"Statistics should back up BCISD claims about standardized dress" by: Jessica Shepard

    When I heard that Bay City ISD was considering standardized dress a.k.a “uniforms” for students I had a mix of reactions.
   First there was anger, followed closely by disbelief, a bit of amusement and overall curiosity.
   As more facts came to light at how this decision was being made, annoyance became the end emotion.
   Throughout his discussion forums, Superintendent Dr. Marshall Scott, III claimed that “statistics” showed a standardized dress code would alleviate bullying.
   My main problem was that there’s no conclusive and widely accepted statistical proof of uniforms helping with bullying.
   You can’t take data from European, urban or metropolitan areas and try to shove it into our rural district.
   Plus, when it comes to bullying there’s a variety of reasons for children to do it: grades, handicaps, physical fitness, sexual preference, and other perceptions.
   Essentially bullying is picking on someone perceived as “different” and I hate to tell you guys, but, uniforms aren’t going to solve the problems faced in junior high and high school.
   You can find bullies in colleges and as an adult in the workplace – it’s not a dress code problem, it’s a humanity problem.
   With our culture putting so much value on brands, stars and making things “popular,” we’re creating division and giving children the wrong examples of worthiness.
   True worth comes from within, not the latest greatest iPhone, Kendra Scott jewelry or Jordan sneakers.
   You have to stop building up material goods as measurements of wealth and start cultivating acceptance uniqueness while encouraging students to be the best versions of themselves.
   Uniforms aren’t going to help someone who already might have body issues or someone who might be part of a near-poverty level household keep from being bullied.
   You’re still going to have the kids that can afford name-brand or designer polo shirts and kids that pick up an itchy $5 polo from Wal-Mart and bullies are going to know the haves from the have-nots.
   During one of his forums, I asked Dr. Scott if he had any numbers on the student disciplinary write-ups focused on bullying due to dress code violations as well as dress code violation write-ups in general – he did not provide them.
   I find it hard to believe something is “better” if there’s a vague argument without facts, statistics and actual input from the group that the argument is about.
   From what I’ve seen, heard and read online – students are not for this change.
   And if they’re the ones stuck having to conform to the dress code, perhaps they should have a say?
   I’ve heard plenty of people with and without children claim that uniforms will “prepare” students for the real world and I hate to tell you, uniforms aren’t going to prepare them for adulthood.
   Businesses that require uniforms aren’t always the same and I can guarantee if your uniform is required to be a certain style for the job you have, then you’ll make sure to follow it.
   Besides, adult jobs are different than being a full-time student and removing self-expression from school is just asking for backlash.
   After all, switching to standardized dress doesn’t impact the district financially until students start leaving for other districts. 

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