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Principal calls uniforms a success

Jemison Middle School principal Mark Knight said a uniform policy did exactly what it was intended to do this year.

JMS adopted the policy prior to the current academic year, and Knight said the number of student referrals to the office decreased dramatically.

“I think our discipline was down probably 25 percent,” Knight said. “We didn’t have the problems with them sagging (or) showing too much skin.

“They seemed to act more like students when they’re dressed like students.”

JMS is the second county school, after Jemison High School, to adopt such a policy.

Both Isabella and Maplesville will require uniforms beginning in the fall.

Isabella principal Ricky Porter said students and their parents have been notified several different ways about the change, which will affect students in grades 7-12.

Porter encouraged anyone with questions to call his office. The school’s telephone number is 280-2770.

The policy can also be found online at http://www.chilton.k12.al.us/IHS/uniform%20dress%20code.htm.

Maplesville’s policy is also online, at http://www.chilton.k12.al.us/MHS/downloads.htm.

Maplesville principal Maggie Hicks said one change has been made to her school’s policy since it was first adopted: shirts in the school’s colors will not be required, only solid polo-style shirts.

“Because the economy is so bad and so hard on everyone, we were trying to look at it not costing the parents a fortune,” Hicks said.

Knight said one problem that arose with his school’s policy was that jackets be plain and one of the accepted colors.

Not all students had an acceptable jacket, an item of clothing that is usually more expensive than a shirt or pair of pants, but most JMS students were required to go outside at some point in the day to one of the school’s seven portable classrooms.

So, students were allowed to wear any jacket to school but had to store the jacket away in their locker if it did not meet dress code requirements.

“We didn’t want them freezing to death at the bus stop,” Knight said.

Knight said JMS will not make any changes to its policy for the upcoming school year and that a move to the new Jemison Intermediate School building, where there are not portable classrooms, would help with the jacket issue.