Author Topic: Opinions on school uniforms  (Read 11079 times)

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Dindrane

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #90 on: April 08, 2014, 12:25:55 AM »
As soon as you specify a specific brand/vendor that turns into a Uniform and either under Texas law or Title I the district now has to supply it to everyone on free or reduced.

Does this mean that any child in a Texas school who has to wear a specific uniform gets it all for free? Apologies if I'm interpreting this incorrectly, but I'm wondering how this can be financially feasible for a school/district/state?

Public schools in the US have a free or reduced lunch program, which is intended to provide lunch either for free or at a highly discounted rate to students whose families' income is below a certain threshold. I don't know if it's a federal program, but it is at least very common. I think what kherbert is talking about is that students who qualify for either a free or reduced cost lunch would also need to have an official uniform supplied to them, since their having to go out and purchase specific items of clothing (rather than just a specific style) would be an unfair financial burden. Presumably, any family that didn't qualify for a free or reduced lunch would be on their own in terms of supplying the uniform.

I don't know enough about grade school or secondary education in other countries to know how they are different from the US, but the above applies only to public schools (i.e. those funded entirely with public money, which children do not pay tuition in any form to attend). The overwhelming majority of private schools here do require uniforms that would consist of specific articles of clothing purchased from specific stores, often with a logo of some sort incorporated in. Private schools might offer scholarships to students whose families couldn't afford to pay tuition, but there wouldn't otherwise be any expectation of financial assistance in those schools.


katycoo

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #91 on: April 08, 2014, 12:44:11 AM »
Most schools in Australia require students to wear a uniform, and probably about 99% of them have a uniform shop on the premises, where the entire outfit can be purchased. This may or may not include socks and/or shoes. For many schools it's a major source of income for the PTA (along with the tuckshop). In many cases, it's the only place families can buy uniforms, particularly dresses or tops, as they'll have the school logo/name embroidered or imprinted on them. Shorts or long pants can often be bought elsewhere, so long as the specific colour and style are maintained.

Many schools now have pockets or patches with teh chool logo so you can buy a generic shirt elsewhere.  The uniform shops also seel second hand itmes on consignment.

sammycat

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #92 on: April 08, 2014, 12:50:14 AM »
Thanks for that explanation.

We don't have any sort of federal or state programmes here for low income families for school uniforms or food.

In my state a (and, I suspect, every state), if a family is unable to buy their own uniform then the school principal has the discretion to provide them out of school funds, or refer the family to the relevant welfare agency. As a  former PTA president I oversaw running of the uniform shop and tuckshop. I don't recall any cases (in my time) of the school buying uniforms to hand onto families, so either no one approached the school about it, or they got free/reduced uniforms via other means. We also sold second hand uniforms at very reasonable prices, which families of all income levels availed themselves of.

Slight threadjack: Few, if any, schools provide a sit down, canteen style lunch here. It's either bring your own, or order from the tuckshop (usually before school for pick up later). Individual schools have been known to provide (free) breakfast programmes for some students, but they're few and far between and a decision made entirely at school level.

katycoo

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #93 on: April 08, 2014, 01:16:59 AM »
Just wanted to add - and it might have been posted earlier in this thread - I really saw no stigma from people wearing second hand uniforms.  Most people who had older siblings wore hand me downs, even if the family was well off, and new uniforms were NOT cool so no-one was jealous!

sammycat

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #94 on: April 08, 2014, 01:55:04 AM »
Just wanted to add - and it might have been posted earlier in this thread - I really saw no stigma from people wearing second hand uniforms.  Most people who had older siblings wore hand me downs, even if the family was well off, and new uniforms were NOT cool so no-one was jealous!

I agree. Nine times out of 10 it's impossible to distinguish between the two, and if anyone can, then I've never personally heard anyone comment on it.  Most uniform shops have a very high standard for items sold second hand/on consignment. Ours had a policy of not accepting anything with rips, missing buttons, stains, or that looked grubby etc. 

In the last year of school in particular, it was common for kids to wear a second hand replacement if they'd outgrown their current one.

My second DS was very economical. He didn't grow much between grades 2 and 7 and was able to wear the same uniforms for all of that time. ;D

Sophia

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #95 on: April 08, 2014, 09:38:03 AM »
Just wanted to add - and it might have been posted earlier in this thread - I really saw no stigma from people wearing second hand uniforms.  Most people who had older siblings wore hand me downs, even if the family was well off, and new uniforms were NOT cool so no-one was jealous!

My MIL told me that older clothes had more status than newer clothes.  It meant you had been attending the school for a long time.  They were softer, too.  She said by her senior year she had to be very careful of her pants at the leg crease because they were thread-bare.  Her mother had bought her new ones but she didn't want to wear them. 

alkira6

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #96 on: April 08, 2014, 10:11:30 AM »
I like the idea of a school uniform, but in practice you still have the same types of "classism".  We have black, white, or school color polo style shirts, khaki, black, or navy trousers/shorts that reach the knee.  Some kids have the more expensive brands that you can tell are expensive even without logos (which are banned).  Other students do get uniforms at Goodwill or Wal-Mart and it shows just as much.  You still get just as much teasing and bullying about clothing as you did before uniforms.

Vall

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #97 on: April 08, 2014, 10:21:43 AM »
When I was growing up, our government schools didn't have uniforms.  For a few grades, I went to private schools.  One of them had uniforms and I loved it!  They were a nice dark blue long skirt with a light blue blouse (short and long sleeves).  We also wore either a blue vest or blazer.  The fabric was durable, comfortable and mostly wrinkle-free.  We had to be measured and bought the uniforms through the school.  I always looked nice and didn't have to worry about what to wear. 

Yes, it was a mild equalizer.  We weren't concerned about clothes at school because we were all wearing the same things.  Everyone bought their uniforms at the same place.  I bought my own clothes and it was much cheaper to have uniforms.  I only wore my uniforms at school so my other (less durable) clothes lasted a lot longer.  I had plenty of time each day to express my personal sense of style after school.

In the city where we live now, some government schools have a loose uniform of navy pants and white collared shirts.  Some parents like it and others don't.  If I had a say in it, I'd vote for uniforms.

TootsNYC

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #98 on: April 08, 2014, 11:29:34 AM »
As soon as you specify a specific brand/vendor that turns into a Uniform and either under Texas law or Title I the district now has to supply it to everyone on free or reduced.

Does this mean that any child in a Texas school who has to wear a specific uniform gets it all for free? Apologies if I'm interpreting this incorrectly, but I'm wondering how this can be financially feasible for a school/district/state?

Public schools in the US have a free or reduced lunch program, . . . Presumably, any family that didn't qualify for a free or reduced lunch would be on their own in terms of supplying the uniform.


Kherbert, can you weigh in?

I can envision a situation in which *all* students would have to have their uniforms as "supplied by the school" if the school is going to require a certain brand or vendor. Because then it's more like a textbook instead of a notebook.
 
Do you know what's the case in Texas?

TXJess

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #99 on: April 08, 2014, 12:07:27 PM »
Texas Education Code says "The rules the board of trustees adopts must designate a source of funding that shall be used in providing uniforms for students at the school who are educationally disadvantaged."

The term "educationally disadvantaged" means eligible to participate in the national free or reduced-price lunch program. So Kherbert is saying that students who are on free or reduced (lunch program) are also able to be provided uniforms, because there is a source of funding to provide for them.

I went k-5th grade in the district Kherbert currently teaches in. I only had to wear uniforms my last year (5th grade). I HATED it so much. I just wanted to wear normal clothes. I believe initially they said no jeans, but they were pretty lenient because we did wear jeans. There was always a way to be "individual" though. Shoes, hair, accessories, etc. It's been 15 years, so I don't really remember. That was also the year my mom made me start doing my own laundry because she got tired of me complaining that she lost or forgot to wash something. You would think with the options of just white or navy polo, I wouldn't have issues with laundry..hah

lowspark

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #100 on: April 08, 2014, 12:10:47 PM »
I live in Texas and my younger son graduated in 2008 so things may have changed since then but I had to pay for my kids' uniforms. He was required to wear one in both middle school and high school, which I hated because the uniforms were just an (in my opinion) unnecessary added expense.

I did look up Title 1 in Texas law which kherbert mentions, and it specifically pertains to "IMPROVING THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF THE DISADVANTAGED" http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4269 so I imagine that kherbert was talking about kids who are economically disadvantaged, not the entire student population of the district.

alkira6

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #101 on: April 08, 2014, 12:13:16 PM »
We have so much gang activity that the kids are not allowed to wear different colored headbands, jewelry, belts, socks, or shoes.  We have to take the accessories and get them to call home for another pair for the shoes.  They cracked down after a middle schooler was almost beaten to death for wearing a red belt and red jacket.

TXJess

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #102 on: April 08, 2014, 12:20:03 PM »
I live in Texas and my younger son graduated in 2008 so things may have changed since then but I had to pay for my kids' uniforms. He was required to wear one in both middle school and high school, which I hated because the uniforms were just an (in my opinion) unnecessary added expense.

I did look up Title 1 in Texas law which kherbert mentions, and it specifically pertains to "IMPROVING THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF THE DISADVANTAGED" http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4269 so I imagine that kherbert was talking about kids who are economically disadvantaged, not the entire student population of the district.

See, my mom loved it! Back to school shopping was so much easier and cheaper for her. She just had to buy my sister and I a couple polos in each color, a couple pairs of pants, and shoes. The downside was she had to shop with a grumpy 10 year old who didn't want to wear uniforms...

lowspark

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #103 on: April 08, 2014, 12:28:38 PM »
Probably the difference between raising boys and girls. My sons had t-shirts out the wazoo from all the different activities they were involved in. And when we went shopping, he'd find a couple of pairs of jeans he liked and I'd buy him 5 pairs of each and he was good to go.

So add to that, now I had to buy khaki pants and polos which he would not wear any other time but school. I bought exactly 5 sets the first day of the first year, and those five got washed every weekend. By the end of his tenure, he had five sets of very stained, very worn out uniforms.

ladyknight1

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Re: Opinions on school uniforms
« Reply #104 on: April 08, 2014, 02:32:16 PM »
I'm laughing to myself at the idea of pants fitting my 15 year old son for more than 6 months. The waistband keeps getting smaller and the pant legs keep getting longer.

My DS always has khakis, black dress pants plus his usual wardrobe.