End of the uniform debate | Everything Bremerton

As the countdown to the end of yet another school year reaches the one-month mark, considerations for next year are underway.

The Bremerton School District recently polled the parents of West Hills STEM academy about the possibility of mandatory school uniforms starting in the fall of 2012. This year uniforms were only recommended,  basically meaning that most kids and parents found the idea as interesting and fun for the first few months and then simply an annoying mix and match rotation the rest of the time.

The overall consensus is that the school should go with uniforms as mandatory or get rid of the idea completely.

Results of the poll have determined that starting next year, mandatory it is.

Having personally attended both public and private schools during my K-12 education, there were years where I wore mandatory uniforms and years where I did not. I survived both situations just fine. I found that when it came to teasing and being picked on over clothing, options mattered less than the perception. When clothing was removed from the equation to some degree by uniforms, the picking and teasing simply moved on to an alternative topic, other than clothing, by which it was dispensed.

Now, from a parent perspective, uniforms do make the initial back to school shopping easier. On the other hand, an unexpected rapid growth spurt or multiple rips, stains and damages in a single week do take a significant toll on an already stretched or tight household budget.

In the coming weeks a group of volunteers made up of staff and parents will take on the job of deciding on and outlining the look and color of the uniforms as well as the rules that will govern compliance and exceptions. I wish them the best of luck and thank them for their service.

It is my hope that the forthcoming policy is decided quickly and is easy to implement, adapt and enforce. That the mandatory uniform issue as a whole does not become a resource hogging and time consuming distraction. If after a year of uniforms it is discovered that the mandatory uniform policy does not work or is in some cases too burdensome and distractive that there is a policy consideration in place to do away with it.

Family budgets are tight all around and resources are limited.

The primary focus on improving the learning process and education as a whole needs to remain the number 1 goal for everyone involved.


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