-me-downs from friends, etc. . . . but when I needed to buy items new, I bought them from Lands' End. Their stuff is expensive, but it lasts. With two girls three years apart, I found it most economical to buy something a little big for the first daughter, who'd then get about two years wear out of it . . . then the second daughter'd get two years' wear out of it. By purchasing Lands' End things from Sears, I could take advantage of the KidVantage program -- as long as you have the receipts, they'll trade in your worn out items for NEW ONES. It worked out well for my family.

I also bought things from ebay (loads of Lands End there), and I liked the French Toast brand from Sears. Kohls' used to have a pretty good selection of uniform items too; once I bought a whole rack of uniform shorts on their clearance (less than a dollar per pair) and put them out at the next uniform sale -- I made a killing.

Once everyone got past the idea that they were being FORCED to wear uniforms -- honestly, that's usually the biggest objection; people just don't like to be told what to do -- no one paid any attention to them anymore. It just became a part of school life. I also teach high school, and I waste time just about every day on sagging pants and low-cut blouses; I wish we had uniforms at our school! Typical uniform items don't lend themselves to dress code problems.

Negatives:
The high cost of the first year's uniforms; however, honestly, it's not any more than most people spend on school clothes anyway. It just SEEMS like more because you tend to buy uniforms at one fell swoop, while street clothes tend to be bought a little here and a little there.I'm so glad to see someone else say this. I think it's an excellent point. There are so many other ways to show your individuality. I would much prefer that my kids express themselves in ways that showcase their intellect or a creative talent rather than through their clothing choices. Anyone can do that. And I still maintain that most people who make the individuality argument are actually more concerned with vanity. It's hard to show off your cleavage in a properly fitting polo shirt and shapely thighs don't get much viewing time when all hemlines must be no more than 2 inches above the knee. What a shame - everyone might have to develop some conversational skills rather than relying on their "style" to get them some attention.;)Yep, it's a generalization, but many of my low-ability students are the same ones who come to school in attention-seeking clothing (see-through blouses, pants belted below their buttocks). We need to encourage students to BE something, not just to LOOK a certain way.

juliana_sd
05-25-2008, 08:55 PM
I wore uniforms (Catholic school) from K through high school. We had plaid skirts and oxford shirts. Although I never would have admitted it at the time, I liked wearing them. It definitely did make mornings easier. :thumbsup2 When I went to college it was a big adjustment, having to find "cool" stuff to wear every day.

It was still easy to tell who the "rich" kids were, they had the expensive shoes, jewelry, and bookbags (and cars in hs) but I think it was a LOT less pressure on a daily basis.

One of the schools I considered for DS had a very strict uniform policy, restricted to one or two companies with mandatory embroidery (at like $7 per piece!). I'm not a fan of that; this was a public charter school and I felt it should have been more budget-friendly.

His school has no uniforms, but I wish it did!

GreatDaneMom
05-25-2008, 09:04 PM
...

MrsPete
05-25-2008, 09:06 PM
It was still easy to tell who the "rich" kids were, they had the expensive shoes, jewelry, and bookbags (and cars in hs) but I think it was a LOT less pressure on a daily basis.I grew up a "have not" during the 80s when it seemed that EVERYONE wore an alligator or a polo man on his shirt and a designer's name on his jeans. Even though the "extras" still would've been evident, I would've loved for some part of my wardrobe to be able to "fit in" just a little. High school's tough enough without the pressure of trying to look cool.

eh24fan
05-25-2008, 09:37 PM
Erin, sorry to hear you had such a bad experience but thank you for sharing it. You illustrate a good point - a lot of the success or failure of a uniform code lies in how well it is written to begin with so that it allows some flexibility but is still easy to enforce. What ours says so far is that students may wear khaki or navy pants or shorts (with the addition of skirts, jumpers, and skorts for the girls) and white or navy shirts with collars. They are allowing them to wear tennis shoes in any color but other shoes must be enclosed and in brown, black, navy, grey, tan or white. The same color choices (black, brown, etc) apply to socks and outerwear and undershirts must be navy or white. I don't think they are going to be picky about things like stripes on the collars but I feel sure we will have to make the girls button their blouses with or without a cami underneath. And as a teacher, I'm expecting to have to deal with a lot of the pushing the limits stuff. I also agree that ultimately the kids will know who has money and who doesn't. No dress code is going to solve all problems. But I do think that if it is well-written it could do a lot of good.


It's not ALL bad. It is nice to know what he's wearing each day. :) But they allowed too much IMO. I was happy the kids can wear any shoes, as long as they are closed toe and heel. But again, that opens up the whole "you can still tell who has $$ and who doesn't" issue they claimed the uniform code would change. Part of my bitterness came from the fact that they announced this whole thing less than a month before school started. Nice huh? An entire district (4 elementary schools, a middle school and a high school), that encompasses 3 towns and a LARGE rural area, had about 3 weeks to outfit the kids. It was madness!

vickyBaby
05-25-2008, 09:58 PM
"? for anyone whose kids wear school uniforms"

My goats don't wear clothes... they go naked!

dizneychik
05-25-2008, 10:02 PM
I can certainly understand each side of the arguement. I am having the same issue with my princess' school. It is a Christian School.
The way I feel is if something so small as a uniform is going to dictate whether or not a child should attend the school then a school with no uniform would be the way to go.
I don't think individuality is a major point (its just my opinion-please dont beat me up) but there are more important things to worry about besides what they wear. I believe students can still be individuals wearing uniforms and it will shine through their work, extracurricular activities and community service efforts that they produce. If clothing is a large part of why a student is going to a certain school then their focus is not school but the latest fashions.
I think its great that children dare to be different and that can be done whether they are in school or out on the weekend with their friends.

tinytink
05-25-2008, 10:12 PM
My children wear uniforms everyday, in their Catholic school hand book it list the dress code for each season, i.e. summer boys-blue chino shorts, white polo, black socks and shoes, winter boys-white oxford, blue tie, blue sweater vest, blue chino pants, black socks and shoes. The gym uniform for everyone on their assigned gym days are either green sweat pant/shirt, white polo with green school logo or sweat shorts/shirt and white polo with logo and any type of sneakers. All sock must cover their ankles and the uniform code is spelled out so there is no "gray area". We also have a uniform swap twice a year where families can come and shop for items they need in the fall/spring. That helps a great deal on the cost and the only thing the school requires to be purchased from the uniform shop is the gym clothes because it has the school logo on it and perhaps the girls plaid jumpers and skirts unless you can find the same color print somewhere else but since I only have boys at the school right now I don't know.

I love the uniforms because there is no searching for something to wear in the morning because it's the same thing everyday. Every child has the same thing for their gender so there is no fashion competition. Each child can still shine their personality though their back packs, lunch boxes, hair styles, and showing how good they are on the inside by treating other with kindness and humility.

On a side note the school also has the occassional dress down day where children can come dressed in civilian clothes on special days like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mardi Gras, Valentines Day.

Hope that helps.

gaelic grace
05-25-2008, 10:20 PM
I wore uniforms in school and now my daughter does. We found plenty of ways to be "creative" with our uniforms and let our personal style show through. My daughter just finished first grade and we used almost all the uniform pieces for two years. We have to buy ours from a uniform company. It is a little pricey- $30 for a polo, 42.00 for the plaid skort, 28.00 for the khaki and so on. However one month out of the year everything is 20% off and another month it's 10%. Shipping is free over 75.00. Once you are fitted you may not ever have to go back to the store. I can order everything online and have at my front door in 3-4 days. I have about 350.00 in clothes for two years and most of it is in good enough condition to pass down to a friend. I could trade it at the exchange and stretch my dollar a little farther. My husband is an administrator in a local public school system. They went to uniforms as a school safety issue. My best friends kids wear uniforms in the public school but they can buy them anywhere. She actually spent more money than I did over the two years because the pants and shirts she bought ripped or got stained really bad. She is now buying from the uniform store because of the quality.

asmit4
05-25-2008, 11:24 PM
Wore uniforms my entire life practically in school! :)

Jumpers thru 4th grade, then 5th-8th, plaid skirts and button down skirts. Then 10/11, navy skirts and button down shirts, 11, and 12th, navy skirts and polos that had the school emblem on them.

All in all, in the entire 12 years, I owned 8 skirts. Each skirt had 'extenders' so you could add/subtract waist sizes. I would have 2 skirts for every few years growing up and then move to the next size up. I wore the same HS skirts for 4 years. I had 2 and I wore them every day.

Those 8 skirts ran about 60 bucks each so under 500 for bottoms in total for 12 years. Shirts, we'd buy 5 or 6 each year at JCP or Sears for a cost of perhaps 20 a shirt.

I bet you my mom had shoes, socks, underwear, skirts and shirts for under 3000 for 12 years of school in total!

My niece goes to public school, no uniforms, and I bet my sister spends close to 1500 A YEAR in school clothes for her- a COMPLETE waste of $$$ IMO. I'm probably kidding myself too- as I just saw my 16yo niece after school sporting designer jeans, shoes and multiple abercrombie layering pieces, all with the obligatory labels splashed across her chest. :confused3 I bet her outfit that day was over 300 bucks ALONE.

IMO- school should be about learning, not outfits, not labels, not butts, ****s or any other bodypart. It's crazy what some of these kids can wear to school- my mom wouldn't have let me out of the house! :scared1: :scared1:

asmit4
05-25-2008, 11:28 PM
One more thing- gotta laugh about the individuality too- b/c for my niece's 15th b-day last year, my mom held the party at her house. EVERY girl looked like a CARBON copy of the other. dark blonde hair, with highlights, same brand name clothes, same braces, same style shoes....
NOTHING individual about any of these girls! :lmao: :confused3

cajunbaby1
05-26-2008, 05:10 AM
I agree that uniforms make for less disruption at school. The kids make gripe and complain for a few weeks; but after a while they get over it. Where we live in Louisiana most of the walmarts carry at least the polo type shirts (long and short sleeved) year round. During the fall they will put out more long sleeved shirts and also they carry the "approved" colored sweaters both pullover types and button up. Windbreakers too. Another place that sells uniforms like shirts and pants/shorts is the sporting good stores or a scrubs store.

cinmell
05-26-2008, 06:10 AM
I wore a uniform from Kindergarten all the way thru my senior year in high school. My mother loved and now I know why. My daughter wears a uniform and it's great b/c it saves money and most importantly, it eliminates the clothes battles we would be having in the morning about what to wear to school.

crusoe2
05-26-2008, 09:09 AM
I just wanted to again say thank you to everyone who has posted. All of your responses have given me information and tips that I'm sure will help me immensely both as a mom and a teacher. (Well, except maybe the goat comment.:rotfl: ) Seriously, you have all been very helpful and I appreciate your input and the fact that this did not turn into a nasty debate. (I was somewhat leery of even starting the thread for fear that it could get contentious which was definitely not my intention.) Thanks again.:)

stm61
05-26-2008, 05:13 PM
One more thing- gotta laugh about the individuality too- b/c for my niece's 15th b-day last year, my mom held the party at her house. EVERY girl looked like a CARBON copy of the other. dark blonde hair, with highlights, same brand name clothes, same braces, same style shoes....
NOTHING individual about any of these girls! :lmao: :confused3

I'll second this! The biggest reason for going to uniforms, behind the inappropriate sizing/designs, was the teasing over who had the "right" clothes and who didn't. They all want the same brand/style, not all different ones.

I wish my kids wore uniforms, I ask the schools every year is they're considering it yet. I've worked in several districts, all public schools, where uniform's are required. From my experience it works fine as long as the schools mandate NO BRAND/LOGO may be seen. One district started uniforms and listed their preferred brand- French Toast- but allowed parents to buy any brand that met the requirements. End result: rich kids wore name brands and every one else wore French Toast or similar brands. The teasing and name calling still went on. The next year the district specifically stated no brand/logo could be visable and the situation improved drastically. From what I've heard from parents, they mostly love uniforms since there's no fighting over what's appropriate, costs are less since less items are needed, and the competition over who's got the best outfits has ended.

timzagain
05-26-2008, 07:12 PM
In Barbados, virtually all schools, public or private, wear uniforms. I am so glad - I could not imagine outfitting 4 kids for school in regular clothes. Good quality clothes are not cheap here!

As for expressing individuality - there's plenty of time to do that in the weekend in my humble opinion. There are enough challenges in the school system without having to worry about wearing "the right brands" and who looks better than whom!

happycampers
05-26-2008, 09:10 PM
:love: Love, love love school uniforms! DD has been in two different schools, each requiring uniforms. School one chose pricier uniforms and were much stricter about only using that one particular company. School two has a few companies from which to choose and have a used uniform store in a room at the school.

There are no arguements about what to wear. She knows what she can pick from. We set out clothes the night before which makes the morning even easier. I don't have to hear the arguement about what someone else's mom lets her wear since they are all wearing the same thing.

It's been less expensive for us to have uniforms. Five polos (or less if I wash often) can get us through the same week and be worn again the next week and the week after that.

If you have a choice, I've found that pique knit polos last better and pill up less than the other (jersey?) knit. We've gotten through this year with cheap ($6 or $7) French Toast pique knit polos that still look fine. Also, white can be a bit of a problem with pit stains, so I like to get the darker colors.

Pigeon
05-26-2008, 09:17 PM
I had to wear uniforms at the catholic school I attended. Hated them then, hate them now.

I've got two girls in public school without uniforms. We have no fights on what to wear. It's just not a source of controversy.

If there wasn't an opt out clause in the policy, and it was a public school, I would give the adminstration no end of grief, all the way up to legal action. I would simply refuse to comply, and would not allow my kids to wear the uniforms. The school could suspend the kids till the cows come home, but they are obligated to provide an alternative education, which generally costs the school considerably more per pupil than standard classroom instruction.

nicknack
05-26-2008, 09:21 PM
My children wear uniforms and the main thing I don't like about it is the laundry. It's frustrating when they tell you at bedtime that oh by the way they are out of clean uniform shirts!

I am also annoyed that the stores in my area only carry the uniform clothing in September, so if your son manages to put holes in the knees of all his pants by December, you are just out of luck!

We have "standardized dress" not uniforms, so we do have a few more options. But the khakis can't be "cargo" style, with pockets or tabs, and sometimes those are hard to find.

The kids can wear a navy blue jacket or sweater in class, but it must be totally plain and have no hood, and those have been hard to find too.

On Fridays they can wear jeans if they are wearing a school tshirt or sweatshirt.

My kids would rather wear their own clothes every day, but they don't complain about the uniforms.

jodifla
05-26-2008, 09:22 PM
I don't need anyone to tell me how to dress my kid. I'm perfectly capable of it.

I'm very, very grateful no one forced us to wear uniforms when I was growing up. They wouldn't have fit me well at all. I would have been miserable in them.

matthew&haleysmom
05-26-2008, 10:02 PM
My DD, *, goes to a public school and wears a uniform. I really like them. The only problem is that she needs a slim in shorts and pants. Her bottoms also need to have an adjuster in them to tighten them up. I always manage to find the bottoms.

Uniforms make it easy in the mornings. She knows what she is supposed to wear and is able to get ready quickly.

In DD's school, she is allowed to wear her "normal" clothes on Fridays. Students must have good behavior all week and turn in all homework in order to wear their "normal" clothing. If they do not, they must wear uniforms. So, we never have to tell her to do her homework. She does not want to be the one in a uniform on Friday. So, it works for us.

mrs.beast
05-26-2008, 10:14 PM
When I taught in Stockton CA my students wore uniforms. I was very disappointed. Most bought them from Walmart and the quality was some of the poorest I have ever seen. I worked in a very low income area, and the uniforms were always falling apart. As teachers, we felt that the "regular" clothes sold at walmart were much better and lasted longer. It seemed like a huge waste of money to me for these families.
Personally, my kids go to catholic school and my son has worn his sweaters and shirts for 2 years, so it was great for me financially. The only thing I detest is the sweatpants for PE at $24, and we need 4 pairs a year due to ripped knees:( . Also, my daughter will be able to wear his PE uniforms each year too. Her jumpers are really expensive ($50) but I will only need 4 each year. So in all, being that she is really into clothes, I think i am saving money.

tikilyn
05-26-2008, 10:27 PM
My kids are forced to wear uniforms in public schools. It's such a fight sometimes. My daughter (she's my problem) wakes up and wants to put on her pink dress when she has to wear red,white, or blue shirts (plain, no logos with or without a collar) and blue jean, navy blue, or Khakis pants, shorts , skirts or a uniform dress.

And this crap that says uniforms are equalizers is so not true at least in our school district. You can tell the poor kids from the rich just by looking at the uniforms, type of shoes, the purses the girls carry, and the back packs also!! ok that sounded harsh and I didn't mean to sound that away. I do follow the rules and my kids wear the uniforms.

We have three Jr. high schools in town and they wear uniforms too. First jr. high wears a green polo with khakis, the 2nd one wears a blue polo with khakis, and the 3rd wears a red polo with khakis and the girls are allow to wear shorts and skirts but they have to be khakis. Yack!

The high school hasn't gone to uniforms yet. They get to wear regular clothes.

It would be so much easier on me if MY kids could wear regular clothes to school!!

barkley
05-27-2008, 04:34 AM
just thought of another couple of issues with uniforms.

my best friend went crazy when her son's public school instituted them because he was a BIG BOY (not fat, but both mom and dad are over 6' tall so he was taller than his teachers by the time he hit first grade:scared1: ). she could not find any of the uniform items that would fit him so she had to go to the big and tall stores to special order items-and they cost her a ton of money. she was much better off financialy when there were no uniforms because she religiously watched the sales and would get him jeans, sweat pants and other items that he could wear for for a fraction of the cost. i know i would have an issue with my ds if his school required uniforms because he's a beanpole (11 years old, normal height-only weighs 54 pounds) and the only pants i can get to fit him are sweats and some two tone ones from old navy that have expandable (or in his case-retractable) waist bands.

the other issue is-for those who have schools looking to enact uniform codes, i strongly suggest you advocate that a rule be put into place wherein if a medical need exists, with a doctor's note, a child be permitted to wear an amended version of their uniform. this may seem odd but we ended up in a battle royale with our kid's former uniformed school when dd got horrendous poison oak (on the school campus due to their negligence:mad: ) on her neck and lower face. the doctor was adamant that she could'nt have anything touch the area till it healed including a collar but the school refused to permit her to wear a non collared shirt (even in the same colors as the collared) because of the uniform code. i've also seen uniformed kids have major issues when the only shirts permitted are the type that pull over their heads (polos for the boys) but they have a cast or sling that necessitates wearing a front buttoning looser shirt (not accomodatable by a dress shirt). i think it's better to have these issues spelled out in advance.

ObsessedwiththeMouse
05-27-2008, 08:28 AM
Our school system has just voted to require school uniforms next year and there has been a lot of negativity (from parents more so than from students:confused3 ). What have been your experiences? First of all, how does it affect how much you spend on clothes for your kids? That has been one of the biggest arguments - people keep complaining that now they will have to buy two wardrobes per kid instead of just one. Some of the other arguments against the uniforms have been:
1. That it will create more work for teachers and administrators to enforce the dress code.
2. That it will make no difference in academic performance.
3. That it stifles the students' individuality.

My daughter goes to a private school and, just this year, uniforms were enforced. Last year, she got to wear whatever top she wanted with khaki/navy/black pants. This year, a shirt with a collar is required.

1. I think that it can be more work for the teachers depending on the students you have. For my daughters school, it really wasn't that much more work because the students just comply. I think you will find that it's harder for a public school to enforce uniforms than a private school.

2. I don't think it makes a difference in academic performance, but it does make a difference in the kids attitudes....in fact, that's the whole reasons my daughters' school changed their policy. They found when the dress code was more "lax" that the kids got out of hand more.

3. Yes, it stifled the kids' individuality, but what can you honestly do? I love to dress my kiddo up in certain outfits, but they aren't allowed within the dress code.

As for cost, for us, it DOES cost more because I do end up buying 4 sets of outfits. One "school" winter set, one "school" spring set, one regular winter and one regular spring.

TinkerbellBlue
05-27-2008, 08:40 AM
The biggest problem with the uniform policy at my dd's old school is some students had to follow it while other students did not. In the lower grades it was an actual uniform to wear but many parents bought cargo style pants even though it was clearly stated as not acceptable. The parent would then tell the school they could not or would not replace them. The school would let that child wear them. Then a student would come in one day wearing cargo pants and get sent to the office. I would be one ticked of parent if I had to take my child appropriate pants and saw others wearing the same pants as my child who were not required to change. Once my dd reached high school the uniform was out but a strict dress code was in. I made sure I went and bought cloths that followed the code and was very upset that many students did not follow the code and little was done about it. We still followed the rule but it was harder to enforce it with my dd when she knew that the dress code was a joke. If a school is not going to enforce the code across the board than do not have it. This school really soured me on public schools and uniforms.

Tricia911
05-27-2008, 10:41 PM
I love the uniforms at my daughters school. It has saved me soooooooooooo much money. No arguments in the morning about what to and not to wear. God bless the person who tought up school uniforms.

jlima
05-28-2008, 01:47 AM
once the schools found out that the would benefit financialy (read: monetary kickbacks from the uniform company) if they required the parents to use a particular company and banned any clothing items not manufactured by that company (and it was easy for the school to enforce-said company did very specific embroidery on the front of every clothing item with their brand name on it) the parents were locked out of using any of the identical but much lower priced uniform items.My kids attended a school that was run by Nobel Learning for 5 years. They are a for-profit company that runs private schools. Every program they offered had to generate income for Nobel, including uniforms. They had a commission agreement with a local uniform company; and after the first 3 years they cracked down on uniforms and began to question the uniforms my younger one was wearing. I would buy the shirts from the official vendor, but the shorts from Toys R Us and Old Navy instead of the "official" ones because they were cheaper. It was very frustrating to be told that shorts he had worn for MONTHS were suddenly not allowed. It was even more frustrating when we attended a different school for first grade and when we purchased the same uniform parts from the same local company, the shorts were suddenly $13 instead of $18 . . . because the new school didn't have a revenue sharing agreement!! :furious: