Red Clay’s high school student uniform push meets student opposition! Now the question is, do their voices count?

Uniforms Proposed for Dickinson and McKean

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!! 

Dickinson Survey 

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) 

McKean

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!   

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17 responses to “Red Clay’s high school student uniform push meets student opposition! Now the question is, do their voices count?

  1. “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! ”

    I’ll say it again. Red Clay teachers have a dress code. And most high school students are not adults. Teachers, administrators, and parents want this. Children don’t. I’m shocked.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Red Clay teachers aren’t required to wear “uniforms” which is not the same as a dress code! However, there should be a district wide dress code such as collared shirts, belts with pants requiring them, no sandals and pants hanging off of asses. High school students are young adults preparing for adulthood and should have some sense of say in this matter. However, the did and they are not in favor! So the board should vote no!

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    • Publius e decere

      A “uniform” is a life skill. An average-man’s uniform — an oxford button down shirt, rep tie, hair trimmed to not cover the ears, single-crease wool slacks, blue blazer, leather-sole shoes, and — yes– SOCKS — is a uniform for on-field play in life. As is wearing it respectfully. And with a small dose of subtle personal style.

      There is nothing wrong with setting a uniform standard and adhering to it. There is plenty of fatuous argument about “young adults” but pulllease spend a few Friday nights on Main Street in Newark and tell me what “common sense” [older] “young adults” display on any given Firday/Saturday. The obvious will appear in front of you.

      Set the rules reasonably, consistently, and early.

      Publius

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    • oy vey

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    • Publius e decere

      The Shiksa Summary — nie!

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    • lastDEconservative

      Shiksamom,
      “Leather-sole shoes” reminded me of our recent exchange vis a vis the influence, or not, of rap ____, on your kids — you, laissez faire, moi, explain, confiscate and forbid.

      You often (and rightly) decry the “thugs” of various flavors that populate the world, and particularly the schools. A day or two ago, crossing a parking lot, I was startled by the sudden unmistakable and irreverent boom, boom, boom of a stadium sized sound system pulsing in a small dinged up Toyota, followed by such lyrics as might make Kilroy blush. Sure enough, the driver, bopping as he pumped the gas to make the ill equipped machine run, was generously tattooed, and sported a thug cap on his head. All of 17 or 18, I thought of you and yours … and of the degree to which this child of God had been influenced by the auditory abuse he seemed to be enjoying … or by the benign neglect of such a practice …

      Let’s just say, as far as this thread, he was wearing a uniform, but, uh, his pants were neither khaki nor creased.

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    • lastDEconservative

      “Set the rules reasonably, consistently, and early.”

      And …

      Enforce. Rinse. Repeat.

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  2. Having gone through no uniforms and uniforms, uniforms are better. One cannot expect little children to have the breadth to understand…

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  3. I agree with Kilroy…young adults should have choices, but not choices that interfere and distract from the learning and focus of other young adults at school. Uniforms are an obvious choice for schools that want to keep the focus of schools where it belongs…on learning. Young adults can “choose” what course of study they want, what to eat for lunch, what club to join, what sport to play, what instrument to play, etc. not sure there’s a downside to removing one distracting choice from their menu of choices. As someone already mentioned, teachers obviously have a dress code with more latitude which is appropriate for adults. Let the young adults continue to express themselves through their clothing…after school at home. After all, this is what adults do, right?

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Teachers have dress code but not required to wear same uniform as students. HOWEVER, why give students a vote on the question and then when they say NO go ahead a vote yes re: school board? Give them the vote surely was meant their position matters. But the board hasn’t voted yet and I have a hunch they will respect the student’s position. Then the is McKean’s principal interfering with the process after the vote. That wasn’t a smart thing to do

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  4. They can choose to do their homework.

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  5. AI students were opposed to a dress code, but the parents, teachers and administrators (whose frontal lobes have developed entirely), were for it. And today AI has a dress code.

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  6. Unless the administration of either school is REALLY willing to enforce any dress code, any implementation of such is huge waste of time and effort.

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  7. If the administration wants a dress code, don’t you think they’ll enforce it? This isn’t being forced upon the administrations of those schools.

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    • lastDEconservative

      That is true. It’s more like grasping at straws. Following, of course, the ubiquitous quest to -appear- to be -doing something-.

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  8. Quest to be doing something? I work my tail off and do quite a bit, every day. Some people make things happen. Some people watch things happen. And some people have no idea what’s happening. Be careful which category you fall in, in any situation.

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