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Uniforms inhibit individuality
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Editor, I am a parent of three school-age children in the Liberty County school district and I am concerned with the uniform policy mentioned in the Wednesday edition of the Coastal Courier.
My children attend Taylors Creek Elementary School and are honor roll students. Taylors Creek is an excellent school with an immaculate record for student success, and I have no doubt these results are consequences of a wonderful, well-educated and active staff employed by the school district.
An interesting comment was published in the same Wednesday edition of the Coastal Courier alongside the story about the school uniform policy. The quote was made by the principal of Taylors Creek Elementary School, Dr. Debbie Rodriguez.
Dr. Debbie Rodriguez let it be known in her quote she was not in favor of student uniforms and she is focused on students learning and helping students’ develop themselves as individuals.
I am well aware of almost all the pros and cons of a school uniform policy, and I feel  the pros and cons of the policy should be inconsequential when the board of education is considering whether or not to adopt a school uniform policy. What should be considered is the goal of the Liberty County school board (which I cannot seem to find on the board of education Web site). The goal of the board of education should be the same as the goal of Dr. Debbie Rodriguez, “helping students develop themselves as individuals.”
A school uniform policy would, without argument, rob a student of his or her individuality and, therefore, a school uniform policy would do exactly the opposite of what the board of education was created to do — help the student develop as an individual through the use of education.
As a parent, I also have the same goal for my children as does Dr. Debbie Rodriguez. I want my children to grow up to be well developed (mentally, spiritually and physically) individuals. A uniform policy will make this very hard for me to reach my goals with my children. The children spend a major part of their day in school learning about science, health, math and art. Time is a precious commodity that can never be given back and if my children are forced to wear uniforms there is more time they are robbed of their individuality.
There is no doubt I want my children to be kept in a safe environment in which learning and developing is paramount and perhaps uniforms will create a safer learning environment. But even after skimming through excerpts from The School Uniform Movement and What It Tells About American Education: A Symbolic Crusade, by David L. Brunsma, it seems there is no true evidence a uniform policy will provide a better environment for students’ learning. There is, however, an agreement throughout almost the entire academia that school uniform policies stifle  students’ individuality.
To curb and protect our children, the school system should focus on education and enforcing the already existing rules concerning school dress as well as school conduct, and less on fashion and social control.

John Corrigan
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