Jul 24, 2005

I recently read this article by TANGELA CRAFT and thought it was worth posting. Apparently while it is illegal for schools to discriminate based on race and gender; it's acceptable for a public school to discriminate against low income students whose families can't afford to buy pricey uniforms from upscale stores.

Lincoln Academy Uniforms

The "No Child Left Behind" concept continues to elude the policy-makers in Florida. In this case, the policy-makers at Lincoln Academy in Lakeland are continuing to offer more and better opportunities to those children who come from economically advantaged homes.It was recently brought to the attention of several parents (after their children were accepted into the Lincoln Academy program) that they must purchase school uniforms from a specific uniform company. Uniforms are currently a requirement for all elementary schools in Polk County. However, there is no justification for parents to be required to pay exorbitant prices for uniforms because schools such as Lincoln Academy have adopted a specific uniform supplier. Parents of lesser economic means cannot afford to clothe one child, let alone more than one, in these overpriced outfits.The blatant discrimination exists in the fact that parents are told that if they cannot afford to purchase new uniforms from this specific company, they have the option to purchase used uniforms directly from the school.What sense does this make? Anyone would know that a child's self-esteem is affected when forced to wear secondhand clothes. What parent wants their child to begin the school year in an outfit worn by a stranger? Good quality uniforms are available at Wal-Mart, JC Penney and other outlets. These stores offer the same types of uniform clothing at drastically reduced prices.To add insult to injury, Lincoln Academy has proclaimed the right to look inside a child's uniform to verify that it was purchased from the company that they have a contract with. This flies in the face of logic and good sense. If looking at a tag inside a child's clothing is the only way to verify the origin of his or her uniform, clearly there must not be any major difference in a uniform purchased from a department store.Is the origin of a uniform more important than a family's dignity? Why should children from economically challenged homes be forced to wear used clothes when, if given the option to shop for discounted items, they can dress in their own new clothes?It is policies such as the one adopted by Lincoln Academy that allow people in power positions to select which children will receive a quality education. Some proud, poor people would rather not sacrifice their dignity in order to get their children into these magnet schools.

Jul 17, 2005

Another Stupid Policy
At least due to a number of calls by concerned parents the school board has decided to wait to implement the policy at Kalamazoo Central High School. Unlike the Jackson County School board that forced uniforms on students despite parent protest and a law suite.
Instead of implementing a uniform policy and forcing students to dress like Barbie and Ken clones why don't they.
1. Enforce dress codes.
Jackson county never bothered to enforce it's dress code policy and then used noncompliance with the dress code by a minority of students as justification for implementing uniforms.
2. Teach students to respect one another.
3. Teach Tolerance
4. Ask teachers to set a good example by their attire.
In Jackson County where students are now forced to wear white/navy polo's and khaki/navy dress slacks Teachers are still allowed to wear mini-skirts, blue jeans and T-shirts. Am I the only one that thinks there is something wrong with this?

Jul 6, 2005

It seems like more and more these days Government is trying to take away our rights. With the Supreme Courts decision to allow Kelo's home to be taken away from her in the name of progress http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/04-108.ZO.html one has to wonder where the "monster" will stop and IF anyone has the backbone to stand up to the government bullies. What does this have to do with mandatory school uniforms in public schools you ask? There were many people who did not see a problem with parents being forced to support public schools through taxes while having their children denied a public school education unless they dressed in a "preppie style". I can now say with full justification 'I TOLD YOU SO!' Once you allow "Government" to take away one right "Government" is all to eager to usurp another.

Of course schools should have dress codes to ensure that students are dressed modestly for school, I don't know of any parent who would disagree with that. But schools do NOT have to and have NO Right TO force students to dress like "preppie clones" in dreary khaki and navy in order for them to attend a PUBLIC school. Mandatory school uniforms are nothing more then a feel good policy to placate the fashion mavens who are not content dressing their own children in a preppie style, they have to dictate to everyone else how they should dress their children. Parents have every right to decide what style and color of clothing best suits their families needs and budget without the "Government" aka "School Boards" sticking their nose in what should be a Parental decision.