Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Uniforms have positive impact on students
In response to Michelle Heard’s July 9 letter:
As a teacher I have worked a schools that have a uniform policy and at schools that do not, and I’d like to say that it does make a difference, both academically and socially. I do agree that it reduces the student’s right to individuality; however, we are not at school to demonstrate how much we like spiderman.
When my school decided that uniforms would be worn, I was also very skeptical and did much research on the topic. Students in schools that wear uniforms consistently score higher, behave more appropriately and respect each other in a much more socially acceptable way. There are no haves and have nots in so far as clothing goes and, yes, they are cheaper. Most of my sixth-graders wore the same sets of clothing all year. The average cost of a uniform shirt was $8-10 and the pants were about $15, as were the skirts and shorts. If you bought five sets of clothing and a sweatshirt for the winter, the most you would spend is around $200.
Now I have two boys, and I spent much more than that in clothing each season. The dirt on the uniforms is nothing a little Tide won’t get out if washed daily. As a teacher and a mom, I would trade a little more laundry for better behavior, more respect and better academic performance any day! I do agree with Michelle on one issue ó I think high school is where the real problems exist in regard to clothing and they most definitely should be in uniform!
ó Shirley Disseler
Dressing for school success
I have worked in the school system for 10 years. I believe wholeheartedly that uniforms are a good solid plan. I would like to address Ms. Heard’s July 9 letter. Ma’am, is it your child that wants the cute cartoon characters on everything, or is it you that thinks it’s so cute to advertise every marketing thing that Disney comes up with?
Yes, it is a big bill to clothe school age kids. I had two that I thought just had to have the right thing for teachers to notice them. Or was it that I thought they had to have this to fit in and be considered cool? Either way, I was wrong. Children should not be judged by their outer appearance. They should be considered by the worth of their character, values and integrity. That’s what we see in the classroom. Not what you came in wearing this morning.
Many of our school-age children have to fend for themselves. You can pick up on each child’s situation, whether it is cultural or socioeconomic, by how they come into the classroom. Some haven’t had their hair brushed. Many have not seen a toothbrush in a week. Frequently I have to ask the “cute little girl” that came in that morning if she has a sweater with her because the top she has on should be worn only at the beach. What is more harmful to a child’s psyche ó wearing the same thing everyday or being singled out as the only one wearing a sweater in August?
The county dress code is enforced. Uniforms would be a simple solution to a growing problem. We want children to be able to learn. When you take away the distinctions of dress, you leave the individual. That is the key.
ó Diane Brown
China Grove