You Say Yes
Well actually, I don't know WHAT I say.
This is the post I had all wonderfully written when it was eaten by blogger.
The other night Chunky came home with the following flyer in his backpack:
The School District is currently reviewing the possibility of instituting a policy of a school uniform for the 2011-2012 school year.
The uniform will consist of a collared shirt, pants, or skirt and shorts (May 1st to October 1st). The cost of a shirt is estimated to be approximately $10.00 per shirt.
All families receiving Free or Reduced lunch will receive 1 shirt, per child, at no cost.
The policy will apply to all grade levels.
The following is a short school survey regarding a uniform policy. Please complete the survey and return it to your child's school by October 20, 2010, so that we can assess the feasibility of uniforms in the district. The results of this survey will be discussed at a public Board of Education meeting in November.
Then there was a box to check for "Yes, I'm in favor of uniforms" or "No, I'm not in favor of uniforms."
Okay. Where to start?!
There are many facets to the school uniform idea.
They discourage gangs.
Remember the days of kids getting their asses kicked for Raiders jackets? Was that in Socal? I can't remember. Maybe it was an urban legend started by the Denver Broncos. Anyway, I guess certain clothing is used by different gang members to signify what affiliation they're with. And when you mix oil with water or Bloods with Crips, all hell breaks loose and people don't want that in school.
Guess what? Never underestimate the ingenuity of bad people. Ok, so you take away their "gang" clothing. They'll find new ways to designate themselves. Maybe Latin Kings like using red pencils at school. Are we going to ban red pencils too?
They level the social playing field. You can't tell who can afford designer clothes and who can't.
Ha ha!!! Man this one makes me laugh. Why? Because at $10 a pop for just shirts alone, I'd have to spend $100 for Chunky (5 long sleeved shirts, 5 short sleeved shirts) to wear for 9 months. And guess what? When he's at the end of the school year and those shirts are getting worn and threadbare, guess who won't be replacing them? Me. There's a whole sub-rant here about me wanting to punch people who say it's cheaper to wear school uniforms than civvies. Where are these people shopping??
Uniforms help kids do better in school.
Because uniforms make kids feel safer and then more eager to learn. Really? So they can learn what? How to ace the fill-scan-tron standardized test so they can get the hell out of that school and get a real job/go to college? Wearing a uniform or not, nowadays school is about Passing The Test. And guess what? As a 4.0 high school student -- some of us suck HARD at standardized tests. I don't care how many techniques you teach me, I just SUCK at them. Wearing a uniform isn't going to change that.
Uniforms promote unity and togetherness because everyone is dressed the same.
I can't say a damn thing about this. I was the girl wearing the opposing team's school colors during spirit week. Muhahahahahaha!
Uniforms promote creativity.
I love this argument. Allegedly because kids don't have to worry about channeling their creativity into how they look, they can use that creativity for other things. Hee hee! It's true! Sort of. Newark Public Schools have uniforms for all grades. This isn't so much true for the younger kids, but the older kids are very creative wearing their uniforms. I am amazed how they will "individualize" their uniforms by either pulling their pants down, rolling up their skirt bands or wearing as many buttons unbuttoned as they can without being cited for indecent exposure.
All of this aside, I couldn't answer the survey yes or no.
Because nowhere in the flyer did they say why they were considering school uniforms.
It's almost election time here in the States for some of us.
Imagine waking up one day and being dragged to the polls and being told to vote for Candidate A or Candidate B and you have NO idea why Candidate A and Candidate B are running. Could you vote with a clear conscious?
I had Chunky return the "short survey" where I wrote: I can't cast a vote until I know exactly why the school district is considering school uniforms. Please send more information regarding the background to this contemplation in policy before asking parental opinions on the matter.
I'm not too hopeful that I'll ever hear why.
And if Chunky's stories are true, these poor teachers are losing a lot of instructional time having to field questions about school uniforms (they don't know any more about it than we do apparently).
Hmmm....might be something there that might sway my vote!
Labels: New Jersey