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Abilene school board moves forward with middle school uniforms

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: May 13 2013 10:18:38 PM CDT
Updated On: May 14 2013 03:42:54 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

School uniforms are one step closer to becoming a reality in Abilene middle schools. Monday, the school board approved moving forward with the exploration of uniforms.

That does not mean uniforms will definitely be in the future for middle-schoolers, but it does mean the option is still on the table. It could be implemented in the 2014-2015 school year.

Monday, middle school principals Dan Duke, Kim Farmer, George McFarland and Rodney Brown proposed a timeline to meet with community members before making any concrete decisions.

They said they will find ways for families to afford uniforms because they know cost will be an issue, but they hope the implementation of school uniforms will make campus a safer place.

"There is something to be said for uniforms. To be able to look down the halls and see who is in your building and who is where they are supposed to be and who, like Mr. McFarland is out of uniform tonight, we would, we would know that immediately," Duke said.

The principals hope to meet with different groups at different times to discuss the issue. That will include community meetings in November and December before the final proposal to the school board in January.

The newest member of the school board, Kelvin Kelley was officially sworn in. He said he is honored to be the third African American to ever serve on the Abilene ISD school board.

"Tonight is historic for me and I take that as a responsibility and also as a challenge to serve faithfully," said Kelley.

Kelley is a senior pastor at First Baptist church in Cisco. He also has two children in AISD.

The school board also voted to update the current dress code at high schools to allow students a little more freedom with hairstyles and ear piercings.

In middle school and elementary school hair must not cover the eyes and can not be colors such as blue, green, pink or purple. Hair designs and mohawks will be prohibited for jr. high and elementary students and piercings are limited to the ears in those schools.

In high school students will be able to have facial piercings if they are clear or small studs. All body piercings must be concealed.