Local resident to hold meeting regarding school uniform policy

Published 6:56 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sue Gilliland, a Verbena schoolteacher and parent, will hold a public meeting Thursday, April 7 at 7 p.m. in the upper courtroom of the Chilton County Courthouse regarding the potential adoption of school uniforms.

Gilliland has spent more than 40 hours reading books, reviewing journal articles and analyzing data regarding uniform policies. She will be presenting this information to board members, faculty and the public prior to the voting on Tuesday, April 19, when the BOE will vote whether or not to go countywide with school uniforms.

“I will present the pros and the cons,” said Gilliland. “My sole intent is to provide as much info, data, research and statistics as possible so that all citizens can make up their own minds to whether this is right or not.”

The uniform policy was brought up at the BOE meeting last month. The board voted to post the policy for public review for 30 days, after which, it would be voted up or down at the next meeting.

“The parents have not been asked or surveyed,” said Gilliland. “According to the first paragraph in the U.S. Department of Education’s Manual on School Uniforms, ‘For uniforms to be a success, as with all other initiatives, parents must be involved.’ All I’m asking for is that kind of courtesy. Make the decision on data and statistics and not what a few people think they like.”

Gilliland spoke with board members and Superintendent Dave Hayden regarding the statistics and data on why uniforms are unsuccessful, but would like to share her findings and allow others to voice their opinions, for or against the policy, before it is voted on.

“I invite everyone to come out, whether for the policy or against it. We need parents involved,” said Gilliland.