Uniforms and Dress Code Policies

Last night, I was watching the Grammy’s and boy-oh-boy were there some fashion faux pas as well as a few age-inappropriate outfits. Let’s take Madonna as an example…we all know that Madonna is a rebel. Yes, she is. But rebellion and fashion appropriateness for a 56-year-old entertainer should be taken into consideration when dressing for an event such as the Grammy’s (in my humble opinion of course). If you did not see her Red Carpet outfit, Madonna wore a sexy matador outfit that she happened to hike up to expose the cheeks of her buttocks.

What is the fashion and entertainment world coming to?

I love fashion and those that take risks; however, I also love a woman that is secure in her maturity and can be sexy without showing all of her assets as Annie Lennox, a 60 year-old singer-songwriter, did by wearing a black sequined blazer and pant suit. We were able to commend her for her voice and performance rather than focusing on the question, “What the heck are you wearing?”

All that to say what? Should kids be able to wear whatever they want at school? Should there be a dress code or uniform policy and if so, how will these policies effect student achievement?

My personal experience is one of uniforms and dress codes. I have attended Catholic schools my entire K-12 years. I have been impacted by this phenomenon so that I refuse to wear: plaid, Peter Pan collars, bright nail polish on my fingertips, dye my hair to lightly, or wear keds or K-Swiss tennis shoes.

The benefits of my uniform wearing was that my parents school shopped once a year; we didn’t know which families could afford expensive items because we all wore the same thing; I didn’t have to spend much time choosing what to wear to school each day; and gangs existed outside of school and not visible through clothing while we were in school. We were actually at school to learn and become productive members of the community based on our school’s mission.

As the administrator of a school that is 100% SES and free lunch, I have gone back and forth with my Leadership team regarding the possibility of becoming a uniform school. I am definitely a supporter of this idea but I am also a supporter of individual choice, therefore as of now, we enforce the dress code that is uniform throughout the district.

Even with having a dress code, the real question is: does wearing uniforms effect student achievement? In the article below, it states there is research to support positive attendance gains and behavioral improvements such as gang activity, fights and sexual offenses; however, there was no evidence that it supports academic achievement.

Do we need a dress code policy? I say yes. According to the article, as a result, dress codes reduce crime and make it less likely that students will bring weapons to school. Safety is the number one priority on my campus and throughout the campuses in my district.

With the benefits found in the article regarding uniforms, implementing this policy may encourage my site in building a community and to assist in changing our culture and climate. it may result in less bullying and fights as well as being able to immediately spot a trespasser on our campus. The safety component alone would be worth the try.

Take a look at this article and see what you think: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/way-kids-dress-affect-school-16454.htm

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