Granville School Uniform Policy Sparks Controversy
Posted August 1, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
OXFORD — As the new school year approaches, many parents are stocking up on supplies and buying new clothes for their children. However, the Granville County Board of Education voted to require a standard dress code -- school uniforms -- in six of its elementary and middle schools.
Gale Glass is a mom on a mission. She has compiled a petition with the names of parents who oppose school uniforms.
"I want my children to think for themselves," she said. "I don't want anybody thinking for my children."
Glass wants her daughter to wear what she wants to school, not blue, white and khaki uniforms.
"If I wear a uniform, I'm going to look like everybody else, and you won't really know who I am," says student Jennifer Glass. "I'll look like everybody, and I won't be different, and I won't be able to be myself."
At Monday night's school board meeting, it was a standing-room only crowd full of strong voices.
"The last time I checked Granville County was still apart of the United State of America," said former teacher Terry Turner. "Would you allow someone to dictate to you the color and style of your house, your car, or anything else that you own?"
"They are not a clothing issue, they are an issue beginning to deal with a step towards discipline," says former teach Susan Crews.
"We want to give it try," says superintendent Dr. Janice Davis, who says research shows that standard dress codes have worked well in other school systems across the country.
"[There were] increases in discipline, increases in attendance, and in some cases increases in student achievement," Davis said.
"I am not going to put uniforms on my children," Glass said. "I'm not going to go out and buy uniforms. Somebody is going to have to listen to us, or they are going to have to build a building bigger than this to hold all the kids in school suspension."
As it stands now, the policy will go into effect this coming school year. It will be optional for the first half of year, and mandatory in January. Parents can request a waiver if they have serious religious or patriotic differences.