Article Comment 

Parents to sue to keep uniforms out of schools

 

Tim Pratt

 

A group of Starkville School District parents is planning to appeal the SSD board of trustees'' decision last week to implement a dress code this fall in city schools. 

 

The group has 10 days from the March 2 ruling to file an appeal. Plans are in the works to file an appeal in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court Friday, SSD parent Sarah Coleman said in an e-mail. 

 

Parents have hired attorneys who will be at the Starkville Sportsplex conference room today from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to obtain names and collect signatures for affidavits for anyone interested in joining the appeal. 

 

Dozens of parents have spoken out against the dress code at public meetings, on Internet comment boards and in letters to the editor. A Facebook page for people opposed to the policy had more than 420 members as of Wednesday night. But the group kept mum Wednesday on the grounds for its impending appeal. 

 

"I can not tell you much because right now we are still working on (the appeal)," said Kate Fabel, a Starkville School District parent opposed to the policy. "The lawyers will be there (today). They can answer all the questions." 

 

Starkville School District officials also are keeping silent. 

 

"It would be premature to comment at this time," SSD Public Information Officer Nicole Thomas said. 

 

School officials have cited safety concerns as one of the main reasons for wanting to implement a dress code. 

 

Some schools and school playgrounds in the district don''t have fences around them, so students and others tend to come and go, which can make it difficult for teachers and administrators to determine who is a student and who isn''t, Superintendent Judy Couey said at a public forum on uniforms last month. Additions to these school buildings and the merging of schools also has led to increased student populations on each campus, which makes it even more difficult to keep tabs on students and others, Couey said. Plus, some of the campuses border wooded areas and, on two or three occasions in the past year, non-students have been caught on school property during regular school hours. 

 

"We have supervisory issues that have been created by building on to these existing campuses and we have very large student numbers," Couey said. "We have a desire to have a welcoming, open campus, but we have issues that are created by putting new buildings onto buildings that were built during a different time. Our job as administrators is to plan in a way that will anticipate anything that can possibly happen. We can''t plan to react. We have to plan to anticipate." 

 

With plans to issue student identification cards already in the works for the 2010-2011 school year, Couey said a dress code would add another layer of safety. 

 

Opponents have spoken out against the dress code, saying fences and other security measures would make schools safer than uniforms. Others cited a loss of freedom and creativity, while some have said it would be hard for some families to afford new District-approved clothing for their children. 

 

Opponents also have said school district officials weren''t listening to their concerns about the policy and cited two community surveys, in which students, parents, teachers, administrators and other staff were polled on whether or not they favored a dress code. 

 

In the first survey, 45 percent of the 367 respondents were opposed, according to results on the Starkville School District Web site. In the second survey, 67 percent of the 1,527 respondents were opposed. 

 

The SSD board of trustees passed the dress code policy unanimously.

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment Carefree World commented at 3/11/2010 11:45:00 AM:

These parents are ignorant. It baffles me that they would not want the uniforms. This is a precautionary way of protecting their children. Also, a cost saving method for them and it will reduce the stress of having your child's outfit cleaned and ready for them to wear. You want have to worry about your children dressing inappropriate or being made fun of because they don't have nice clothes.

COME ON! GET A GRIP AND BE HAPPY THAT PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO HELP YOU.

If I'm missing something, please enlighten me!

 

Article Comment margaret commented at 3/11/2010 12:01:00 PM:

Having uniforms is good in some ways, not so good in others.....I personally don't like it, but I do see where it would be easier to tell the children from visitors to the campus. As far as the last writer said "it will reduce the stress of having your childs outfit cleaned and ready for them to wear"....that statement makes NO sense at all. You still have to wash the uniforms (they are not done for you) , maybe MORE because as it is in our school district there are only 2 color shirts allowed, one being white. Have you ever tried to clean a white shirt worn by a 1st grader?!?! AND keep it clean!! There is MORE expense to uniforms.....but I also agree 100% that the kids won't be made fun of because of the clothes.....and this goes back to parents. Parents need to talk to their children about NOT making fun of other kids.....this is getting to be a real problem in schools!!

 

Article Comment topdawg commented at 3/11/2010 12:10:00 PM:

The parents making the fuss are not doing their children any favors and in fact, are an embarrassememt. They're acting like spoiled brats and by the way, what a good example you're setting for them.

 

Article Comment kate commented at 3/11/2010 12:15:00 PM:

yes, Carefree, you are missing something, here is what it is: we have 67 % of kids on free or reduced lunches in our district and their family will now have to spend money on buying uniforms, we have single mothers on disability with three kids at schools and all the clothes they can get come from their churches' donations, it's not just one family, but about 67%. We speak for these families because if you were in their position and had pride you would not be wanting to go begging, now would you. I don't appreciate the foul language you are using here rachel having not done your homework on what's at stake here. Also, imagine yourself in High School and overweight and you are forced to tuck your shirt in, will that help you be excited to come to school? Kids already have enough trouble with their self-esteem. We also speak for them. Teachers will now be policing the uniforms instead of teaching and we already have two school at the risk of academic failing, is this the money well spent in your opinion?

 

Article Comment Sandy commented at 3/11/2010 12:18:00 PM:

I personally do not see the benefit for uniforms. If the atempt is to "keep unwanted people from coming on to our campuses" other measures need to be taken such as gates with guards or fences around elementary playgrounds. Uniforms are not going to keep people from walking on to the campus.

As for the dress code, if more reinforcement was made about how the clothes were worn during school hours(sagging pants, short skirts, or shirts that are too short), uniforms would not be a huge issue. Just because they are made to wear kahki or black pants, those pants can still be worn without a belt and sag just as a pair of jeans can be worn sagging.

 

Article Comment JC commented at 3/11/2010 12:21:00 PM:

A more accurate headline would be "Parents to Appeal SSD Uniform Decision." They aren't filing a lawsuit.

 

Article Comment Lance Hearn commented at 3/11/2010 12:25:00 PM:

"we have 67 % of kids on free or reduced lunches in our district and their family will now have to spend money on buying uniforms, we have single mothers on disability with three kids at schools and all the clothes they can get come from their churches' donations, it's not just one family, but about 67%"

That tells me that 67% of families in Mississippi shouldnt have children.

 

Article Comment kate commented at 3/11/2010 12:34:00 PM:

yes, Carefree, you are missing something, here is what it is: we have 67 % of kids on free or reduced lunches in our district and their family will now have to spend money on buying uniforms, we have single mothers on disability with three kids at schools and all the clothes they can get come from their churches' donations, it's not just one family, but about 67%. We speak for these families because if you were in their position and had pride you would not be wanting to go begging, now would you. I don't appreciate the foul language you are using here rachel having not done your homework on what's at stake here. Also, imagine yourself in High School and overweight and you are forced to tuck your shirt in, will that help you be excited to come to school? Kids already have enough trouble with their self-esteem. We also speak for them. Teachers will now be policing the uniforms instead of teaching and we already have two school at the risk of academic failing, is this the money well spent in your opinion?

 

Article Comment bama commented at 3/11/2010 12:38:00 PM:

This whole using uniforms as safety thing sounds like a big excuse for the school system not stepping up and making their campus safe. The parents of these children can not afford a uniform policy. Uniform clothing isnt cheap. So parents/families will now have to choose between providing life essintials and buying uniforms. When this could all be avoided if the SCHOOL would just step up and do a better job of keeping campus safe. Uniforms or not if your school cant keep strangers from walking freely onto campus then there are bigger problems then the dress code.

 

Article Comment Stay at home mom commented at 3/11/2010 12:42:00 PM:

LOL at Lance. They are using the 67% as a cop out because they can't come up with anything better. Perhaps this group could loudly form a charity group that would fund this 67% group. That would be a GREAT community effort that they could write about!

WOW! IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY!

 

Article Comment Voted No commented at 3/11/2010 1:01:00 PM:

Are outright racist comments supposed to convince people to be for this uniform policy? Because if my choices are for uniforms and in the company of racist bigots, or against uniforms, then I'm going to have to put myself in the category against any day.

 

Article Comment SSD Supporter commented at 3/11/2010 1:10:00 PM:

Thank you for the unbiased reporting, Mr. Pratt. Thank you, CDispatch, for sending a real journalist to cover the story.
As for the story's content, how interesting that the anti-parents want our schools to devote their meager resources to defending themselves against frivilous lawsuits. The anti-everything group is once again demonstrating their lack of concern for the thousands of schoolchildren in the Starkville schools. Why doesn't this handful of parents take their children out and homeschool them? Then they can have what they want, when they want it and exactly how they want it. And the school officials can go back to doing what they do best, educating our children!

 

Article Comment we balls commented at 3/11/2010 1:13:00 PM:

I Thank God this is my last year with the Starkville Public Schools. Those people have just come in and taken over our schools.Couey is not concerned for the safety of our children she has another agenda and where as our schools are mostly african americans I think this has a lot to do with their decisions. I hope that Stan Miller is comimg with plans to take over.

 

Article Comment Voted No commented at 3/11/2010 1:15:00 PM:

This article says, "dozens of parents", but at the open forum it was over 200 in attendance (on a MSU home basketball game night, no less!), the vast majority of which stood when asked if they were against the policy. Of those who spoke, all but maybe a dozen spoke against uniforms. And there were 1000 signatures on the petition against uniforms compiled in less than a week. I'd hardly number dissenters in the "dozens" category.

 

Article Comment card commented at 3/11/2010 1:19:00 PM:

The starkville school board needs to be dismantled. They are all afraid of what people will think of them in regards to the uniform. I personally know safety is not a concern. Being in charge and causing a stir is the real deal.. There are other issues to be more concern about, such as budget, repairs to the school. I personally saw armstrong school up stairs, it looks like.............to say the least. I personally give my son clother to a family , She was appauled at the uniforms.. Yes they are name brand clothing, the quality are better and they can last as long as two school years. the cheap brand start small cotton ball in the seat of the pants, under the armhole pit, even if the polo style shirt the collar rolls up and ravels. But as to the lady stating, she attended the school board meeting and saw a lady board member reading her laptop, that is so true, I have attended several meetings,, and that is what they do. They were reading e-mail between themselves, yes that what they do. I have searched high and low as to when an election for board members will be held. I must be looking in the wrong spot. But I only have a B.S. degree. As to others only has a B.S. degree to run a school district. As researching most school districts, super.....has a Ph.D. Some are from the MS Delta and they think its still back in the 1920's mentality.

 

Article Comment card commented at 3/11/2010 1:19:00 PM:

The starkville school board needs to be dismantled. They are all afraid of what people will think of them in regards to the uniform. I personally know safety is not a concern. Being in charge and causing a stir is the real deal.. There are other issues to be more concern about, such as budget, repairs to the school. I personally saw armstrong school up stairs, it looks like.............to say the least. I personally give my son clother to a family , She was appauled at the uniforms.. Yes they are name brand clothing, the quality are better and they can last as long as two school years. the cheap brand start small cotton ball in the seat of the pants, under the armhole pit, even if the polo style shirt the collar rolls up and ravels. But as to the lady stating, she attended the school board meeting and saw a lady board member reading her laptop, that is so true, I have attended several meetings,, and that is what they do. They were reading e-mail between themselves, yes that what they do. I have searched high and low as to when an election for board members will be held. I must be looking in the wrong spot. But I only have a B.S. degree. As to others only has a B.S. degree to run a school district. As researching most school districts, super.....has a Ph.D. Some are from the MS Delta and they think its still back in the 1920's mentality.

 

Article Comment Stay at home mom commented at 3/11/2010 1:21:00 PM:

Birdie you are so right....stupid as H-E-double L! But guess what? They are the so called 'educated' group from MSU that think their crap don't stink! Maybe, just maybe...the budget cuts will allow them to home school cause they sure as H-E-double L aren't doing their job cause they are too busy on here and everywhere else bitching about little Johnny and little Susie wearing school uni's!

 

Article Comment Voted No commented at 3/11/2010 1:26:00 PM:

Card - There is no election here for board members. They are appointed by the board of aldermen. One spot is open now and they are scheduled to appoint a new member on Tuesday night. Come to the Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday, March 16 in the courtroom at city hall and let your voice be heard for who will fill that seat!! We can only change this district if we get people onto the school board who will represent those whom they serve, not push through policies based on personal agendas. If you can't make the meeting, call your alderman member and tell them who you want them to appoint.

And come tonight to the Sportsplex to sign the petition of appeal.

 

Article Comment we balls commented at 3/11/2010 1:34:00 PM:

You are so right card thats it. I wish everyone could have seen Couey down in Jackson last week when our basketball boys won the Gold ball on the floor acting like she was so touched and knowing last year she was part of the reason our boys didn't win because after the incident in Tupelo they lost passion to win but we are suppose to think she is concerned and care be 4real Couey n G are such big jokes. Couey is Power struck.We as a people needs to vote her up and out of Starkville

 

Article Comment Starkville Mom commented at 3/11/2010 1:37:00 PM:

If only we could, we balls, if only we could...

 

Article Comment can''t please everyone commented at 3/11/2010 1:37:00 PM:

I think the district adopting uniforms has more to do with enforcing dress code. I would think the school already has a dress code but with uniforms in place the enforcement is less subjective. Administration probably wants to curtail the arguements with the parents that what they are sending there child to school in is inappropriate.

Yes parents should teach their kids not to make fun of other kids, but the reality is a parent can try to teach all they want sometimes and kids will be kids. Uniforms will help with this.

As for the extra expense, it will actually be cheaper in the long run. With limited options a child doesn't feel like they have to wear something different each day of the week. Non-uniform clothes get less wear and tear and therefore last longer. I agree with white shirts being a bad choice for cleaning reasons but that shouldn't discount the whole idea.

Also, Columbus School District wears uniforms. Not saying Starkville should do what Columbus does but that Starkville parents might try talking to Columbus parents about their experience with the switch.

I find it astounding that Starkville has school playgrounds that aren't fenced in. IMO that should be a state law.

 

Article Comment Stay at home mom commented at 3/11/2010 1:48:00 PM:

You left out an important part....bring MONEY to help support this lawsuit? Did I hear or dream this.....If we lose we will donate equal amount spent to help fund the 67% group? We will also spend equal amount of time spent fighting in our schools helping teachers and kids?

 

Article Comment Stay at home mom commented at 3/11/2010 2:06:00 PM:

18 opposed? Starkville has how many students? FOUR THOUSAND?! Yes! FOUR THOUSAND AND WHAT?! OMG! I'm tired too....time to take a nap.

 

Article Comment Voted No commented at 3/11/2010 2:19:00 PM:

18 opposed who spoke. I'd estimate probably 150-170 present who were opposed. That's not from an actual head-count, though. There was only limited time for speakers, so not everyone who was against them could speak.

 

Article Comment can''t please everyone commented at 3/11/2010 3:08:00 PM:

Well, Voted No, my experience with life and particularly politics is that you can't always believe people when they give explanations for their behavior. I've been in situations were it was INSISTED that the reason for doing something was one thing but they weren't able to convince me. The School Board isn't going to publicly state that in their opinion some parents aren't doing their job either from lack of effort or lack of knowledge. I imagine teachers have a hard enough time getting teenage boys to pay attention if it were an all boys' school or if the girls came dressed in space suits. You see some of these kids and wonder why they dress that way and then you see their parents and know why. Not to mention what is on TV.

 

Article Comment STUPID PEOPLE commented at 3/11/2010 4:12:00 PM:

67%...and they get their clothes from church donations. Uniforms are a whole lot cheaper than the clothes kids really want. Donations would go a lot further. School is to ready your children for the real world. In the real world you dont get to wear whatever you want to work. All companies have a dress policy. People sueing over this....stupid lawsuits such as this are what raises cost for insurance ect. Thanks for raising my taxes to pay for such stupidness. Get a life all you no voters

 

Article Comment Harry commented at 3/11/2010 4:19:00 PM:

Typical Starkville...school district is in decline.

 

Article Comment Embarrased SSD Parent commented at 3/11/2010 4:25:00 PM:

I agree with whoever said this group was an embarrassment. They are embarrassing not only themselves but also the entire community. Not that anyone should even care what someone like Birdie thinks, but I for one cringe at the thought of being generalized and lumped into one category with these people. Not all SSD parents are this irrational,unreasonable and vindictive. Funny how they used financial hardship as one of their points...maybe that $50 donation they're asking toward legal fees could go toward uniforms for the less fortunate kids they claim to be speaking up for. Things didn't go their way and they just can't seem to get over it. It's obvious wounded pride makes people act like even bigger fools than they did before.

 

Article Comment SSD Supporter commented at 3/11/2010 4:56:00 PM:

Right you are, Embarrased. Well said!

 

Article Comment A Teacher commented at 3/11/2010 5:05:00 PM:

I am a teacher and I work at a school that has is high number of free lunch students and a similar demographic as the SSD. I have seen that even though you have a high number of poverty students, those are the ones who own and wear the $150 Jordans and the expensive clothing when they have out of uniform days... have an ipod every day and a cell phone.... and I am sure it is the same way at SSD... If they can afford all of that they can surely afford uniform clothing which will be a whole lot cheaper than the name brand clothing they wear on a regular basis.

 

Article Comment A Teacher commented at 3/11/2010 5:08:00 PM:

Also, for those who may think I am a white person, speaking ill about blacks or taking sides... I am not, I am a black male, and the truth is the truth. If you don't believe me follow some of the kids home whose parents claim they can't afford uniform clothing to see how many pairs of Jordan's, name brand clothing, ipods, and cell phones they own. I see it every day. But yet, these are the kids who are supposedly "in poverty"

 

Article Comment Mother of Two commented at 3/11/2010 5:21:00 PM:

The only thing that is embarrassing about this situation are the hateful comments from some people in this comments section.

If a group of parents wants to pursue further action on this matter, that is their right. As the article states, there is a system of appeal in place.

Supporting uniforms or the SSD is not accomplished by insulting people with whom you disagree. Why is it so difficult for people to be civil to one another?

 

Article Comment Correcto commented at 3/11/2010 5:37:00 PM:

A Teacher....you are correct. I am in no way bashing a race or social status just stating the facts. I am white. I see it every single day on the lunch lines. My kids wear fairly nice clothes, they have one pair of gym shoes, and one pair of casual shoes, a free cell phone not a iphone or blackberry, no ipod, no fancy jewelry, no fancy rims, no high dollar stereo in the car/truck, no high dollar speakers. I agree, yes they can afford cheaper uniform clothing.

 

Article Comment Concerned_Parent commented at 3/11/2010 5:43:00 PM:

Mother of Two... that would require decency. Apparently that is a missing attribute in parts of this discussion. As far as the appeal, I hear what you are saying, but look at how they voted. It wasn't 4-1 or 3-2, it was unequivocally 5-0. I am not sure it is worth the time, money or effort with that kind of vote.

A Teacher... you will see that trend in any race. The ratios may be different by demographic, but you will see the same trend. Again, leave the race out of it. It's an issue that goes far beyond one race or another. This is a fundamental issue of home training and good moral values. Then the parents have failed the children by teaching that 'wants' supersede 'needs'.

 

Article Comment on the fence commented at 3/11/2010 5:58:00 PM:

Our schools need to be made secure for 24 hours. Fences would reduce vandalism and non-students roaming around the campus during class hours. The uniform code won't necessarily help if someone "intends" be get on campus because it is fairly generic. At the same time, having gone to schools were I had to wear a uniform, I'm not opposed to them. It does simplify the dressing issue. I think part of the problem is that one side does not believe the other is really listening to their complaint.There are really good people on both sides of this decision, I hope we can work together to improve the schools and not tear each other apart.

 

Article Comment Mother of Two commented at 3/11/2010 5:58:00 PM:

Concerned Parent: The 1st vote was 3-2. The final vote was unanimous. I'm not sure what changed between those votes - especially in light of the very vocal opposition to the first vote.

It's clearly worth the time, money and effort to those parents who feel strongly enough to appeal the decision.

I'm just not understanding why some people are so angry about this. If you support the SSD decision, that's fine. These people don't. They should be able to have their say.

 

Article Comment Mother of Two commented at 3/11/2010 6:03:00 PM:

on the fence: I think you hit on the most important part of this issue. Those people who are opposed to the decision feel very strongly that the SSD board did not listen to their input. As a matter of fact, one board member went so far as to say that parent's opinions (including those from people with knowledge in educational issues) were less important than what they thought.

I think the main thing this parents want is to force to board to listen - regardless of the eventual outcome.

 

Article Comment Lance commented at 3/11/2010 6:14:00 PM:

After seeing the reaction to dress code, and the non-reaction to low test scores, it is easy to see why Mississippi is one of the most, if not the most, uneducated and impoverished states in the nation. Boy, ya'll really have your priorities in line.

 

Article Comment Educator commented at 3/11/2010 6:17:00 PM:

I can't fathom why anyone would be embarrassed or upset by citizens taking their rights seriously and standing up for themselves and their kids.

 

Article Comment Starkvegan commented at 3/11/2010 6:29:00 PM:

Let me see if I have this straight: Parents are suing because the SSD says that the kids should look like respectable individuals when in the classroom. Where are the lawsuits when the SSD schools are rated as "below average" Mississippi schools every year? It's no wonder my colleagues at work keep moving away citing the terrible schools as their main reason.

 

Article Comment Money? commented at 3/11/2010 6:42:00 PM:

My children are not yet school age, so I don't have the emotional irrationality seen by most of the posters here. So, I looked at school uniforms apparel in local stores and online. They only way any reasonable person can say that school uniforms are more expensive is if the parents continue to buy the same amount and cost of non-uniform clothing.

It is a fact: school uniform pants and shirts are MUCH cheaper that "normal" clothes. Plus, they looked to be made to last more than the latest fashion clothing on the neighboring racks.

So everyone needs to throw the "school uniforms are more expensive" arguments into the trash bin. Simply not true unless the parents act (stupidly) to make it true.

 

Article Comment SSD Supporter commented at 3/11/2010 7:08:00 PM:

It appears that the sue-ers think that "listen to" and "agree with" are synonomous. If all of them who claim to know "first hand" or "personally" what happened in SSD school board meetings actually knew, the room would far exceed the forty person limit that is posted on the door to the boardroom. The leaders of the SSD have ALL acted with dignity and grace as they have been shouted at, jeered, had box knives waved at them, had their formal meetings disrupted by unruly, rude adults, been lied about, had their children attacked, had posters waved in their faces during formal presentations, and have had all sorts of mud flung at them on this and other webpages. Every single one of them is in the right position at the right time. They deserve much better than they are getting from the sue-ers as they work to provide the best possible education for the 4000plus children of Starkville. They have my support and respect. They have earned it.

 

Article Comment nikki commented at 3/11/2010 7:35:00 PM:

My chld does not attend Starkville Public Schools but they are in a district where uniforms are worn. When it was time to vote on the uniform policy, I voted against the policy but when the policy passed I accpeted it and moved on. But, my husband and I have two children in uniforms and it is costly because we have to buy uniforms for school and clothes to wear on the weekends. If they were not in uniforms the clothes that they wore to school could also be worn on the weekend. Another problem is that children are hard on clothes and we have to constantly buy uniforms throughout the school year but the stores only sell uniforms in July and August when children are getting ready for school. I do understand that teachers want to keep the campus safe but uniforms have very little to do with the safety of the children. I am very active in my children education but I can honestly say that too oten teachers and administrators feel that they know what is best for our kids. I work in a medical profession with children everyday and as much as I know about my profession, I do not know more about any child than their parent and that to me is the problem. Whatever the reasons are, parents should be actively involved and their voices should be heard in the educating of their children because while teachers know more about the education process of children, no teacher or administrator know more or should have more say about what go on with my kids than my husband and me

 

Article Comment Mother of Two commented at 3/11/2010 7:37:00 PM:

SSD Supporter: Please do not try to make the box knife thing into more than what it was. The man who pulled out that knife was making a point about how appearances alone do equate safety.

He DID NOT wave it at any board members.

Also, the posters were held by student off to the side while the presentations were being made. Please stop exaggerating.

Money?: The point is not that uniforms themselves are expensive. It is they are an extra expense.

As for other comments about the low test scores....

I know most of the parents who involved in this lawsuit/appeal are very active in the school system. They volunteer. They are involved. These are not the people who should be getting grief about low scores.

 

Article Comment SSD Supporter commented at 3/11/2010 8:02:00 PM:

Mother of Two, weapons on school property are illegal. So the impaired knife-waver's actions were threatening. And all the comments and actions were directed at the board members. So yes he did wave a knife at them.
And the students were not off to the side. An obnoxious kid in the balcony was directing their parade up and down the isles. At first they were behind the speaker, then they went back to the balcony, came back down and then stood in front of the speaker. And they waved their signs. Please stop lying. Enough already.
And I guess you and I have different views of very active. I think of very active as those hundreds of parents who help out in dozens of ways daily. Filing frivilous lawsuits against the district - I guess one could say that is very active - in its own way, of course. Grief about low scores? Where did that come from? Wait. I forget. You all just make it up as you go along.

 

Article Comment WakeUp! commented at 3/11/2010 8:07:00 PM:

Voted No-

Actually, some board members in SSD ARE elected. 3 spots are appointed whereas 2 are elected.

 

Article Comment tired of uniforms commented at 3/11/2010 8:55:00 PM:


Wake up!- actually it is 1 board member who is elected "By law, the Board of Aldermen appoints four of the five members of the city school board; the fifth member is elected at-large by voters living within the city school district. Each school board member serves a 5-year term."

 

Article Comment Sienna commented at 3/12/2010 12:08:00 AM:

neutral????? I don't think so. Try again.

 

Article Comment neutral commented at 3/12/2010 12:17:00 AM:

I just re-read and saw where ssd supporter said the box cutter guy was impaired. I said it before, but I used to go to church with that guy, and he's overcome a LOT in his life. He's a genuine guy doing his best to take care of his kids on his own. He would give just about anyone the shirt off his back, and I could list stories all day where he's done just about that. Whoever you are, ssd supporter, you should really be careful of what you say about people. He was very obviously nervous, and said so several times as he spoke, but he wasn't impaired. I honestly can't believe you said that. Shame on you!

 

Article Comment Dan commented at 3/12/2010 12:23:00 AM:

SSD Supporter, you are making stuff up about the "impaired knife waver" as well as the students with the signs. I taped the entire presentation and can put it up on YouTube for all to see if you really want me to show just how full of crap you are.

And, I have a conversation saved with Mrs. Couey where she admits that the "study" she is basing her entire decision on was from a large urban school district (think L.A. or Chicago) where security and identifying students might actually be a problem. She specifically and grudgingly says that it doesn't really apply to Starkville. Not to mention she continues to say she is neutral on the issue. If this is the case, why is her panties all in a bunch over getting this passed in the first place?

And incidentally, this is not some frivolous lawsuit. You're talking about a decision made by 5 people that will cost several thousand people in this district several hundred dollars a year. It's unnecessary.

Oops, I said SSD Supporter, what I meant was Mrs. Couey. Or is it Mrs. Wilson?

 

Article Comment Mother of Two commented at 3/12/2010 12:26:00 AM:

SSD Supporter: Now the man is impaired? Where did that come from?

And I am not lying. However, I am not surprised that you would fall to such an accusation. You clearly don't seem capable of a rational debate on the issue.

By the way, my comment regarding grief about low scores was in response to the several posts here saying the parents involved in the lawsuit should be concerned with grades instead.

neutral: Thank you for a reasonable and rational post. I really do hope that more people on both sides all sides of the issue can talk about it with civility.

 

Article Comment neutral commented at 3/12/2010 12:29:00 AM:

Dan - please load it to youtube and link to here if you can. I'd do it myself with my copy, but I'm technologically challenged. I'm very bothered that the man with the cutter is being slandered, as he's an acquantiance and the last thing he needs is lies being told about him!

 

Article Comment Shane commented at 3/12/2010 12:37:00 AM:

You don't seem to have a problem slandering the superintendent and a board member on this site and other sites. Stick to your issues and drop the personal attacks.

 

Article Comment Starkvegan commented at 3/12/2010 5:35:00 AM:

First, methinks that everyone related to the SSD should be "getting grief" about the low test scores UNTIL the SSD is regarded as one of the top performing districts in the state.

Secondly, people say they are not opposed to the dress code per se, but that the SSD board is not listening to them. Did I not read about several opportunities for public comment in the paper? Isn't that listening? What more do SSD parents want? Just because a large vocal group of lawsuit-threatening parents show up at SSD board meetings should not necessarily mean that the SSD board is going to agree with them. Whether or not you like the new dress code, it is admirable to see the SSD board do what THEY THINK is best, regardless of the withering public attacks on them and their character. I think Starkville should be proud of having a board that is not just a rubber stamp of that moment's public opinion.

 

Article Comment Just My Opinion commented at 3/12/2010 8:36:00 AM:

I don't think anyone is saying this group doesn't have the right to express their opinion at all. I think the problem is the negative behavior and tactics they've displayed in the process has put a lot of people off. It only took the bad attitudes of 2 or 3 particular people from this group who shall remain nameless to make the whole group look bad. Just from what I've seen personally via the forum, the Facebook group, etc., I wouldn't want to be associated with these people even if I was against uniforms. There's a right way and a wrong way to get people to listen to you and I definitely feel they went about it the wrong way. And as for those students with the signs at the forum,they may not have been verbal but they were definitely disruptive, and they did not stay off to the side. I personally witnessed them come marching down the center aisle making so much noise with their feet and flapping posters that it was difficult to hear what the speaker was saying. I believe someone here called them obnoxious...that was definitely the right word to describe them along with some of the parents who spoke.

 

Article Comment Lee commented at 3/12/2010 9:04:00 AM:

Kate: the uniforms are not that expensive at walmart, and they dont cost anymore then other clothes, plus there are programs out there to help parents with the school uniforms. Plus all you need is 3 uniforms for a week, you can wear one 2 times a week.Lets use the judicial system for more important things like CRIME!! This would have never come up about uniforms had the parents ensured thier children dressed appropriately. It all falls back on the parents.Yes I am a parent of 12 and my children all make good grades in school and dont cause any problems for others, but yes they have problems from other students because the parents do not discipline.Most of the parents causing an uproar are only doing so because thier kids are forcing them too. So who runs your household? The parent or the child?

 

Article Comment Bubba Gump commented at 3/12/2010 9:20:00 AM:

If the school would tell you what clothes to wear, would they also tell you who you could bring to the prom too?

And when they start that, will they also tell you what to eat for dinner, and when you can go to bed? Or the bathroom? Will they tell you where to buy your gas and where to get your hair cut?

It would seem a lot more would be accomplished if the school would concentrate on the business of educating students instead of trying to uphold the moral convictions of the confused.

Itawamba went out of its way to show how foolish and retentive this state still is in these modern times, and I guess Starkville wants to follow suit by determining what underwear your children wear too.

There are much more important issues at hand people.

 

Article Comment Friend of SSD commented at 3/12/2010 9:21:00 AM:

"Oops, I said SSD Supporter, what I meant was Mrs. Couey. Or is it Mrs. Wilson?"

Watch it, Dan. Because it's published on the internet, and because it's not true (I know for a fact that neither read the message boards, only rely on public reports), that qualifies as libel.

 

Article Comment MOMof2in SSD commented at 3/12/2010 9:33:00 AM:

My children attend Starkville School System and as a tax paying citizen--I have a right to be against uniforms. In Starkville, in the last two years, we have already had an increase in our taxes to support our local school district and as usual you can bet within another two years, our taxes will be increased YET again because the school board will decide (once the uniforms are widely accepted without complaints) that they will pay for the 67 percent of free/reduced lunch children's uniforms). Well, as someone who pays for their childrens lunches and school supplies out of pocket (and are often asked for extra donations for the kids who don't bring supplies), I don't want to have to pay for other children's uniforms too. Yes, taxpayer money will be used for this, when it should be used for EDUCATION. Now, up until the last minute the school board said they would help pay for the 67 percents uniforms--and changed their stance at the last minute to try and get additional support. Well, they have shown their word means nothing, so we know that will change and our taxes will be raised AGAIN. Don't worry for all you folks who think WE are stupid for being against uniforms and having a first ammendment right to an opinion--you can go right ahead and keep your children in these substandard MIssissippi schools (and you can't argue that point--numbers DO not LIE-where are we 48th? 49th?. My family is tired of Mississippi schools worrying about things that have nothing to do with EDUCATION. It is not the schools job to make life FAIR. There are always going to be distractions, people with better clothes, etc. I thought this was AMERICA, not Communist RUSSIA. If I wanted to be told how to dress my children--I would PAY for PRIVATE school. And furthermore, as a tax paying citizen, I don't have to HOME SCHOOL my children because I don't like uniform policies. I am a tax paying citizen and my children are due a public education like everyone else and the City Officials-Government-or anyone else has no Right to mandate uniforms since I am the one paying for this school. For you who LOVE uniforms--what is STOPPING you from sending your kids in uniforms? Wear them tomorrow if you love them so much. Your children can wear uniforms and be safe and I will sign a waver that mine will not and be unsafe(because we know the safety issue is a load of BULL).

 

Article Comment Let the IP address decide commented at 3/12/2010 9:33:00 AM:

"(I know for a fact that neither read the message boards, only rely on public reports)"

There's a little thing called an IP address that I'm sure can be drummed up by the admins here if either of those ladies wants to try to prove in court that they don't post on these message boards. All the comments are linked to e-mail address, too. Correct? We all leave a digital trail right to our computer, so ponder that for a bit...

Besides, any judge in his right mind would laugh them out of court for trying to sue someone for saying they are "full of crap." If that were grounds for a libel suit then I'd be rich right now.

 

Article Comment Let the COURT decide. commented at 3/12/2010 9:40:00 AM:

Yeah, Let the... whatever, it's pondered. And I stand by my statement. I was born after 1975 and fully know what the hell an IP address is. That may be a very pride-filled revelation in the land of Baby Boomers and those born in the 60s, but in the real world, as it stands, grandpa/grandma, it's not a discovery at all.

"Besides, any judge in his right mind would laugh them out of court for trying to sue someone for saying they are "full of crap." If that were grounds for a libel suit then I'd be rich right now."

And if this ever goes beyond the appeal process, don't you think the judge is going to do the same for these parents? I can't WAIT, frankly.

 

Article Comment MOMof2in SSD commented at 3/12/2010 9:40:00 AM:

Lee: I don't buy clothes at Walmart because the quality of the clothing there is subpar. Yes, it is fairly cheap, but I can buy my children's clothing at Belk (as an example) cheaper than Walmart when they are having a sale and the clothes last much longer. Plus my childrenare one year apart and wear hand me downs. It seems communistic to force people to support certain businesses because they have to wear certain things.

 

Article Comment birdie commented at 3/12/2010 1:15:00 PM:

It is so amazing when you disagree with people, they call it inappropriate. I still disagree with the parents. I am so glad my children do not attend this school district because there are other things of concern like teen pregancy, violence, gay teens, etc. My children wear uniforms and due to the economy, it is affordable. Someone said they have to buy uniforms and clothes for the weekend. you do it anyway because one outfit can but two uniforms. Shoes cost $100+, name brand pants cost $60+, etc...I teach and I have poverty students that are living better than me. Yes, I go to the grocery store pissed off because parents are ghetto faboulous, hair, nails, and toes done all up, latest name brand clothes, latest purses but stay in the projects, $8 rent, HUD, and pulling out an EBT card that my tax money goes too. So, yes uniforms are affordable. SSD is doing the right thing. They need uniforms. Parents need to stop trying to outdress their children. Clothes don't mean nothing. EDUCATION!! Raise those kids and not dress them and let them do whatever.

 

Article Comment Paladin commented at 3/12/2010 1:35:00 PM:

The reason you have 67% of high school students on the free lunch program is..... because you have a free lunch program!
(I know, it isn't really free. Others pay for it)

Those kids' parents can afford what they want to afford. Cigarettes, alcohol, fattening snacks, movies, and so on are still being purchased, but they can't afford their kids' lunches.

The SFD gives out free smoke detectors. Do you really think a family can't afford a $6 smoke detector? People just want something free.

 

Article Comment Bryan commented at 3/13/2010 1:34:00 AM:

Think about this...it probably is about security. If the school put up fences and added security to the campuses, it would be money out of the school districts budget. It doesnt cost the district anything to increase security by forcing the parents to purchase new clothes. And, by doing it in this manner, the money in the coffers can be spent on administration salaries.

 

Article Comment Richey commented at 3/13/2010 7:59:00 AM:

brilliant Bryan...think about this though. the money can be spent on keeping teachers rather than cutting and maxing class loads?

 

Article Comment student commented at 3/15/2010 11:18:00 AM:

Uniforms should be worn at schools, especially todays day and age. Girls with thier boobs hanging out and you can tell if they're wearing thongs and the color and we wonder why there is rape, sexual harassments, violence think about it people. The guys don't even know were their waist is any more why not just go with your boxers why bother wear a pants.

 

Article Comment Dan commented at 3/17/2010 2:16:00 PM:

Friend of SSD, that doesn't qualify as libel. I actually studied 1st Amendment issues in my Media Law class, so I can safely make the comment. Public officials are fair game for criticism, and that has precedent all the way up to the US Supreme court. See Times v. Sullivan.

StarkVegan, the parents who are in arms aren't letting their children dress inappropriately, and regardless, the appropriateness of the dress is not what Ms. Couey questions or pushed the uniform issue over. She claims it is a security issue, specifically meaning that children not in SSD could somehow blend in with our own, for some nefarious purposes that she does not explain. As if dressing all children alike in Wal Mart khakis and a black or yellow shirt won't make the opportunity to blend in that much greater. Use your BS detector, because it should be going off non-stop.

 

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