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Halifax Kids: Someplace to Go, Nothing to Dress Up In

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ROANOKE RAPIDS — While most parents rush around looking for Cabbage Patch dolls and Beanie Babies, that's not the case in Halifax County. Parents here are on a quest for something different -- school uniforms for their kids.

The clothes will be required this fall, but the supply isn't keeping up with demand.

Elementary students here will be required to wear the new uniforms when school resumes in August. As part of the new uniform code, every student has to wear navy and khaki outfits without labels.

"We wouldn't have the problem of any child worrying about not having the same name brands coats, sweaters, pants that other children had," said Selma Allen, director of elementary programs.

What officials didn't expect was that there would be such a rush to buy them. Stores across the county say they can't keep enough of the clothes in stock. One shop has sold more than 20 blue shirts in the past two days, and employees are still fielding calls from people looking for more.

"For the past couple of months, actually, since the school board has passed [the dress code], customers have been coming in and customers asking when are we going to get the merchandise in," said store manager Eddie Hardy.

Most of the parents WRAL-TV5'sAmanda Lambtalked with believe the uniforms are a good idea, but finding them is another matter.

"It's going to be difficult to find them because there are a lot of people out there that's wanting them and going to need them," said parent Carolyn Mills.

Only nine stores are selling the needed clothes right now, but more have them on order. As the shipments come in, school leaders believe the anxiety will go down.

Halifax middle and high schools will take up the mandatory uniform policy during the next two years. Parents who can't afford the uniforms can apply for financial help with local agencies.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
Brian Bowman, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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