“Parker High School needs to address the issue of school uniform shirts that parents are forced to buy and students are forced to wear. The problem: students simply put another shirt over the uniform shirt so all that is seen is barely the collar of a tee or polo. What is the point of having parents pay for uniform shirts when the school does not enforce the very purpose of why they implemented the policy – to create uniformity among students and alleviate some of the dress code violations. Parents now have to buy school clothes for their kids as they always have, and buy uniform shirts. There is no cost savings. I have been at the school several times and disappointed to see that the majority of the students look like they are not wearing uniform shirts. I think uniform shirts are a good idea but not if the students are hiding them with a second layer of clothing. PHS needs to make up its mind – do they want students to wear the uniform shirts or not? If they do, then they need to not allow the students to cover them up. Otherwise, us parents are paying for uniform shirts that are never seen!”
– Mother Against Dressing Down
Thanks for the email, MADD. Where I come from (Northern Ireland), pretty much all high school students have to wear uniforms, and they’re much more than a casual shirt. I had to wear dress trousers, black shoes, button up white shirt, school tie and blazer (and it wasn’t some top-of-the-line school). So, Parker High’s policy of having a mandatory uniform shirt doesn’t seem like a big imposition.
Incidentally, you mention that the purpose of implementing the policy was to create uniformity and alleviate dress code violations. That could be true, MADD, but do you know what the original purpose of uniforms was? To improve student behavior, attendance and achievement by hoping that higher levels of discipline and group morale would accompany uniform-wearing. It didn’t work. A 1998 study published in The Journal of Educational Research states: “Student uniforms have no direct effect on substance use, behavioral problems, or attendance. A negative effect of uniforms on student academic achievement was found.” In other words, uniforms actually made the students’ test scores worse, not better!
Anyway, I digress. The point of your email, MADD, was to ask PHS to decide: uniform shirts or no uniform shirts? Since there appears to be no benefit to be gained either way, and students would rather express themselves with regular clothing over the top anyway, does the policy make sense? And if it does, shouldn’t it be better enforced?
What do you think, parents? Uniforms or no uniforms? Answers below.