school uniforms

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003
school uniforms
4
Thu, 01-03-2013 - 7:17am

Just courisous if any of your kids have uniforms and how you feel about it. Got a survery from school last night and I guess they are considering it and well they gave us LOTS of notice, meeting is Monday (insert eye roll). I'm not a fan of the idea. DS has sensory issues, they are a LOT better now but when he was entering kindy I dismissed some options because of the dress code. One school not only did you need a uniform but a specific pant that required a belt. At 5 his motor skills were still delayed and he couldn't handle pants with buttons or zippers let alone a belt. Can imagine how many more accidents he would have had. But our bigger battle was the softness of the clothes. Hard enough shopping on a budget then add the sensory and if a uniform was in place from kindy to 2nd grade our mornings would have been HORRIBLE. They were bad enough.

I'm more open to it I guess in older grades but at the same I do think kids should be able for some self expression so maybe I am more for a stricter dress code. I will admit I see a LOT of pushing limits. His school is k-8 and will admit some kids are not dressing appropriately and I know in middle school peer pressure and dress and so on but I personally don't think unforms are the solution. From my understanding yes you can get cheap uniforms but you get what you pay for. You can spend more buy less but what about families that don't have washer and dryers at home. Thats more trips to the laundry mat and chances are those familes are the lower income ones you are trying not make feel bad because they can't afford the designer labels. We aren't poor but we aren't rich. I shop on a budget and I know what brands fit in my budget and last. I also know how to scoop a bargin on those pricey lables.

DS is worse on shoes then he is on pants and I was buying new pants every other month and it also seems they will addressing footwear too. You know how hard it is to find non tie shoes in bigger sizes and yes we HAVE taught him to tie his shoes but with his motor skills its a 50/50 shot he does it and when he doesn't he gets fustrated and melts down...hmmm that will draw attention to a kid.

Personally I think schools use the label thing as an excuse. Like I said I agree there is an attire issue at his school and if you saw what some parents come to school functions in it wouldn't surprise you. I actually excuss school drop off because I get some morning you are just lucky to get out the house let alone out of your PJs, but if you are meeting your kids teacher is that really the impression you want to leave. Oh and one mom looks like she comes from her job at the strip club. I try to work with our sensory issues so he is at least presentable and thats part of my role as a parent. Teach him whats appropriate and what isn't to wear in puble...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003
Mon, 01-07-2013 - 7:12am

I don't know how it started one of the school board members raised it but not clear if its something parents brought her or she brought up. Seems lots of fuel with some parents crying over $200 sneakers and clothes. I came from a family that could have afforded that but NEVER would have spent that. Labels are always going to be an issue. Whats going to stop kids from pointing out my uniform comes from the gap and yours is from walmart. Personally I think that is just an accuse parents use to take an easy way out of the $200 jeans or sneakers debate. Its simple your kid needs to get that things cost money, some things cost more and if they want food on the table and a roof over their then we shop at X store. Stop trying to be their friend and be their parents. Its a tough lesson but its something we as society need for them to learn. I review financial statements at work for people with federal debt and we give a lot more leniency for people with high target card balances then the gap. We look at where they shop, if you are saying you cannot afford to pay a government debt then do you really need to buy your bras at victoria secret?

Anyway I've rambled off course. There are public schools and private here that do uniforms so many options as to wear. I know 1 catholic schools requires you buy from a specific dealer. The belt and shoe thing was from teh very strict charter school policy but again based on parent comments seems shoes are a sticking point because they want the cop out to not having to say no to $200 sneakers. When we were deciding on schools for DS I did review dress codes and most do involve a solid color shoe and here is my take for parents who thnk they will say money, you still need weekend shoes and unless you kids don't see other kids on weekends do you really think there won't be social pressures?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sun, 01-06-2013 - 11:36pm

I think that you have some very legitimate issues to bring up.   For boys to have to wear belts as part of the uniform is pretty stupid, for the reasons that you point out.  Dictating shoes is also pretty stupid.   Decent shoes cost a large amount of money, cheap ones fall apart.   Some families need to rely on the hand-me-downs that they get so that the kids have any shoes on their feet.  

I think I would question where the uniforms need to come from and who benefits the most.   Sounds like some business is putting this forward.

If this does go forward and you have to do shoes that are dangerous for your son, (mine walks around all the time with shoes not tied, I am afraid he is going to loose some teeth) go to the hardware store and get some really small bungee cord and some things to tighten them.  I am doing this with my son's shoes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003
Sun, 01-06-2013 - 9:58am

meeting isn't until Monday but my favorite response so far on the city FB page post about this is how uniforms will help us identify strangers in our schools. Really? Um in k-8 unless you require teachers and staff to wear them too how will that help? and even in high school where apparently there was an issue with kids who don't go there sneaking in, that could just be a young looking staff memember. As I approach my 40s (GULP) 20 year olds look like babies to me so teachers might not flinch especially since many younger school employers don't know how to dress professionally (thats another post)

Anyway guess I am lucky I don't spend much on clothes so I don't see the savings plus since I don't have a dryer I need to have a weeks worth of clothes ready to go at all times especially in the winter when it takes longer for line drying.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Fri, 01-04-2013 - 12:55pm

I remember this idea was just being considered years ago when I was in high school and I HATED the idea. In the (many) years between when I was in school and having my own kids in the school system, uniforms have now been implemented. I gotta admit, as a parent, I kind of like it. The savings alone on school clothes is worth it.

That being said, I can completely understand your concerns. My oldest son has a few sensory issues. He HATES shirts with buttons. Well, the school uniform shirt is a polo shirt with buttons. He deals with it by wearing a regular undershirt underneath the button shirt so that the buttons don't actually touch his skin. He's had to wear this uniform for many years now but he still yanks it off the minute he gets home and runs to change, LOL. 

My youngest son doesn't have the greatest motor skills and he would definitely struggle with a belt. Luckily, our school's policy doesn't require one. He also struggled with tie shoes for a long time. Hopefully, if your school system is considering going to uniforms, they will consider a lot of feedback from the parents and not make it super-strict. I wonder also if exceptions could be made for younger kids or any, really, that have motor skill delays.

Let us know how the meeting goes!

Lisa