On its face I would agree with a school uniform policy like the one proposed to Grandview Middle School parents.
The policy will, after all affect my daughter as she enters sixth grade in the fall. I agree with the idea of black bottoms and solid colored polo shirts, but that is where my support for the policy ends.
Because many of the students attending the school are involved in AAU programs and other activities that have attire that matches the school colors, I believe the youngsters should be allowed on certain days to exhibit community pride if they so desire. Perhaps the policy can make exceptions for those who are wearing attire that advertises the students' willingness to represent their community.
I believe swim team members should be allowed, for example, to wear swim team sweats on occasion. I believe basketball players should be allowed to wear t-shirts that proudly display the name of their team. These students are role models and I have often heard how athletics keeps youngsters from getting involved in gangs.
I do not agree with an element in the proposed school uniform policy that requires jackets or coats to be solid colored and that color must be one of three options. If I want to buy my child a jacket that is two colors (not gang colors), that should be acceptable. Also, there is an issue with confusion that could potentially arise. If everyone has the same colored jacket, an item of clothing that is not worn at all times of the school day, children could lose them. Other children may mistake the jacket to be their own.
We are talking about middle schoolers, who are known to be sometimes irresponsible and other times, scatter-brained.
Red and blue are not to be worn on the Grandview Middle School campus if the policy is approved. But, will there be patriotic days on which the students can exhibit pride for their country and the men and women who have died for our freedom?
At least, jewelry and hair accessories are still allowed.
The proposed policy is meant to deter gang activity and bullying. I believe in the intent, but I also believe a little more flexibility is necessary.
We are, after all, trying to raise our children to respect individuality. We are trying to teach them they are unique and special in their own way.
So, I will be one of those parents who shares my thoughts on the policy when the school district is ready to hear from the community. The decision regarding adoption of a school uniform policy shouldn't be taken lightly since it will affect more than the students attending Grandview Middle School next year.