Dress code a good idea

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Schools across the country have implemented dress codes and school uniforms over the past several years.

The Selma City School Board recently adopted and approved recommendations for its dress code policy at Selma High School.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, “many parents, teachers and school officials have come to see school uniforms as one positive and creative way to reduce discipline problems and increase school safety.”

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School officials have observed that the adoption of school uniform policies can promote school safety, improve discipline and enhance the learning environment, according to the Department of Education’s Web site.

The potential benefits of school uniforms include:

Decreasing violence and theft – even life-threatening situations – among students over designer clothing or expensive sneakers;

Helping prevent gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia at school;

Instilling students with discipline;

Helping parents and students resist peer pressure;

Helping students concentrate on their school work; and

Helping school officials recognize intruders who come to the school.

Principal Roosevelt Wilson and School Board President Ben Givan said SHS as well as all city schools adhere to a dress code.

Beginning with the start of the school year on Aug. 10, officials said students must adhere to the new SHS policy.

Some students – and some parents for that matter – see a dress code or uniform policy as an infringement on the child’s right to express themself.

But, the thousands of schools that have already implemented such codes have seen improved behavior and higher test scores as a result.

Some principals have observed that students feel a sense of pride in their uniforms and a renewed sense of pride in their school.

If having a strict dress code cuts down on even some behavioral problems, it will be worth it in providing a more stable educational environment.