DANVILLE — Danville School District 118 board members voted 6-1 Wednesday to implement a uniform standard of dress districtwide for the 2014-2015 school year.
Administrators will gather input about what the uniform dress should look like and then recommend to the school board an implementation plan at a later date. Northeast Elementary Magnet School’s current uniforms will remain unchanged.
Although board members were supposed to vote on the issue at their Feb. 12 meeting, board members Steve Bragorgos and Frank Young asked that the “concept” of uniform dressing for kindergarten through 12th grade be placed on Wednesday’s agenda.
At a special study session on Jan. 15, several local ministers spoke out in favor of school uniforms, saying they would prevent the display of gang colors, make visitors more visible at the schools and minimize economic class difference and bullying. Many of those same ministers were at Wednesday’s meeting.
Several Danville High School students as well as parents also packed the meeting to speak out against uniforms.
DHS junior Natalie Mahoy said, “My biggest thing is we already have a strict dress code. It’s only a small percentage of students who don’t follow it. I don’t understand why it’s not enforced.
“It’s a punishment to the rest of us who do follow the dress code,” she said.
Fellow classmate Becca Lewis said, “I don’t think uniforms will help me learn better. They’ll have to buy uniforms for some students and that’s a big unnecessary expense for the district. That money could be used for technology or to clean the facilities.
“The last time this came up, it was shut down by the parents,” Lewis said of the results of a 2011 survey of parents who opposed uniforms. “This time they didn’t give parents and students any notice.”