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ABILENE ISD: Second round of standardized dress meetings sees more opposition

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 09 2013 09:37:34 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 10 2013 06:06:15 AM CST
school dress code
ABILENE, Texas -

The second round of informational meetings to discuss a standardized dress at Abilene ISD middle schools was Monday.

Parents at Craig and Madison middle schools had their chance to voice their concerns regarding the proposal. Monday’s mood was different from meetings two weeks ago. This time the majority of parents in attendance were against the idea.

"Like adults have a work uniform students now have their school uniform," said George McFarland who is the Principal of Madison Middle School.

Principals at Mann, Clack, Madison and Craig middle schools said having all their students in a similar dress could help remove distractions on campus and increase security.

"Anytime we can look around campus right now and have a real quick reminder of who's supposed to be here and who's not, that's a big security issue for us and standardize dress would do that for us," McFarland said.  

Principals said higher attendance seems to be correlated with standardized dress and it could even help struggling families fit in. 

"It's going to hopefully make things easier with parents not only with time, but with money"

The majority of parents at Madison Middle School seemed to be against the idea.

“I think if they're going to grow up and be strong, independent thinkers and creative they need to learn that sometimes you don't yield, sometimes you wear what you want, sometimes you speak your mind and when you can, without hurting people, you do what you want to do just because you want to do it,” said Sam Mehaffey who has a child at Madison.

“The standardized dress is going to give some options that hopefully will give into that individuality they’re concerned about losing," said McFarland.

Several Parents were in favor of the idea as well.

“I understand the idea that for the other kids it kind of levels the playing field. Not everyone can buy all the latest trends and all of that stuff,” said Stephen Baum who said he is open to a standardized dress.

After getting feedback from parents and community members, findings will be presented to the school board in the spring. If trustees approve it, the dress code would be implemented in the 2014-2015 school year.

Two more informational meetings will be held for concerned parents and community members. Tuesday, December 17, meetings will be held at Clack and Mann middle schools at 6:30pm.