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The Live Poll: 53% Against Uniforms

| January 17, 2012

Comparing notes. (Jen Crothers)

The Flagler County School Board will vote Tuesday evening, Jan. 17, on whether to adopt uniforms in all traditional public schools by next fall. The board discussed the matter in 2007, came close to requiring uniforms, only to drop the matter after facing an uproar. The board decided to stick with a dress code, disallowing certain types of clothing (low-riding shorts, mini-skirts, flip-flops, spaghetti straps, and so on) but refraining from imposing overly prescriptive wardrobes. At an Oct. 18 meeting, the school board decided to move forward with a survey of Flagler parents and residents on uniforms in a first step toward writing a uniform policy. Here’s your chance to influence the outcome.

For the background story on this issue, go here. For a series of arguments against uniforms, go here.

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48 Responses for “The Live Poll: 53% Against Uniforms”

  1. Mommy says:

    Bring on the uniforms. We have been waiting a very long time for this and hope that this time the school board can make this decision easily.

  2. Jessica says:

    I just want to say as a mother and having to decide what a child should wear day in day out are you going to be getting call because the shirt is to low , the shorts are to short by an inch , we spend money on our children clothes yearly , there is always something said about the clothing , I think its a great ideal , boys will keep there eyes off of the girls and pay to there class work , girl on girl problems would be solved becasue it wouldnt be about the brain , stlye , they wear . It would be more classwork and getting things done . Everyone would be = as one when it came to clothes . I think its a great ideal and i hope it goes through .

  3. JB says:

    Though I can certainly agree with some of the points made above, I still think kids should have a right to their individuality. Teaching them to conform is not the answer. Geniuses who have changed the world for the better were not conformists. If our future generations are pushed further ‘inside the box’ no one will be able to think outside of it and solve problems.

  4. Bunnellgirl says:

    When we switched to a charter school this year, my daughter was very upset over having to wear a uniform. For her, it was the most horrible part about switching schools. Three months into this school year, she wouldn’t trade her uniforms for anything. She actually loves them. Her hardest decision in the morning is whether to wear a skort, skirt, shorts or pants and to remember if the day requires sneakers for gym. One of the first things she noticed after school started, is that none of the other kids cared about what she was wearing or how she looked. She was just one of the kids in the class.

    As a parent, I can tell you the burden of purchasing uniforms was much less than school clothes shopping. There was less arguing over what clothes to purchase. We bought a pair of new sneakers, two new pairs of flats (closed toe is a school rule) dress socks, and two new outfits to add to her wardrobe. School shopping was actually fun and not a chore.

  5. Bunnellgirl says:

    JB, I can assure you my child’s’ free thinking skills are just as intact today as they were before she started wearing uniforms. Just because a child puts on a uniform doesn’t mean they become another sheep in the flock. Her individuality shines through her work in school, her art work, her volunteer work, her dance class and musical talent.

    • Layla says:

      Wanted to second Bunnellgirl’s comments. As silly as it sounds, eliminating the stress of deciding what to wear to school everyday and fighting over it made a world of difference.

      There is life after school uniforms and plenty of time for individuality. (You ought to meet my daughter!)

  6. Flagler parent says:

    “The boys will keep the eyes off the girls”? The vast majority of girls in school right now wear jeans and so at least they usually have their legs covered. Most school uniforms require girls to wear skirts, which in my opinion is a throwback to the 50s and a step in the wrong direction. My girl–for one–would despise being forced to wear a skirt every day, and you are dreaming if you think boys don’t notice the bare legs under them. School uniforms are also–among men, anyway–a prevalent fetish. If you don’t believe me, hit any online costume shop. I do not want my kid attracting the eye of some perv, and I don’t want her to feel vulnerable to sexual assault because she’s been forced to wear a skirt every day.

    I also have to question the validity of this poll as a representation of a true cross-section of parents in the Flagler district. The families who would be most effected by the implementation of a uniform policy are those who are low income and already require assistance–do you really think they all have internet access, except for the library? How many of them are going to be able to participate in this poll and make their voices heard? How will they afford these required uniforms if they already can’t afford to feed their kids, and what happens to their kids if they can’t afford to comply? Disciplinary action? Kicking them out of school? That creates a lot of problems for the community. Can the district afford to pay for those uniforms for them after all of the massive budget cuts in education? I think not.

    This issue has been voted down before, and there’s a reason for that. Economically, it doesn’t make sense for a large number of families in the district. Academically, it has absolutely no proven benefit. From a discipline standpoint, I think you would have more rebellion and acting out, especially right after implementation. If skirts are required for girls, I think you would also see a rise in sexual harassment and/or assault in the district as well.

    Quit taking the focus off more pressing issues and let’s get down to the business of education–maintaining what standards we have and improving them if at all possible in the face of extensive budget cuts. THAT’s the issue every parent should be concerned with.

  7. elaygee says:

    How about teaching the children and demanding that parents act like parents? Uniforms are a simplistic response to an imagined problem. They wear uniforms in prison too.

  8. A Parent Says This says:

    There is always the weekend and after school to express one’s individuality in attire. Wanna emulate Lady Gaga, Goth Queen or DJKool? That’s fine but not on your school time. Anyways, one’s true individuality begins with one’s character as expressed by one’s voice and by one’s deeds – not by one’s clothing and accessories. During school, the focus should be on learning and preparation of life’s skills, not, “hey, look at me”. Save that for Friday night out with the friends and Facebook. Keep the rules all the same district wide, as to eliminate any discrepancies or differences between schools. Inact as soon as possible.

    good article on the subject:

  9. kim says:

    Flagler County is a mess. They are so worried about school uniforms. What about the transportation regarding the bus situation that is occurring this year. The busses are so overpact that children do not even have a seat. They are sitting 3 to a seat, 1 child always hanging off the edge of the seat. These are middle school and high school students on the same bus. The seat belts cannot even be worn because they barely have enough of room to even sit. That is SAFE. Uniforms, that’s the least of Flagler’s problems. Why isn’t Flagler worried about high school students being placed with middle school children. That is not correct, and should never have happened. The County needs to look into some of the teachers that are teaching in the schools. Terrible!!! Why uniforms? I provide my children with new clothes every school year, whether I could afford it or not – that’s what parents do. Why should a child have to wear a uniform, how is this going to help the district and make it safer for the kids. The only thing it will do – the children who can’t afford to get new clothes every year will not be out of place or feel embarrassed. All children want is what other children have. I am against the uniforms!!!!! The way children dress themselves makes them unique and they have their own individuality. Parents – why don’t you wear the same thing every day for a week, see how you like it. You want your children to wear uniforms, put them in catholic school. Spend the $4000.00 extra a year on tuition. Teaching the children correctly should be the most important thing in this county. But it’s not. The teacher’s are so worried about the dress code that they forget why they became a teacher. Do you think it’s okay that a child will come home from school after a teacher has taught a new lesson in math, and doesn’t understand anything that teacher taught that day. They go so fast because they are told they have to cover everything that is mandated in case it’s on the FCAT., but actually the student’s are not learning the way they should be. Flager has a much bigger problem overall – stop worrying about uniforms. You need to correct so many different things – uniforms do not take priority.

  10. ?? says:

    Will the district pay for the uniforms as the paid for Phoenix Academy? Which by the way is a waste of money and should not even be there.

  11. Helene says:

    elaygee: BINGO!

    Aren’t you all glad we pay our school board (unlike most other states) almost a teachers salary to debate a non-issue. So many other problems in the district and this is what they waster their time on.

  12. Just my opinion! says:

    Spent my entire schooling in a uniform back in the 50’s and it didn’t hurt me a bit!. It’s a great idea for Flagler or any other school board. I changed every day after school into my “play” clothes. It taught me how to dress respectfully and how to act when I was dressed for school. If you got caught out of school in a “uniform” during school hours, you were playing “hooky” and you were going straight to the office to see Ms Brooks. And then you were going home to see “Dad”, and that was always worst than what ever would happen in school. And if you went to school without a uniform…….you better have a note from Mom!

  13. johnc says:

    It will keep the boys from wearing their pants down to the knee’s will also prevent the gang colors being shown,

  14. Steven says:

    I cant comprehend why paremts are having heated discussions over something as simple as a uniform. For one it rids the schools of students dressing like idiots, and whores. And girls being required to wear a skirt isn’t an issue, most girls wear much worse things to begin with. The guys arent such huge perverts either, sure somethings catch our eyes, but we dont sexually harass girls that we find attractive. And on the conformity issue, if you think your child will be indistinguishable from the rest then you didnt raise your child very well. Uniforms do not take away individuality they just provide schools with decent looking students
    To all the parents fighting, get a life and teach your kid to dress respectably and the schools wouldnt be contemplating uniforms. By the way im a Straight White Pro-Life Conservative Male, how much more can I piss you off?

  15. FPC Student-Class of 2010 says:

    I honestly don’t think that uniforms will help at all. Kids are going to break the uniform policy just like they break the dress code policy. I can honestly not see all FPC students wearing the same thing, it would never work right. Students would rebel and the School Board and Administrators would receive complaints left and right over the fact. I think the subject of uniforms should be dropped, they tried to get this passed a couple years ago and it didn’t pass. There are much bigger problems that need to be dealt with.

  16. FPC Student says:

    To Jessica and all other parents,

    As a high school student, I would just like to say that having uniforms within schools would cause parents to have to buy two different wardrobes. I have been at a school with uniforms before and they are not cheap. As far as not having boys looking at girls as often, that’s not true. If we don’t follow the dress code policy now, what makes you think that we will follow a uniform dress code? Let’s just be honest, girls will try even harder to be more revealing with the uniforms. With us being in high school, we wear our clothes to express ourselves and uniforms would take away our freedom of expression. The famous psychologist Erik Erikson said that during adolescence (teens to 20s) the main issue is “identity vs role confusion.” Teenagers work at refining a sense of self by testing roles and then integrating them to form a single identity. Or, would you prefer that a bunch of teenagers who are confused about who they are because everyone wears the same thing, and no one can express his or herself? Think about it.

    Thank you.

  17. Nancy N. says:

    Steven, the fact that you think this issue is simple shows how little you understand it. I’ve been the most vocal opponent so far of the possibility of uniforms. You suggest that I “get a life and teach my child to dress respectably” so that the school doesn’t need to contemplate uniforms. My daughter is EIGHT and has special needs. This is not about her dressing respectably. She wears what I put on her every day to walk out the door because she cannot dress herself unassisted, and obviously cannot buy clothes herself either. What is this about for me, then? It’s about the massive amount of money that this will cost this community – even the school board admitted at their workshop that a large investment will have to be made the first year that uniforms are implemented to buy uniform wardrobes for every kid in the district, with no used clothes or handmedowns available in the community. The board plans to call on community charitable resources to help lower income families make these purchases since 60% of our district’s kids are on free and reduced lunches. By my calculation, if each of the kids receiving lunch assistance received $50 in uniform assistance, we are looking at needing $360,000 in charitable donations just the first year to implement uniforms – and that won’t cover the whole cost of the school wardrobes for those kids, or get us past the first year since some of those donated uniforms will be destroyed or worn out and have to be replaced for the next year instead of handed down. That’s an awful lot of money that will be diverted from other things that could be done for the school instead of buying polos and khaki pants – is this truly the best use of that money? What about buying technology for classrooms, or paying for grants for teachers, or a myriad of other things, at a time that our school budgets are being slashed drastically? Seriously, polos and khakis are the best things we can think of to spend that huge amount of money on? And what about the families that DON’T get assistance? The rest of the community isn’t exactly rolling in money either. WE CANNOT AFFORD THIS.

    Just my opinion – We can’t solve the problems of the 21st century by trying to roll the clock back 60 years. This is the world of Facebook, and Twitter, and cellphones, and IM’ing – it’s a totally different world than then. Nostalgia makes us remember the past as way more rosy than it actually was….going back is not the way to move forward.

  18. mom of 2 in high school says:

    nancy n. your post is right on! i agree that in the times we are economically in uniforms should not even be a discussion. but, besides that kids will be kids. uniforms will not change the way they act while in school. mean kids will continue to be mean no matter what clothing they are wearing. i also think that for that high school girl or boy that is border line failing and their concidering dropping out, that being forced to wear a unifrom might make dropping out a little bit easier of a decision for them. i think i understand what the school board is trying to achieve with the uniforms, unity! but, that will not be done with uniforms. what needs to be done is a overhaul of our academic system. make school interesting and give these kids (who are our future) the tools they need to go out and make a living. i hear SOOOO many crazy crazy stories that come out of these schools. i just think that the whole process needs to be updated to the world we live in now. and NO uniform will fix that!!!!!

  19. FPC Student says:

    As a student at FPC, there’s many who do not adhere to the dress code and are not found. I would prefer to see girls in clothes that are not appropriate for the public, and boys who wear their pants below their knees. Self expression can be maintained through personality, if anyone needs to wear certain clothes to express themselves, then they do not have anything past that. Uniforms are not expensive, they are much cheaper than the clothes that many wear, which range from twenty dollars a shirt to fifty dollars for jeans. To tell the truth, the only thing I would miss about the school rules pertaining to the way we dress is wearing flip flops.

  20. FPC Student13 says:

    In my opinion, the only reason dress code is being discussed right now is for funding. Uniforms make schools money, or at least for those that set up the process correctly. There are dress code rules in place to try and take away what most parents are griping about. Sure, the dress codes are not being enforced to the extent that they should – but not every student should be punished for this. The school’s employees are responsible for enforcing the code, as most able parents are as well, and if this is really such a problem, make the faculty enforce even harsher punishments than those that exist today. Getting caught for dress code issues sounds intimidating at the beginning of the year, but as time goes on, it is just a slap on the wrist if you are caught.

    Sure, schools will make money with the process, but I feel there can be other alternatives found that both save money and keep the students happy simultaneously.

  21. Rocky Mac says:

    My question is regarding some students may not follow the “uniform” dress code because some don’t follow the regular dress code. And how are these particular students getting away with this behavior. This is a school with rules…it they want to be rebellious in their dress/attire then do it at the mall. You are in school to learn. I am perplexed with how some students can get away with it or even attempt it. My girls wore uniforms for 13 years, the school NEVER had a student rebel about the uniforms. Maybe hiking up the skirt too high, but if a student tried to break the school code, they were sent home. And if the parent couldn’t control the child in this regard, then they were asked to not return. Of course that was 15 years ago and it was a Catholic school so the school had more power over who could stay and who should leave.
    This issue should be quickly resolved so the board can move onto more important issues.

  22. Michael L says:

    Hey parents, students having uniforms means YOU have to pay for them!

  23. Outsider says:

    My kids wear uniforms to school; skirts are NOT required. You can wear khaki pants if you prefer, and all students wear a logo’d polo shirt. I hardly think khaki’s and a polo are going to get the pervs excited. I see plenty of girls dressed like ho’s and boys dressed like gangsters walking to/from the public schools. I am in favor of uniforms because they actually save you money over time and dressing is uneventful. By the way, I wear a uniform to work, as do police, firefighters, first responders, business professionals, and many service personnel. Why not get used to it now? My only complaint is I can’t get my kids to take them off when they get home and they tend to get pretty dirty.

  24. luckylady says:

    To ??- Why are you against Phoenix Academy? It happens to be an amazing program. Are you disgruntled because the teachers are committed to their students, work longer days without extra pay and the students go on several field trips during the year? I believe you might be unaware of the other non-traditional programs that the school district is paying for besides Phoenix.

  25. An Observer says:

    I’ve been reading all the comments above and will agree on there are more important issues to deal with regarding the education of our children besides uniforms. However, since it is the topic of discussion let me throw in an opinion here. There are lots of parents who cannot afford the usual dressing of their kids especially if they have more than one child going to school. There is also peer pressure amongst kids (who has the best clothes, etc etc) Uniforms make each child equal…which is a great start for any child going to school. The kids will concentrate on learning, not assessing who has the better clothing. One parent brought up the “skirt” factor and boys looking at girls legs. Simple solution …have pants as an option for the girls also for those parents who don’t want their girls to wear skirts which I believe is an option. Yes, you have to pay for the uniforms, which are only worn during school time. I would think buying regular clothes would be a more wear and tear and more expensive for the parents.

  26. Layla says:

    Have visitors visiting from Europe….he picked up the paper and said, “Oh, school uniforms….must all be alike.”

    Previously. as the mom of one who went thru this, I voted in favor of the uniforms. I’d like to take that vote back. What are we doing to our children? Why must they all be alike?

  27. An ANGRY Flagler County Student (ITMS) says:



  28. BTES Student says:

    If the school board ends up making every Flagler County student wear a uniform every day, the kids will not be able to show who they are to others than a uniform that everybody is wearing. Parents will have to spend money on getting more school uniforms over the school year because if their child grows, they will have to waste their money so their kid does not get suspended from them not wearing the uniform expectation. More and more kids will get mad because they cannot be themselves. If the school board passes this idea, I will be very mad because I cannot be and show who I really am. Also because I will not feel free. Please don’t pass this idea make it so their aren’t school uniforms!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. blondie says:

    Get over it kiddies! There’s all kinds of things in life that you’re not going to like doing, but you do them anyway! Suck it up and grow up.

  30. FPC student says:

    Im a Junior at FPC and I am tired of seeing girl’s or boy’s butts… cleavage… undiesssss. I am someone that does cares what I wear to school, and how I look, BUT looking at it in all different perspectives, I am all FOR uniforms. That gives the students one less thing to worry about in the morning, maybe they’ll remember to finish their homework entirelyyyy instead of worrying about how they look… For some students it might be easier so they dont have to buy a whole new wardrobe FOR school, because what they wear outside of school is not appropriate even though,sadly, many still dont wear the appropriate clothes! Also, I’m tired of listening to girls complain about getting caught for dress code while others dont and they look more inappropriate than the first one. I dont think clothes have anything to do with expressing yourself, I think its the total opposite, because some students wear certain clothes to “fit in”.
    Being around all different kinds of students at FPC I hear how nasty girl are… and they DO JUDGE other girls on how they look and what they wear. I know it sounds like something on tv but its so true! I didnt believe it myself before I experienced listening to these girls!
    Uniforms will help stop that, MAYBE THEY WONT, BUT ITS A GOOD IDEA TO TRYYYYYYYY. Try it for a year… why not. Whatever they decide, i just think that everyone that will be going for or against uniforms should look at the big picture, and should look at it from different perspectives not just theirs.
    Maybe the reason why a lot of parents dont want their kids to have uniforms and pay for them is because they dont know what their children wear to school… because they dont get caught… because the teachers dont really get them in trouble to notify the student’s parents… Maybe the dress code violations should be more noticeable by the faculty members?
    If the students are sooooo worried about having uniforms, we’ll see how many actually will come to the next meeting to discuss this issue.
    I just hope they wont allow girls to wear 3 inch heels to school, because its so dangerous! First of all, they can trip, they can ruin their feel for the rest of their lives and wont be able to wear heels ever again, on top of all that they cant walk in them either so all the other girls are making fun of them and hope they fall! Yah… only if you knew half of the things that go on in school. WE NEED UNIFORMS :)

  31. Mary Grosso says:

    years ago I attended a tech school the first part everyone required to wear uniforms no trouble………… step of training (young girls) no uniform all heck broke out…….I couldn’t believe it uniforms make a difference!

  32. Mary says:

    put it to the vote the people

  33. Margaret Federle Wallace Carter via Facebook says:

    Please vote yes for uniforms!!

  34. Outsider says:

    I’m not surprised so many are against uniforms. A friend of our’s has an eleven year old enrolled in a local dance studio. They are being REQUIRED to show up for some public exhibition in “booty shorts” and a sports bra. These are 11 year-olds. There is no protest whatsoever, so it seems there are plenty of parents who have no problem with dressing up their eleven-year-olds like sluts, but will have no part of khaki pants and a polo shirt.

  35. seriously? says:

    I have to express that my child goes to phoenix and the parents pay for the uniforms. I am not sure where ?? gets the information from. The school is great!! So please do not dog the system there. My son was failing at Belle Terre and the administration and teacher could care less. Now he is passing with honor roll grades. He is doing the same work as the other students in the county. His teachers at Phoenix actually care about the students and LOVE to teach!

  36. Angela Smith via Facebook says:

    Make that one more for NO.

  37. Outsider says:

    BTES student, I understand you are young, but the idea that your clothes show who you are is a shallow one. Why don’t YOU show who you are by your actions; help others; do well in school; shoot for the honor roll; excel on a sports or debate team. That will attest a whole lot more as to who you are than if you wear a bright orange shirt. Uniforms, I believe will challenge everyone to stand out based upon their character, actions and deeds, as opposed to the income level/permissibility of his/her parents. On another note, how come there are so many high school students working at McDonalds’s who happily wear those goofy uniforms without complaining? Can you say “Real world” boys and girls?

  38. patty says:

    Just asking. Why do folks not object to sports teams wearing uniforms? Does wearing a uniform on the field make the players lose their individuality? Does the quarterback feel he is the same as a wide receiver etc. etc.? They all wear uniforms in all team sports because they belong to a team!

    Not only do uniforms signify that one belongs to a group, in this case a school, but a uniform also makes a poor kid indistinguishible from a rich kid. It would prevent the rich kids strutting in their pricey jeans etc. by which the poor kids either feel inferior or pester their parents to buy them the same fancy clothes. One does not lose one individuality by wearing a uniform but rather gets a feeling of belonging to a group or team , especially at an age when a child might have feelings of alienation.

    Uniforms would also eliminate the frustation and tussle parents have with their kids each term when shopping for clothes for school and the kid wanting something inappropriate and expensive just because her/his classmates have it. And think of the lack of endless head scratching every morning when deciding what to wear for school. Cost wise too ,in the long run, uniforms are a sensible choice.

  39. Justin Digeorgio via Facebook says:

    A big FAT NO!!!!

  40. Lori Cooke-Young via Facebook says:

    No uniforms!

  41. Don Hopkins via Facebook says:


  42. open your eyes... says:

    Dance schools are that…they do not teach children to be dressed as sluts. They are teaching them to be comfortable, and working hard toward a goal. My daughter dances at Mia Bella and they are a fanstatic network for socialization and technique. I am proud that my daughter who is nine dances there. She spends atleast 3-4hrs a week working hard as a dancer. Open your eyes and don’t judge! The atmosphere is amazing, and Brie is wonderful to each and EVERY dancer!! Flagler County is lucky to have her here.

    As for Phoenix Academy, that is a wonderful school. If you are lucky enough to have your child attend there, you would be extremely happy. The 4 teachers who dedicate their lives to this school and those children are truly gifted. Also Ms. Lisa is amazing too. Educate yourself, instead of voicing an your ridiculous opinion.

    Parents at Phoenix chose to have their child attend this school. They chose to wear uniforms that the Parents purchased. To ??, you might want to do a little research before voicing an opinion. You might surprise yourself.

  43. IML8 says:

    Please vote YES to uniforms!! It is a way to minimize the issue of dress code so that more important matters can be addressed. Also…. in the long run parents will see that they will actually save money.

    • smartypants says:


  44. Outsider says:

    @Michael L: Guess what? I have to pay for all their clothes….so what’s your point?

  45. Hell NO says:

    Please vote NO to uniforms!! It is NOT a way to minimize the issue of dress code so that more important matters can be addressed. Also…. in the long run parents will see that they will actually save money! If we keep allowing the tax payers to pay the School Board to waste our money and time about this issue!

  46. Hell NO says:

    I wore a stupid uniform for 6 years! It sucks! You people need to get your head examined! This is a PUBLIC school! If I wanted my child wearing a uniform, I would have sent them to a private school! STOP WASTING MY TAX DOLLARS! Move on to some real subject matters! I think ALL school board members should be NON-PAID!

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