DANVILLE — The topic of school uniforms drew several ministers and a few community members to attend a study session Wednesday conducted by the Danville School District 118 board.
The study session was called so board members could talk about ongoing issues. No action was taken nor any recommendations made at the end of the session.
The topic of school uniforms, which was last discussed during a number of public forums in the summer of 2011, has resurfaced in the last few months. School board member Steve Bragorgos and a few local ministers have brought the issue of school uniforms back to the forefront again.
In 2011, district officials surveyed parents during school registration about whether they were in favor of school uniforms. The survey results indicated that parents preferred that the district enforce its existing dress code policy.
In November, however, three local ministers — Nathan Lenstra, Doug Knapp and Thomas Miller — asked the school board to implement a student uniform policy districtwide. Lenstra said student uniforms would prevent the display of gang colors, would make visitors more visible at the schools and would minimize economic class difference and bullying.
On Wednesday night, Lenstra told board members he and other pastors have been meeting since last summer to discuss the issue of school uniforms.
“It would reduce bullying and comparing clothing they’re wearing, especially those that come from different economic classes,” he said.
Miller, who volunteers at the high school on Thursdays, said, “I do believe uniforms will help with discipline problems. Uniforms would bring students back to a focal point that it’s about school and about getting an education.”
Kelly Powell, a District 118 parent, who opposed school uniforms in 2011, said that although her children were graduated or no longer in the district, she was there to speak out against uniforms for her nieces and nephews who attend District 118.