Garrard board discusses school uniforms

March 10, 2004|JIM LOGAN

LANCASTER - At the beginning of Tuesday night's Garrard County Board of Education meeting, Greg Crutchfield dropped a small, two-word bomb: "school uniforms."

The seemingly unscripted moment came during the usually dull time reserved for board member discussion.

"I guess I kind of wonder what everybody thinks about it," Crutchfield said.

One by one, the other members of the board registered their approval. The discussion was in no way a vote to impose uniforms or even to suggest that they become district policy. It was largely an idea being run up the clothesline.

"We need public input on this," Crutchfield said. "It's not something we want to push down someone's throat."

But the enthusiasm with which the topic was discussed showed that it would receive a friendly hearing if it ever made it to the board for consideration. "As far as I'm concerned, it's almost a no-brainer," said Gary Oliver. "I've felt that way for a long time."


Susan Ledford said uniforms improve student conduct.

"There is definitely a difference in the way students behave based on how they dress," she said.

Superintendent Ray Woolsey, anticipating at least one objection by parents, said that uniforms wouldn't be a financial hardship on parents.

Given the pressures students endure to conform to expensive fashion trends, "It would save (parents) a considerable amount of money."

Board chairman Joe Brown said uniforms also would improve attendance, and suggested local school site councils consider them.

"I think it would be accepted better if it came from that level," he said.

There was no discussion of which schools might be subject to uniforms.

Jeff Cooper said uniforms should be casual, probably khaki pants and a neutral shirt. It was generally agreed that school colors were probably a bad idea.

One benefit for students and parents, said Crutchfield, was that uniforms would take the drama out of dressing for school each day.

"I have one who's real opinionated about what she's gonna wear," he said. "It would make my life a lot easier."

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