Students at Thomas McKean and John Dickinson high schools would be required to wear uniform clothing under a proposal presented to the Red Clay Board of Education at its January 27, 2015 meeting.
Citing improvement in school climates at schools nationwide that have adopted uniform policies, Principals Brian Mattix from McKean and Byron Murphy from Dickinson presented the proposal. (See the full proposal here)
Both schools formed a Uniform Committee several months ago, made up of students, parents and teachers. Surveys at both schools revealed that teachers are highly in favor of uniforms, students were opposed, and parents had a small majority in support of uniforms.
School board members noted that Red Clay has not followed other area districts and adopted a system wide uniform policy, preferring that each school create an individual policy that suits its community. If approved, most secondary Red Clay schools would have a school uniform policy.
Dickinson’s policy would require students to wear golf or polo style shirts in any color, with Dockers, chino, cargo or suit style pants. McKean’s policy would require students to wear the same style pants but wear shirts in green, blue, grey, white or black. When asked about the colors selected, Mattix said his Uniform Committee would consider amending that rule to allow for any color polo shirt.
“We are not looking to be militant,” said Mattix. “You’ll see that reflective in our policies. We are looking for students to have lots of options that are affordable for families.”
Board members expressed concern whether every family can afford the uniform clothing and that students might be suspended from school for not adhering to the policy. Both schools will establish a clothing bank at their schools, for families that cannot afford the clothing. Furthermore, these clothing banks would have some uniforms on loan for a student who came to school dressed inappropriately.
Both schools will also encourage the wearing of school spirt wear, which Dickinson Principal Murphy said impressed him when he visited Conrad Schools of Science. The proposal is scheduled for a vote by the school board at its February meeting.
“Students were opposed”. Does it matter to the school board if high school students aka young adult oppose a uniform policy? “Parents had a small majority in support of uniforms”. Sounds shaky to me!!
80 parent surveys completed 45 teacher surveys completed 540 student surveys completed 74% of parents had students who attended a school with a uniform in the past 51% of teachers have worked in a school with a uniform
Looks like about 86% of the “540” Dickinson students oppose (see slide 11)
Surveys Completed 89 Parents 738 Students (91%) 56 Teachers 69% of Parents responded that they felt uniforms would reduce bullying 66% of Parents responded that they felt uniforms would reduce peer pressure 47% of Parents responded that uniforms would make finances more challenging Many students who initially voted against, have been more agreeable after Open Lunch Forums with the principal
So the survey was skewed by the principal interference after the vote! Why wasn’t his Open Lunch Forums open the the entire committee included involved parents? Were it the results of the 2nd student vote? About 64% of McKean students originally opposed. So the principal worked it to get 51% yes? WFT.
Folks at the end of the day the student’s voices doesn’t matter! And shame on Red Clay’s board for not reprimanding McKean’s principal for interference in an open democratic process?
The school board should vote NO and respect the rights of high school students aka free thinking young adults. Perhaps the next attempt for a high school uniform policy should includes the same uniform policy for teachers!