Archived Story

Board to vote on countywide uniforms

Published 6:00pm Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Chilton County Board of Education will vote April 19 whether to implement a uniform dress code policy for all county schools.

If approved by the board, the policy would require all students from kindergarten through 12th grade to wear uniforms.

The policy was brought up at last month’s BOE meeting. The board voted then to post the policy for public review for 30 days.

“It is on the table to implement the minimum standard of the policy similar to what Isabella already has,” said Superintendent Dave Hayden. “The dress code began at Jemison several years ago, then to Maplesville and Isabella. A lot of us believe we all need to be on the same page. It is an evolving process.”

Principals of schools where uniforms have been implemented said they are beneficial and have a positive impact on students, Hayden said.

“The principals that already have it say it works very well,” said Hayden. “The discipline is better and the students are a little bit more focused when they are not worried about what they are wearing. Students compete on a lot of levels and this will put the focus back on education.”

If approved, the policy will take effect in August 2011.

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  • busynana

    I have been impressed on the creativity of female students to make their uniforms very attractive with the use of earrings, belts, etc. I have no problem with uniforms. It is the failure of teachers to dress professionally that disappoints me. As a retired educator, I just can’t approve of the manner in which I see teachers dressed.

    (Report comment)

    • freedomofspeech

      Well, if the students have to wear uniforms, then the teachers should have to do the same. Why can’t they wear the same khaki pants and blue polo shirts as well???

      (Report comment)

  • BenaBoysMomma

    If the school uniforms do go into effect, I can volunteer/assist by donating some used clothing.

    We can have a “mini thrift store” and call it the “Student’s Closet”. We can start up with a variety of clothing with different sizes and colors for anyone (our community – county students) who chooses to shop at the Student’s Closet!

    Certainly this would be a community effort to work together?

    What styles and colors are being discussed?

    (Report comment)

  • wannabestaffwriter

    It looks like a lot of you folks are commenting without information regarding the proposed uniforms. No logos on shirts means as inexpensive and generic as you want. Last year I got pants for 9.99 and polos for 5.99 on up. My child did not get a lot spent on clothes for everyday wear at school time, but those types of clothes are usually purchased throughout the year anyway.
    ALSO, plenty of uniforms will be available at the thrift shops. These clothes wear well, and are substantial after repeated washings.
    There were 5 kids in my family growing up and we did have used uniforms. The used ones were better quality than the new ones being sold at that time. Trust me, uniforms cost much less.
    We wore uniforms for 12 years at school, and it definitely does keep the need to compete on the back burner, as far as fashion is concerned.
    The part of “tucked in or not” for shirts is really a teaching tool, especially for the guys. The kids all look pretty raggety by the end of the day anyway, and chunky kids or short-waisted girls like I was can definitely get used to giving up some vanity, there are plenty of other ways add to being “attractive”.
    Personally, my vote would be for uniforms. I wish they had them when my older kids were in school–our income was very limited & pants & shirts would’ve been cheaper than the $29 levis they insisted on because the kids made fun of them in grade school if the had wal-mart shoes or jeans. So, each child had 1 pair of expensive pants & wore the same each day (and did their own laundry each day.)

    (Report comment)

  • mack13

    The problem with school uniforms is that they are not at all necessary to enforce discipline.

    I grew up poor in Montgomery. I had the only clothes that my folks could afford to buy. They weren’t fancy or in with the current fads. The kids, with parents who made enough money, always had the monogrammed sweaters and jackets. I was OK with that, because we weren’t able to buy’em.

    If the rule back then was to have a uniform, I can assure you, I would have the ones bought at the second hand store just like the rest of my clothes were. The well to do kids would have still had the newer clothes.

    Discipline back in my day was enforced with a paddle on the behind if you needed it. No one would have thought of bringing a gun to school. We were allowed to have pocket knives and never thought about hurting someone with them.

    Maybe along with the uniforms, the students can have insignias of rank; PFC up to General. Then the poor, the middle class, and the rich kids could be more readily identified.

    just my .02

    mack

    (Report comment)

  • Michelle

    I have read all your comments. I have 2 boys 6th grade and 8th grade, both at Maplesville, who is required to wear uniforms, let me assure you, name brand is still an issue. I don’t care if you got 3 shirts that are made exactly same the tag or symbol on that shirt is noticed. The teachers and principles are not with these children every minute of every day. The kids talk…. So this bull about everybody wearing the same styles and not having name brand issues is a load of crap. I don’t think that us being a public school we should be required to buy what you want our kids to wear. If you require uniforms then you should have to supply them. I don’t care what you say when you have children that are bigger or smaller then it is very very hard to find clothing without paying a high price. I also have to buy 2 wardrobes, they don’t want to wear uniforms on the weekend. REQUIRE THEM WEAR SUITABLE, RESPECTABLE,CLOTHING. NOT UNIFORMS, OR YOU BUY THEIR CLOTHING.

    (Report comment)

  • Leo5

    I totally agree freedom of speech!! And yes the board members will make the decision so sadly what the 7 of them think is what the rest of us will be forced to live with at least until the next election anyway!

    (Report comment)

  • freedomofspeech

    I’m just not sure what uniforms will solve. Even if we go to uniforms, your still gonna have the kids that try to sag, your still have a few girls trying to show some clevage with their 3 buttons un-done, your still gonna have kids trying to wear the khakis with the tattered holes above the knee, and above all your still gonna have some kids that wear name brand shirts and khakis and some that get theirs from Wal-mart, thrift stores, or yard sales. So what exactly will the uniform dress code solve other than having a bunch of depressed kids wearing the same old drab thing day after day every week. I’m sure it could be a money saver, but I just don’t think we’re saving enough. And yes, I think the parents should have a right to atleast vote on this or something. Who makes the final decision, just the board or what???

    (Report comment)

  • ballmom512

    I have two children in the Chilton County School system and I love the uniforms. Clothes are not the only method of expressing yourself that children have and they should not be going to school worried about what they are wearing. The cost of the uniforms are much less than any other clothes I have bought in the past. The headache and arguments over what to wear everyday goes away. As parents we should be concerned about the quality of education our children are recieving not what they are wearing. I think a county wide uniform policy will be great and I hope it passes.

    (Report comment)

  • avg

    I do have a child in a school that wears uniforms. The cost of uniforms for the school year was alot cheaper than buying regular clothing for school.

    (Report comment)

  • bamagurl1

    i personally do not like the uniforms, i have 3 children in the Chilton County school system. By the time I purchase the required uniforms for school and then purchase the clothes they need for everyday life, it has cost me twice as much, i also do not think that the school should be able to demand that they were uniforms and if so, they should provide these uniforms for each school. My girls hate them, and they get very frustrated at wearing the same thing every day. Children do express themselves through clothing and other things and i don’t think this should be taken away from our children. I mean come on, do we as parents have any say left in what our children do? It seems we become more governed every day.

    (Report comment)

  • Merelyanobserver

    I applaud the Bd of Ed for deciding to make whatever policy is adopted the same for all schools in the county. I would like to comment on some of the information out there about the pros/cons of uniforms. First of all I don’t feel like behavior is influenced by having or not having uniforms as much as some people say. From my experiences within multiple school systems I have realized that teachers who can control their classes can do so wheather or not the students are in uniform. Those who lack classroom management still have behavior problems in their classroom despite the kids being in uniform. Administrators say there is more behavior problems on the days when kids are allowed to wear their “regular” clothes, but it’s only because it’s such a big deal for them to get to wear them now that it gets them too wound up, plus usually when they get to wear them it’s for a special reason, such as picture day, which were behavior problem days before uniforms. Another issue that some say uniforms will resolve is the teasing of some kids due to their clothes. The main item kids talk about is shoes and the uniform policy does not address this. Some students still wear their Jordans or other expensive tennis shoes and others still wear shoes from Wal-Mart and they all still know the difference. Another huge status symbol in schools right now is North Face jackets that some wear. So it is still very easy to distinguish the haves from the have nots in school. Also the policy allows for students to wear “accessories” to show their individuality. These are mostly belts, head bands, bracelets, and the lastest is knee-high socks. These are usually worn with pants rolled up to the knees to show them off. Most of these things are usually bright neon colors which seem to cause more of a distraction than wearing normal clothes. There also seems to be more choices for female students, one choice being a type of shirt that doesn’t have to be tucked in. This seems quite contradictory of the uniform policy in general, which is to give all students the same options in what to wear. The biggest misconception is that uniforms will benefit families economically. This is simply completely false. Many students in Chilton county wear clothes bought from yard sales and thrift stores. Uniform pants, shorts, and shirts cost more than what these parents normal pay for clothes. Many of these families struggle to find the extra money for uniforms. It is no better for families that may be better off financially because they still buy clothes for their kids to wear on the weekends plus the uniforms they have to buy. In regards to uniforms making kids wear clothes that cover mid-drifts, have belts, and keep pants at the waist; those are already requirements in the county’s current dress code. From the outside looking in uniforms seem to be a great, simple, and cheaper idea, but from the inside looking out uniforms create many problems teachers, students, and parents.

    (Report comment)

  • kittycreek

    Well I don’t have any kids in the school system but personally I hate have to tuck in a shirt and wear a belt. It’s especially a hassle for girls. Also, kids with a less than perfect figure may be more self assured in a tunic. Uniforms are ok but not the tuck-it-in part.

    (Report comment)

    • freedomofspeech

      I have to agree with you Kitty. You buy your clothes usually to fit your body type, and some people just don’t have the body type to wear tucked in shirts. Especially larger sized children, which is going to open up more room for kids poking fun at these children with their bellies hanging over their belts.

      (Report comment)

  • DarrylBice

    I like the idea of uniforms. I think will it help the overall majority of the kids. My children are fortunate that my wife and I can afford to buy them the clothes they prefer. However, a lot of the children are not that fortunate. I can understand how it would affect the self-worth of those less fortunate children. These are children; they need to have the best opportunity we as adults can provide them. I attended the school Christmas parties last year for both of my daughters. I was very impacted by the disparity in the noticeable difference in the children’s dress attire. My wife is a teacher. It disturbs me greatly to learn of the situation that a lot of these children are in. I am not trying to be over top Utopian with my ideas, but I definitely feel this could help some of the children. I stress to my children that you can not judge the value of a person based upon their apparent worth.

    (Report comment)

  • toddtheteacher

    Ok Leo. I’ll give you that point about. The schools will probably have to address that situation by having a program to help these families out. Jemison has been able to work out these issues and it has gone over pretty smoothly. I would dare say that we have even gotten some converts from the anti-uniform side.

    (Report comment)

  • freedomofspeech

    I’m not real hyped about the idea of uniforms either. Most of my kids clothes come from Wal-mart, or Belk and some come from really good consignment sales and my kids have never been made fun of for wearing these type clothes.
    I just think the kids should be able to dress and wear what they want as long as it goes by school code, but if they go to uniforms, we will adjust. It is just so drab to wear the same thing everyday. Kids like to express themselves through their appearance. I’m not totally against it, but not jumping up and down about it either.

    (Report comment)

  • Leo5

    No they don’t usually send the children to school naked. Alot of times these families have many kids and use clothes that are given to them and also clothes that their other children have worn. Even at the thrift store a pair of pants cost more than a $2 lunch.

    (Report comment)

  • toddtheteacher

    Parents don’t generally send their kids to school naked, so they can afford clothes. Many times, simple khaki pants and polo type shirts are less expensive than the popular choices. Walmart sells these for cheap and they are on clearance half the time. There is also the thrift store who have an abundance of khakis and polo shirts for between $1 and $5. With the uniform rules in place it is hard to tell if the clothing came from Gap or Walmart.

    (Report comment)

  • Merelyanobserver

    I am glad the Bd of Ed has decided to make whatever policy is decided the same for all schools in the county. I would like to comment on some of the information out there about the pros/cons of uniforms. First of all I don’t feel like behavior is influenced by having or not having uniforms as much as some people say. From my experiences within multiple school systems I have realized that teachers who can control their classes can do so wheather or not the students are in uniform. Those who lack classroom management still have behavior problems in their classroom despite the kids being in uniform. Administrators say there is more behavior problems on the days when kids are allowed to wear their “regular” clothes, but it’s only because it’s such a big deal for them to get to wear them now that it gets them too wound up, plus usually when they get to wear them it’s for a special reason, such as picture day, which were behavior problem days before uniforms. Another issue that some say uniforms will resolve is the teasing of some kids due to their clothes. The main item kids talk about is shoes and the uniform policy does not address this. Some students still wear their Jordans or other expensive tennis shoes and others still wear shoes from Wal-Mart and they all still know the difference. Another huge status symbol in schools right now is North Face jackets that some wear. So it is still very easy to distinguish the haves from the have nots in school. Also the policy allows for students to wear “accessories” to show their individuality. These are mostly belts, head bands, bracelets, and the lastest is knee-high socks. These are usually worn with pants rolled up to the knees to show them off. Most of these things are usually bright neon colors which seem to cause more of a distraction than wearing normal clothes. There also seems to be more choices for female students, one choice being a type of shirt that doesn’t have to be tucked in. This seems quite contradictory of the uniform policy in general, which is to give all students the same options in what to wear. The biggest misconception is that uniforms will benefit families economically. This is simply completely false. Many students in Chilton county wear clothes bought from yard sales and thrift stores. Uniform pants, shorts, and shirts cost more than what these parents normal pay for clothes. Many of these families struggle to find the extra money for uniforms. It is no better for families that may be better off financially because they still buy clothes for their kids to wear on the weekends plus the uniforms they have to buy. In regards to uniforms making kids wear clothes that cover mid-drifts, have belts, and keep pants at the waist; those are already requirements in the county’s current dress code. From the outside looking in uniforms seem to be a great, simple, and cheaper idea, but from the inside looking out uniforms create many problems teachers, students, and parents.

    (Report comment)

  • Leo5

    I would like to know when most of the parents in this county can’t afford to pay $2.00 for school lunches how they are suppose to afford buying school uniforms!

    (Report comment)

    • fairygrandmother

      School uniforms are substantially cheaper than jeans and athletic shoes.

      (Report comment)

  • Merelyanobserver

    I agree that whatever policy is adopted it should be county wide. I don’t necessarily agree with some of the information be given about the pros/cons of uniforms. First, I don’t feel that uniforms have as great an impact on behavior as some say. I have some experience working within school systems and from what I have seen teachers who can maintain control of their classes can do this wheather students are in uniform or not. For teachers who lack classroom management the uniforms have not seemed to curb bad behavior in their classes. Secondly, some refer to uniforms cutting down on teasing because of clothing. In regards to that I don’t feel uniforms do much to stop that. The item of clothing kids compare most is shoes and the uniform policy makes no mention regarding shoes. Kids still wear their Jordans etc. while others still wear shoes from Wal-Mart, and you better believe kids know what store which shoes come from. Also the North Face jackets are huge status symbols in schools today. So even with uniforms it’s very easy to distinguish the haves from the have nots. Also the uniform policy allows for kids to wear “accessories” to show their individuality. The more popular items are belts, scarves, head bands, and the biggest of all lately are knee-high socks, usually worn with pants that have been rolled up to their knees to show off their socks. These accessories are usually bright neon colors, which are more distracting than what students would normally wear if there were no dress code. As far as shirts not showing mid-drifts or being cut too low, belts being worn and pants being around the waist, those are already in the county wide dress code policy. Another issue is that there are more options for female students, one of those options being a type of shirt that doesn’t have to be tucked into their pants. This seems unfair for the male students and in contrast to the principle of a uniform policy, which is to give everyone the same options of clothing. And lastly uniforms are not better economically for families, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Many of the children in this county wear clothes bought from yard sales or thrift stores, those clothes do not cost as much as uniform shirts, pants, or shirts. Many of those families actually struggle to get the extra money it costs to put their child/children in uniforms. For families who may be a little better off it still costs them more money also because they still buy clothes for their children to wear on the weekends and must now buy uniforms also. From the outside looking in having students in uniforms sounds like a great, simple, economic idea. However from the inside looking out there are many problems that uniforms create for teachers, students, and parents. I do applaud the board of education for wanting to make it the same for all students within the county, whatever is decided.

    (Report comment)

  • wannabestaffwriter

    This is grandma here, who wore uniform to school for 12 years. They were not fancy, and my jacket & skirt were good quality & lasted the 4 years of HS. I can remember that I appreciated the fact that nobody paid any attention to our clothes during school (unless somebody wore dirty shirts/blouses in HS). I did not have to consider what to wear each day, what I wanted (and did not have like other kids) for school. With the simpler, more readily available, and lower cost of the uniforms Chilton is using–parents, you save $$$ !! Students can still wear regular shoes, Jemison allows bracelets, etc.
    Nobody has brought up the fact that this gets the students ready for the WORK environment! Most jobs require some sort of dress policy, or considerations for the aspects of the job (such as working outside, landscaping, heavy equipment, welding, etc.) The uniform wearing alerts the students that some clothes work best for some jobs, and they can prepare themselves for what they’ll need to be wearing for the job they plan to do, or find themsleves doing later in life. Go for it, Chilton County.

    (Report comment)

  • heavensent

    Hello everyone ! I have a child in the Chilton County School System also. I am one of those parents that shop ahead of time for school clothing for the next school term. So, I have already purchased my childs shorts and jeans for the 2011-2012 school term. I just wish that, if the policy is approved that it would not take effect until the next following school term.

    (Report comment)

  • toddtheteacher

    It is my opinion that all students and teachers should wear a basic uniform that includes khaki or blue pants along with a solid colored polo type shirt. They should be required to wear a belt and have their shirt tucked in at all time, with the exception of PE.
    At Jemison, I feel like the uniforms have worked very well. No, I don’t have any data to back it up, but if it was no good I would not support it.

    (Report comment)

  • Tiffany

    I personally feel uniforms will be great, My son will be starting Kindergarten this fall and I would love to see uniforms voted in, I feel it will be better for the children as it eliminates teasing due to the clothing choices or social status, I know children will be children and teasing can’t be eliminated completely but this will be one less distraction for them. Also it will make my life easier all outfits are the same no debating over what my son will wear the next day , also uniforms are really more economical than other options for clothing out there especially certain name brands of clothing.

    (Report comment)

  • ajuly1959

    I think it is a GREAT IDEA for all schools to have uniforms.If you haven’t been to one of the schools that have the uniform policy you should go visit.Their shirts are at the neck line, not at the belly button,their pants are at the waist line, not around their knees. Mr. Hayden and board members keep up the good work. “Jemison Resident”

    (Report comment)

  • Buttercup

    Just out of my own curiousity – could those that oppose explain why they oppose? I have a child in this school system and have always thought it would be a great idea – would certainly make shopping for school clothes easier if nothing else. Just wondering…..

    (Report comment)

  • southernroses76

    Is there raw data that proves the statements by the principals about discipline being better at schools where the dress code has been implemented. Number of suspensions, detentions, writes ups, etc this year vs last year. Also, have grades improved this year over last year at schools that have the dress code? By what percentage? Parents need this information to be able to support or fight this issue.

    Has the board talked to other school districts that implement dress codes in schools and evaluated their success or lack there of?

    (Report comment)

  • Katherine Reece

    I’m not crazy about the idea, but it seems to be working in those schools that have tried it so far. If they’re going to do it at one school, they need to do it at all schools.

    (Report comment)

    • justoutthere

      Parents sometimes need to help their children understand that in the real world of working and earning a living we many times have to do things that we dont want to do. this will surely include a dress code. Many people wear uniforms to work daily when they may rather make a fashion statement instead.. i also believe that many young people make judgements about their peers based on the ability to look fashionable. it never hurts to get to know someone who is outwardly already equal. i remember very well as a teenager that some of my classmates did not give everyone a chance if they “dressed below” them. give the “have nots” equal ground on this one!

      (Report comment)

      • justoutthere

        oh, and by the way, everyone of us have a less than perfect figure.

        (Report comment)

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