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School uniforms would help family finances

We know that school district officials have many important challenges ahead of them — funding being the most prominent. So, what I want school boards to consider pales in comparison.

However, with families’ budgets becoming tighter all the time and some struggling to even find employment, it makes more sense than ever for parents to reduce the cost to clothe their children for school.

I would like to see every public school student in the county wearing uniforms.

Think about it. There would be no more “I have nothing to wear” or “I want a pair of jeans like hers.”

Buy two or three pairs of khaki pants and several long and short-sleeved polo shirts in school colors and the problem would be solved.

There would be no more discussion of whether shirts can have advertising on them or whether shorts can be worn in December or whether skirts meet the length requirement.

My sisters and I attended a Catholic grade school in the 1960s. Money was tight for my family and being the youngest of three daughters, I rarely had any new, store-bought clothes — mostly hand-me-downs and dresses my mother made.

My parents said more than once that uniforms were a lifesaver for them because they only had to purchase white blouses to go with the jumper or skirt and vest. When we grew out of one size, we traded the clothes in for a larger size. Volunteers mended the uniforms in the summer for trading in the fall. First-time families could purchase new or used uniforms.

There was a certain pride in wearing that uniform with the initials of the school just below the left shoulder.

Schools in larger cities have required students to wear uniforms for decades.

I’ve heard the argument that uniforms stifle self-expression. Students have numerous other ways to express themselves besides the clothes they wear. Children and teens should be looked at for who they are, not judged by the clothes they wear.

In many ways, it would make students’ lives more bearable because they would no longer be judged by their clothes and whether or not they wear the latest fashion.

What do you think? Would there be a rebellion or does it make sense?

— susan berg

Last modified Feb. 10, 2011

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