“Uniforms are not going to work. They will not help in the classroom,” she said. “The kids on the north end will buy their uniforms at Macy’s and the others will buy their uniform clothes at Wal-Mart. It’s a lose-lose situation. The kids are still going to bully.
“What will help is having a balanced calendar (year-round school) at all the schools. Get the test scores up and make them more productive,” she said.
“This comes up every year,” Powell said about school uniforms. “The dress code is perfect. Just follow it.”
Ed Butler, a retired District 118 employee, said he favored school uniforms.
“I think our children should look professional, so they can get down to schoolwork,” he said, adding that he’s seen teenage boys at the high school wear droopy pants.
He also suggested that the district help cash-strapped parents with purchasing the uniforms.
School board members weighed in next on the issue and most appeared to favor having students wear school uniforms.
“Our community is looking for leadership on this and not another poll,” Bragorgos said. He said 86 percent of the district’s teachers supported having students wear school uniforms.
“I think it’s time. It’s not about what the kids want or don’t want; it’s about what’s best for the kids,” he said. “We can’t lose sight of the positive effect it’s going to have on the students.”
Fellow board member Darlene Halloran said she has received emails from community members on the issue “and not one person has not wanted uniforms.”
“Why is a decision left to a survey?” she asked. “It’s a policy decision and we (the board) are in the business of making policy.”
Board member Lon Henderson said he believes school uniforms should be instituted, starting at the high school first, but questioned whether the district would be financially responsible in making sure all students had uniforms and how the high school would discipline students who showed up not wearing a uniform.