Article Comment 

Starkville city school board votes for school uniforms


Bonnie Coblentz



Ten speakers and a full house showed up in polite and well-argued opposition to school uniforms, but the Starkville School District went against the apparent majority and voted unanimously on what they''re calling a dress code policy. 


Despite previous split votes, all five board members agreed to require all students to wear what is commonly referred to as school uniforms. Pickett Wilson made the motion, which was seconded by Eddie Myles. 


Before the vote, Carrie Copeland, Sarah and Martin Coleman, Jennifer Burgess, Jonita Thompson, Rosiland Ashford, Kate Fabel, Renee Matich, Sally Gray and Ralph Olivieri all addressed the board in opposition to uniforms. Major points of their remarks include: 


Copeland -- Thinks there are better ways to address school safety, such as closing campuses with fence and locking doors. The cost of uniforms will be a burden to many families. The district''s existing dress code has only been in place for four years, and that is not being followed closely. 


Sarah Coleman -- "When I put it all together, I don''t see that the benefits are outweighing the costs." Many families, especially those with multiple children, use hand-me-downs and buy used clothing. Uniforms will be an unfair burden to them. 


Martin Coleman -- Is a high school counselor at a neighboring school district that requires uniforms. He keeps socks in his office to help students out of uniform not get in trouble. A true uniform policy must be black and white and leave no room for judgement calls. "If someone wanted to come on our campus, all they have to do is wear the perfect uniform." And the focus on uniforms means "we''re really not talking about relevant things." 


Burgess -- Look at other alternatives to improve school safety. Raised questions about style versus color and how uniforms will be useful for identification when students are wearing coats on the playground and before and after school. Suggested if the board wants to require uniforms, they start with one clothing item like a shirt and evaluate effectiveness in a year. "We have a dress code in place. I would like to see it enforced." 


Thompson -- Found that buying just five pairs of pants each for her three boys would cost about $240, "something I do not have." Shops all year for sales and off-season bargains to dress her boys cost-effectively. Uniforms will have to be bought all at once at full price. 


Ashford -- Said she spoke to 500 people about this issue and "all but 25-30 oppose the implementation of uniforms." Said the few in favor cited "the reduction of morning arguments as the reasons the want the school district to implement uniforms." Asked if out-of-uniform days are considered on occasion, "why is the district not concerned about safety" on those days?  


Fabel -- Grew up in Uzbekistan where children were required to wear uniforms as part of "a policy of sameness" and a comprehensive system to encourage thinking that aligned with government beliefs. "This is a public school, a system that embraces, not discourages, diversity. Uniforms don''t do this." 


Matich - Said the budget cuts situation is frightening, and the issue of uniforms should be saved for later when families and the school district are not fighting financial battles. "Let''s table this issue for now. Let''s pick it up later. I view it like our house is on fire; let''s not decide whether to paint or wallpaper." Bigger issues are cutting teachers, larger class size and educator pay. "We don''t need to divide our community on this." 


Gray -- "This is a passing fad." The state funds education at half the national level, Starkville has two schools at risk of failing and yet it is a university town "rich in human resources." Enforce the existing dress code, don''t add to it. "A clear majority has spoken out against this issue and with good reason." 


Olivieri -- "The uniform policy, aka the dress code, is just plain wrong for this community, our public schools and our students." Said Starkville is a smart town and the board would be wise not to underestimate the homework those in opposition have done on this subject. "There is no reason to deny a student an education because of the style or shade of a shirt." Asked the school board to vote the policy down and focus on the issues that matter most. "We cannot afford to allow our schools to be used at laboratories and our children to be used as guinea pigs." 


The board offered no comments to the speakers, but did have the chance to discuss the issue before they voted. 


Keith Coble acknowledged that the issue has been controversial and asked Superintendent Judy Couey to clarify why she has said a dress code policy is a safety issue. 


"This is not a magic bullet," Couey said. "While this is not an end-all, be-all, it is a solution that has been proposed." 


Other solutions include identification badges, school resource officers, locked doors and fences. 


Coble said there are many safety risks possible at schools. 


"Mrs. Couey is arguing that this will mitigate risk. We know there is a cost," he said. 


"At the end of the day, reasonable people could disagree about this policy, but I hope we all continue to work for the good of the schools," Coble said. 


Walter Taylor asked her to address how violations would be handled. Couey said although these would be disciplinary issues, they would be handled as dress code violations and not treated as if they were disciplinary referrals for something like fighting. He asked the board to revisit the dress code policy every year "to see if it is really working for our district." 


Bill Weeks said he liked to see the public get involved on this issue. 


Wilson said those opposed to the dress code policy were the most vocal, but she heard privately from others who were in favor of uniforms but did not want to speak publicly. She also said Couey is the state''s best expert in K-12 education, so she followed her lead on this issue. 


Myles did not speak to the issue.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment Disapppointed commented at 3/3/2010 12:03:00 PM:

I don't think the Board really listened to the public outcry. It's not just about uniforms, it's about having a Board that spouts to be in favor of community input but actions seem to reveal otherwise.

This ruling has hurt our community in so many ways that we haven't even begun seeing yet. Changing to wording only made it a mandatory debt on our city. So sad...


Article Comment 08 commented at 3/3/2010 12:17:00 PM:

Well, I know for a fact uniforms aren't going to solve the problems, particularly at SHS... the start to the solution is a much stronger administration that listens not only to the students, but also teachers, parents, and the public. Parents can only imagine what a typical day there is like... fights, profanity, and general rowdiness accompanied any normal day there. Anyone who has gradated in the past few years knows that.. instead of looking to uniforms, the school board needs to look at itself.


Article Comment Satisfied commented at 3/3/2010 12:30:00 PM:

Just because the board didn't give in to the bullying and hissy fits of those against uniforms does not mean they didn't listen. This ruling isn't what's hurt our community, it's the tactics of the highly vocal anti-uniform crusaders. Just because they were the most vocal does not mean they were the majority as they like to think. There were plenty of us who chose not to turn this into the public spectacle it became by simply making our thoughts known to the board and superintendent via e-mails and phone calls. Now those against uniforms are acting like spoiled children who refuse to take no for an answer. Already they're planning arm band protests, media blitzes, trying to figure out how to impeach board members,consulting lawyers, the atty. general, etc. It's ridiculous and it's becoming more and more apparent that it's turned into personal vendettas instead of being about the best interests of the schools. The decision has been made, it's not the end of the about a little support for the school board?


Article Comment WakeUp! commented at 3/3/2010 12:36:00 PM:

I don't see how the ruling has "hurt the community". Furthermore, correction of issues such as profanity, fighting, rowdiness, etc. starts at HOME! There are too many parents who are not parenting- they are sending kids to school for someone else to educate as well as parent.

A dress code is implemented in professional environments the world over. I know I have a dress code to follow at work. The purpose of school is to educate children to help them to become better members of society and to be able to provide for themselves. I think a dress code will not only help them to prepare for what working life has in store for them.


Article Comment Fred commented at 3/3/2010 1:21:00 PM:

1. The people that are the most vocal are the ones who decided to not vote in the survey given to the students. If they had voted and voiced their opinion in the survey, maybe this would not have been even brought up or a different policy would have taken place. According to some reports, grades 9 - 12 had a dismal participation in the survey while the lower grades had an excellent participation. Most of the nay sayers are 9 -12th graders who couldn't be bothered with taking a 5 minute survey. I hoped they learned their lesson as i feel if you don't vote, don't complain of the results.

2. Uniforms are a part of an overall system to improve safety. People I talked to in uniformed districts admit they were skeptical at first but they had found them money savers as they actually spend less on these than normal or the latest clothes for their students to wear.

3. Uniforms are a part of life. No matter what profession you work in , you have some sort of "uniform" or dress code. Uniforms are just another way of preparing you for life's reality.


Article Comment Think it through commented at 3/3/2010 1:54:00 PM:

Come on, Fred.

1. The results of both survey's were that the majority of those polled did not want uniforms. "No uniforms" won both of those surveys. It was clear that the second survey was distributed because the administration didn't like the response to the first one. When the second survey ended up with the same result, SSD admins decided it was "invalid". How convenient for them. It doesn't matter who you think did or did not respond. If this was about following a vote, then the vote was made but the results were not followed.

2. Safety keeps getting brought up, but Ms. Couey has never explained HOW uniforms will help safety. Every parent that spoke at the meeting Tuesday night had a more well thought out argument against uniforms than Ms. Couey has presented for uniforms to date. If you don't believe me, read the article again. You'll see a lot of words reporting what each parent argued against uniforms, and a one sentence response from Couey that it's, "Not a magic bullet." That's fine, but HOW WILL IT HELP IMPROVE SAFETY? Please explain, because all we see are a lot of holes in the policy that would counteract any potential safety benefit.

As for the cost, yes, uniforms are less expensive than normal clothing, but many if not most families who are economically disadvantaged don't have the money to buy even normal clothing. Most rely on hand-me-downs, clearance racks, and thrift stores. How will they afford to purchase these uniforms?

3. Uniforms are not a "part of life". Very few job actually require uniforms, though most do require some type of acceptable dress. SSD already has a dress code similar to this, so if it's about preparing students for the real world, then we've got that covered. And in the adult world you can decide whether to take a job which requires a uniform (students have no choice, school attendance is required by law), and you are making money and many times even provided a stipend to purchase that uniform (school uniforms are the sole burden of the student's family, and if the family cannot afford them then it is the students who is punished).


Article Comment ???????? commented at 3/3/2010 2:21:00 PM:

To all those who are SO upset about uniforms: I am a parent of three children in a district that wears uniforms. It's not a bad thing. It's much easier to shop for uniform items. There are plenty of clearance, thrift, and otherwise low-priced places to buy uniforms, especially for young children. I am also a teacher in a uniformed school, so I really know it doesn't stop children from expressing their individuality. Our students are very individualized. We have taken our students on field trips to places where there were non-uniformed children, and it was much easier to spot ours. It seems like a terrible thing at first, but believe me; I've seen it as a teacher, AND as a parent. It's not going to be as bad as you think. For all those who are SO worried about the lower income people; I see kids who come from lower income homes who wear the nicest clothes on days when they are allowed to wear regular clothing. People find a way to do whatever they really WANT to do.


Article Comment Randy commented at 3/3/2010 3:04:00 PM:

These anti people are out of control and behaving badly. Satisfied said it very well - this has turned into personal vendettas against Mrs. Couey and the school board.


Article Comment Dave commented at 3/3/2010 3:09:00 PM:

This uniform policy is a real shame. Youth is one of the few periods in life where you have the freedom to express some individuality and not have to conform to the work dress codes you'll be stuck with the rest of your life. When I was in school we had reasonable guidelines for how to dress, but not uniforms. I'm glad we didn't; it would have cheated us of a valuable part of development, in which we learned to make our own choices about how to present ourselves in our society, and how to deal with the differences we found in others. People are stifled when they're all pressured to be the same, and they either end up regimented and boring, or they backlash against it somewhere down the road, and not always in a positive way. How are you supposed to develop your own personality and style when people are trying to shove you into an easily-labeled box?

And it's not going to solve anything. In fact, I'm not sure it's even MEANT to solve anything; it seems to be the actions of a bunch of petty, spiteful, conformity-minded people who are jealous that they squandered their chance to be unique when they had it, and so they want to cheat the next generation out of theirs. We talk a lot about "freedom" in this country, but it seems like someone's always trying to chip away at it the second they feel uncomfortable. Walk the walk already, and leave the kids alone.


Article Comment grumbles commented at 3/3/2010 3:12:00 PM:

Satisfied, the only "bullying" came from Supt. Couey because she did not attain the results that she wanted from her surveys. She then changed the wording to dress code so she could bypass the survey results. The school board had no backbone to follow through with the parents, students, and teachers wishes according to the survey results.

The existing dress code needs to be enforced because any day that you go into SHS you can see sagging jeans/pants, shirt tails not tucked in, and shirts and blouses cut so low that you could play Silver Dollar slots.


Article Comment WakeUp! commented at 3/3/2010 3:40:00 PM:

To the contrary, Grumbles, the school board showed a tremendous amount of backbone by doing what was in the best interests of Starkville Schools and not caving in to the grumbling whiners who are simply afraid of change.

I would think the survey would only guage what level of support or opposition existed IF there was a high enough response rate to determine that. If there was a low response rate on the surveys, I would hardly call that a statistically signifcant sampling of data.

As far as surveys go, if the citizens of the US were surveyed on whether to elminate taxes or not, I'm sure 90%+ would say yes-- but we all know that would not be in our collective best interests.

The School Board does not exist to cave in to the wishes of a select group of parents, students and teachers. The school board is there to manage- to do what is best for the SSD. I commend them for showing a tremendous amount of backbone and doing what they feel is right for our children.


Article Comment Waste of Energy commented at 3/3/2010 3:51:00 PM:

I really do not see what the big to do about this is. I grew up in Starkville but live out of state in Georgia. The public schools in my area all have uniforms. My 3 children attend schools that require uniforms; I like the requirement because I don't have the normal dressing battles in the morning with my daughters. My kids like wearing the uniforms because they feel like they belong to something bigger than they are. Their individualism is expressed in their grades, sports, drama, and outside of school activities. The schools also hold used uniform sales which drastically cut costs. And if you have more than one kid of the gender, the same clothes can be worn by younger siblings. This one is a no-brainer to me.


Article Comment Sophie-Anne commented at 3/3/2010 4:01:00 PM:

Obviously, Waste of Energy, SSD parents are all about schools doing what THEY would do as parents/my-child's-best-friend, which is behaving as children and throwing tantrums over simple policy mandates. Their children's individuality is only wrapped up in the yawn-inducing source of their clothing, thus the protesting. Never you mind, Starkville's finer citizens of past and present. Chin up, nose up! We are far too good for these childish, trite little antics.


Article Comment Think it through commented at 3/3/2010 4:01:00 PM:

I don't think "grumbling whiners" is anywhere near a valid pseudonym to give those who spoke against the uniform policy. Perhaps you didn't read the article, but the concerns of parents against this policy are valid and were respectfully presented. Is cost not a concern when factories are closing and salaries are frozen, yet cost of living continues to rise? Is valuable teacher time spent enforcing a policy which has been proven by studies to have little to no benefit not a concern? Is the fact that the dress code itself negates the safety issues presented not a legitimate concern to raise?

Somehow the tactics employed by those against uniforms are "out of control", yet it is the Starkville administration which moved at the 11th hour to find a loop hole through which they could absolve themselves of providing waivers for those students whose families cannot afford to buy uniforms. The same waivers which Mrs. Couey herself has said in more than one written statement would be provided to those in our district who need them. When concern was expressed as to how parents would afford these uniform items she stepped in to ease fears by saying the district had a legal responsibility to help those kids who needed it, yet when the large potential cost of that responsibility was pointed out to her she scrambled to change the name of uniform policy to a dress code to avoid that responsibility and shift that cost onto those who can least afford it.

Changing the name does not change the impact this policy will have on the poor in Starkville, it just lets the school district legally walk away from their needs. Those children will be subject to discipline and even expulsion if they don't comply with the policy. How's that for a Free Public School system guaranteed us by the Mississippi Constitution?

There are some dirty tactics in play here, but those in opposition to uniforms aren't the ones employing them.


Article Comment Voted YES commented at 3/3/2010 4:49:00 PM:

I applaud the SSD board members for supporting the dress code policy!! All this talk about not affording them is a bunch of BS! I no longer have to shop for days at the mall in Tupelo, B'ham, and Jackson. Wahoo! no more Polo shirts, Lucky jeans, gap jeans, american eagle shirts, and jeans...the list goes on and on and on. YOU CAN NOT TELL ME THE NEW DRESS CODE WILL NOT SAVE HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS! I will save me a ton of money for my three children.

And the ones ppl keep saying won't be able to afford them....YOU let them worry about their own business. I promise you they will be just as grateful as I am!

Go Jackets! Great win today!!!!


Article Comment nomedeplume commented at 3/3/2010 6:03:00 PM:

Uniforms accomplish nothing except making our kids look the same like a bunch of conformist prisoners. I don't care about the money. Voted YES, you don't have enough backbone to be a parent. You want the school board to solve the problems at your house? Pathetic.


Article Comment Voted No commented at 3/3/2010 6:11:00 PM:

You can't put your foot down and dress your children in non-name brand clothes so you are glad now that the school district is doing your dirty work for you? Who is the "best friend" parent, now?

I can and will tell you that for MANY families in SSD this policy WILL NOT SAVE THEM HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS. My family is one of them. The cost to outfit my 3 kids in uniform items will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $250. That's about $200 more than I have EVER spent on new school clothes. My budget does not and has not ever allowed for Polo, Lucky, or any of the other brands you listed. Cost is a real, everyday concern in my house, and being scoffed at by parents who don't have that worry is much more disgraceful than any of the statements made by anti-uniform parents to date.

I have spoken up that I cannot afford them. I have spoken both for myself and for those who don't have a voice themselves. And I will continue to do so.


Article Comment SSD Supporter commented at 3/3/2010 6:33:00 PM:

This has gone way beyond what is considered reasonable. It is sad to think that these anti-school leadership parents are trying to pass all their antics off as being their kids' ideas. Shame on them. Our school leaders are some of the most giving-back to the schools and the community folks we have in the entire town. They deserve better than having this one small non-representative group hounding them just because they do not agree with them. The anti-people are never around when we are trying to do for the greater good. The silent majority who supports uniforms is.
And what about fair reporting in journalism? The reporter who wrote this news story is an SSD parent who is vocally opposed to uniforms. Is that a fair assesment of what actually happened? No way. If the Dispatch cares about covering what is going on in Starkville they should send someone impartial over here to do it.


Article Comment Voted YES commented at 3/3/2010 6:37:00 PM:

Wearing designer clothes IS a constant everyday occurrence of peer pressure in MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL! MANY kids who can't "afford" (according to you) wear designer clothes and have multiple pair of high dollar tennis shoes and casual shoes! Obviously, you do not have older children. If you did, you would know exactly what I'm talking about.


Article Comment Voted YES commented at 3/3/2010 6:47:00 PM: other thing. SSD solving problems at my home? ARE YOU THE PARENT OF THE KID THAT TOLD YOU TO SHUT-UP AT THE FORUM? hahahaha


Article Comment Voted NO commented at 3/3/2010 6:57:00 PM:

First I must not have older children and now I'm the parent of the kid that said shut-up at the forum. Keep guessing, you may just figure out which one of the hundreds of parents vocally opposed to this policy that I actually am, yet!


Article Comment Voted YES commented at 3/3/2010 7:06:00 PM:

You missed my point......point is not ALL kids are agreeing with the obsession their parents have with this issue. It just isn't that big a deal! GO JACKETS!


Article Comment Voted NO commented at 3/3/2010 7:13:00 PM:

Perhaps I should not speak as to what many families can and cannot afford. All I know is that my family cannot afford to buy these uniforms, and I hardly think that in a school district where almost 60% of the students belong to families living at or below the poverty level that I am the only parent who finds themselves in this position.


Article Comment Voted No commented at 3/3/2010 7:18:00 PM:

And to sweep with a broad brush and claim that there is no doubt this policy will save "hundreds of dollars", is not only naive. It's cruel. Not everyone's situation is as bright as yours, and to my family which now has to come up with money where there is none, this IS a big deal. A very big deal.


Article Comment PTA Parent commented at 3/3/2010 7:20:00 PM:

Voted no, There are several community organizations working on helping families in need. Be on the watch for literature that will be available in the near future. God bless.


Article Comment Subservient Servant commented at 3/3/2010 9:00:00 PM:

I think that if you disagree with what our benevolent overlords have deemed right, and have the audacity to speak up for what you think is right, your actions should be called "hissy fits," you should be called out for harming the community, referred to as "spoiled children," and any further protest against your kind leaders will be deemed ridiculous. Clearly if you disagree with those who misuse their power and refuse to address your concerns, your only reason could be that you have a "personal vendetta." I just want to send my humble praise to "Satisfied."


Article Comment Subservient Servant commented at 3/3/2010 9:11:00 PM:

I think that if you disagree with what our benevolent overlords have deemed right, and have the audacity to speak up for what you think is right, your actions should be called "hissy fits," you should be called out for harming the community, referred to as "spoiled children," and any further protest against your kind leaders will be deemed ridiculous. Clearly if you disagree with those who misuse their power and refuse to address your concerns, your only reason could be that you have a "personal vendetta." I just want to send my humble praise to "Satisfied."


Article Comment Subservient Servant commented at 3/3/2010 9:11:00 PM:

I think that if you disagree with what our benevolent overlords have deemed right, and have the audacity to speak up for what you think is right, your actions should be called "hissy fits," you should be called out for harming the community, referred to as "spoiled children," and any further protest against your kind leaders will be deemed ridiculous. Clearly if you disagree with those who misuse their power and refuse to address your concerns, your only reason could be that you have a "personal vendetta." I just want to send my humble praise to "Satisfied."


Article Comment Satisfied commented at 3/3/2010 9:30:00 PM:

No need for praise, Subservient Servant. I just call 'em like I see 'em and obviously you're ego has been stung by the truth.


Article Comment Subservient Servant commented at 3/3/2010 9:50:00 PM:

Yes, Satisfied, yes, my ego too. May peace be with you.


Article Comment SSD Supporter commented at 3/4/2010 6:56:00 AM:

If there are "hundreds" of parents who are against uniforms, why was there time at the public forum for comments that went unused? I guess once the impaired guy who waved the knife around finished his comments, there was not much left to be said. What I am tired of is the more vocal anti-everything's who are making this a personal issue against some of the best folks in our community. It does not surprise me at all that the anti's are seemingly unaware that there are tons of wonderful people in our community who buy clothing, school supplies, holiday gifts and many other things for the kids in the SSD who are needy. Do you think they do it for the credit? No. They do it for the kids and they will continue to do it for them. Now they will just be buying uniforms instead of jeans and t-shirts.
Question - why is your anger directed at those who have never wavered from their support of uniforms? Why are you not angry at those who first voted against the policy, then voted for a public forum, then listened to you and then voted FOR the uniforms? Looks to me like your venom is mis-directed! Don't you get it that the 5 - 0 vote means that you apparently turned them around in the opposite way you intended?!?
Another thing - Anti's, get a life and move on. Enough already. The kids are adjusting to this much better than the parents. Be a positive role model. Just do it for the children.


Article Comment Sophie-Anne commented at 3/4/2010 8:33:00 AM:

Bravo, SSD Supporter. I wish I knew who to thank for this- I would send you a card and a smile. The thought is there anyway, right? Also, in this economy, we have to turn to charitable folks who are willing to help each other and not tear each other down/ignore the "gaps" in the community. Well said.


Article Comment Marie commented at 3/4/2010 10:12:00 AM:

Great post, SSD Supporter! And you are absolutely right, the kids are adjusting to this much better than the parents. I've seen the kids anti-uniform Facebook page and of course some of them still aren't thrilled about uniforms but they have decided to accept it. They realize now that's it's part of a plan to help them, not make them miserable. A lot of them even mentioned they were just glad a decision was made because they were tired of the anti-uniform crew sounding like a broken record and being on the verge of hostile toward district leaders. Yet, I keep seeing the same 3 or 4 annoying parents posting on their page, badgering them about "fighting for their rights" and "democracy" and the kids are basically ignoring them!


Article Comment Marie commented at 3/4/2010 11:40:00 AM:

Well I don't know about anyone else but my parents told me to go to school and learn first and foremost. Personally, I would have preferred uniforms when I was in school. My children have not been robbed of anything. Clothing is just that, clothing. My children are intelligent, unique, gifted, funny, talented outside-the-box thinkers and the material they wear on their bodies can never take that away. They will have as much freedom within reason to wear whatever they like now...outside of school. If these kids have to rely on clothing to figure out who and what they are then they've got a long way to go.


Article Comment Concerned_Parent commented at 3/4/2010 12:12:00 PM:

I hear ya... but in today's society, how many people actually read the book before judging its contents. You and I don't feel what our kids feel in school. That's the real. I teach all of that stuff too, but my kids remind me all the time, it's them that has to endure whatever comes their way during the course of a day. There are a lot of people who refuse to accept the fact that clothes matter. When you go to an interview, I am pretty sure you put thought into how you present yourself.

It's over and done with for now. A better solution would have been to require the next incoming kindergarten students to wear uniforms from inception to graduation. Then they would never miss what they never had. So much for forward thinking.

Teaching obedience is the need now.


Article Comment mississippian commented at 3/4/2010 12:57:00 PM:

School uniforms are a great way to put all students on a level playing field. You take away the opportunity for gang clothing, students getting bullied or being made fun of for not wearing a $100 pair of pants or $150 pair of shoes. Uniforms cost less than most parents spend on clothing. To the parent who wined about buying 15 pairs of pants for $240, that is just $16 a pair. I would bet that they are paying for pants that cost two to three times that now. Parents who throw a tantrum over the issue do it because they just don't like change. This is a change that is needed. This has nothing to do with the school budget, but saftey for our children. What price would you put on the welfare and safety for your child?


Article Comment Thom Geiger commented at 3/4/2010 4:04:00 PM:

Football uniforms, softball uniforms, baseball uniforms, basketball uniforms, band uniforms, ROTC uniforms..then on to real life with work uniforms, armed service uniforms, dress codes...freedom to wear what you want when you want, that's what home is for, at least that's what my football coach, my drill instructor and my employers all told me.


Article Comment parent commented at 3/4/2010 4:53:00 PM:

Good for the board for making a tough decision. I listened to the parents and they were WAY over the top with some of their arguments. Nice example for the kids. I have two in the system and am happy for the decision.


Article Comment Harry commented at 3/4/2010 6:20:00 PM:

I have also listened to the parents and quite frankly am sick of seeing their negative commentS on every online paper I read! This rubbish is old news, let's move on to something else.


Article Comment SSD Supporter commented at 3/4/2010 9:24:00 PM:

Great idea, Harry! In the spirit of moving on, Go Basketball- Jackets! Bring home the state championship on Saturday!


Article Comment Get Overit commented at 3/4/2010 9:58:00 PM:

I think this is ashamed that 41 comments to date have been posted regarding what our kids will wear to school. I don't see this much worry over test scores, scholarships, etc in regards to our children, when articles are in the paper. I am in a lower income household and was in full support of this change. I do believe this will cost less overall. Either way, all these parents fussing about cost in the end do what has to be done for their child. Change is sometimes good, so let's stop predicting the future and worrying about things that havent happened.


Article Comment 14/88 commented at 3/5/2010 12:06:00 PM:

There should be a uniform code...hopefully it will keep the pants up where they belong, on the waist not the [email protected]@.


Article Comment Gary klahr commented at 3/5/2010 5:18:00 PM:

Uniforms in America are ABSURD---if you want unis, send your kids to CUBA, NORTH KOREA or CHINA. These unis do NOT just ban indcecent clothes but ban MISSISSIPI-groiwn COTTON tee shirts & jeans. You already have a dress code that baNS INDECENT CLOTHES. kIDS & PArentsp---do NOT stand for this; they canmnot expel all your kids. SEND them to school in appropriate non-uni clothes and see if they aree reaLLY GOING TO shoot Them LIKE AT kENT sTATE & jACKSON sTATE IN 1970. iF NOT, TELL YOUR KIDS noit TO CHANGE CL,OTHES OR GO TO THE OFFICE TO BE SUSPEDNDXED. glue YOURSELF TO YOUR SEATS. kIDS HAVE A RIGHT TO FREE EXPRESSION AND THE SCHOOL BOARD CAN not ENFORCE THIS IF YOU-ALL STAND FIRM. dOP not give in---YOU WUILL WIN; IN bALTIMORE, sAN fRAN & long beaCH high schiools, the kids REFUSED to wear unis and they WON. Show us the Missisippi way---LIVE FREE OR DIE!!!!


Article Comment Wow commented at 3/5/2010 6:58:00 PM:

Gary, it's really hard to take anything you say seriously when you write so horribly. And uniforms banning MS grown cotton clothing is an idiotic argument...and that's putting it nicely.


Article Comment just saying... commented at 3/6/2010 9:55:00 AM:

It is a done deal. I was against it and I said my peace. There was a vote. I don't agree with it but I can abide by it. What I can't abide is all the name calling and assumptions by everybody on both sides. There are so many points where you are all over the top that I could sit here all day and refute arguments on both sides. What I have been able to do is show my child how to make your voice heard respectfully, know which battles are important to fight, how to accept the consequences of your actions regardless of whether you won or lost and how to make sure you find a way to address the concerns you had if your community is affected. I think it is sad how this has divided people who all truly want what is best for their children and their schools but may not agree on how to go about it. My job now is to make sure families who need help with this get it. It will be cheaper for some but not all(not me) so keep those people in your thoughts and prayers (and checkbooks). Everyone needs to be more aware of how are school district works and what are schools and teachers need to educate our students. Please get involved!


Article Comment just saying... commented at 3/6/2010 9:59:00 AM:

and before anyone points them out...I was typing faster than my brain can handle obviously and typed 'are' instead of 'our' in the second to the last sentence.


Article Comment Sienna commented at 3/10/2010 9:26:00 AM:

Now these anti parents are suing the school board! What are you thinking???? You certainly don't speak for everyone.


Article Comment MaroonAndWhite commented at 3/10/2010 12:17:00 PM:

SSD Supporter, you have totally missed the point. It isn't about the uniforms as much as it is about the way the board handled the situation. It is your opinion the board is made up of "some of the best folks in our community." As for your "get a life" comment, it was rude and not necessary. These parents do have a life, and that is standing up for what they believe. Just because it's against what you want, doesn't mean it's not worthy of a voice. And as for you calling out the writer of this story to skew people's perception of the facts, it's not her fault that NO ONE was there speaking FOR uniforms. She reported the facts fairly and accurately. Would you rather her trash the parents that spoke out? Well, I guess she didn't need to, because you already did.


Article Comment Shane commented at 3/10/2010 12:31:00 PM:

So I guess we can forget about those needed textbooks. SSD will have to use those funds to fight a silly lawsuit. Pitiful.


Article Comment Think it Through commented at 3/10/2010 2:55:00 PM:

By state law we have 10 days to appeal decisions made by the school board. We don't agree with the decision or how it was made, so we are exercising our legal rights.

And SSD won't have to pay the lawyers a dime if they just reverse the uniform decision.


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