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Uniforms--my 2 cents worth

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From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jul 05 2001 - 13:04:16 PDT


I have seen uniforms work in my town in a positive way. I volunteered in an
inner city school where the kids were proud to wear their uniforms....They
didn't even change their clothes when they went out in public. I would see
some of the kids at the library and ask them "how was school today" and they
would have a big grin on their faces. I would see some at the mall and ask
"How was school today?". Sometimes if we can just help those at risk kids
with one decision---and make them proud to be special for that
decision....then their other decision are not so hard to make. Wearing the
uniform at lest gets them up and dressed for school ON THEIR OWN and that is
special. The good way to use uniforms is let their shirts hang out just a
bit --if that is what they want ---let them pull the tail out - if that's
what they want. Let them do what they want with their hair --their jewelry.

Wearing uniforms does help them focus on what is important in school and
they are only advertising for what their school stands for.

Kids do get hung up on clothes --they do get competitive on clothes-- and
that is sad. I knew someone who even sewed different labels into her
clothes....now that was weird.

Help kids realize it isn't what they wear that is important --it is what
they are on the inside....THEN when they get onto middle school, at least
you have them wanting to come to school....and maybe then you can allow more
choices for them. I can remember when I was a kid I used to keep a record of
what I wore so I didn't repeat any outfit too frequently (had to be at least
2 weeks apart)--now that is really dumb! But remember, I grew up in a
society that encouraged more is better -- the more you have the better off
you are. I have learned through this life that "less is more"..I have heard
the city schools art's coordinator say it often....I guess he was right.

Make coming to school the most important decision a kid has to make at the
start of his or her day. And when the child is home...make what he or she
wears the most important decision. It is four o'clock and I am still comfy
in my home---except I had to add my slippers cause my feet were getting
chilly (hubby has the knack with the air conditioning--every time I set it--
it goes back to what he set it at....I guess there are some things that men
are just better at).

Judy Decker

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