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Uniform Fashion Show Punctuates School District’s Last Forum Before Final Policy Vote

| December 7, 2011

Kylee Burns, a first grader at Rymfire Elementary, was one of the three students clad in potential uniforms, doing the runway thing at Matanzas's Pirates Theater Wednesday. Her sister Julianna, a fifth grader at Rymfire, was also on stage. The vote will be in Jan. 17. (If anyone can provide the student's name, we'd appreciate it.) (FlaglerLive)

There was a shill in the air the moment you walked into Matanzas High School’s Pirates Theater this evening: a couple of school district staffers were handing out generous discount coupons for Bealls, the department store. But wasn’t this the place for the Flagler County School Board’s latest—and last—forum on school uniforms before the board takes an up or down vote on the matter on Jan. 17? It was.

And the bait-like coupons weren’t a coincidence. The district had invited Bealls store manager Laurie Upton to show what a few uniforms would look like. About 20 minutes into the forum—after panelists had presented pro and con positions—an oddly funky sound track came on and the audience of about 45 (almost a third the size of the audience at the Flagler Auditorium last month) sat through a fashion show: two elementary age students and the student representative on the school board—Wesley Adams, who is staunchly opposed to uniforms—paraded the length of the stage, showing kakhis, polo shirts and skorts to a bit of scattered applause.

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Upton made no bones about it. She told the audience that should the district opt for a uniform policy, she hoped Bealls would be shoppers’ target of choice, for tops priced between $13 and $15 and bottoms priced between $15 and $30 each. School Superintendent Janet Valentine said the fashion show was intended only to give people a more concrete idea of what they might (literally) be looking at in terms of style and prices, should the board adopt uniforms. She said she wasn’t aware that coupons were being handed out in the lobby.

The fashion show was actually a sideshow of the forum’s intentions. Unlike the previous forum at FPC, this one wasn’t open mike: no one from the audience could walk up to a mike and make statements to the board, though people were welcome to write questions on three-by-five cards, which Sue Dickinson, the board chairman, later posed (skipping a few). She posed them to a panel that the district had assembled for the evening: Jay Wheeler, a school board member in Osceola County since 2002 and a champion of uniforms. Osceola adopted a uniform policy three years ago. There was also a pro-uniform parent and an anti-uniform parent, and two anti-uniform students (including Adams). The district tried to get a pro-uniform student but couldn’t get one to agree to be on the panel. Dickinson chalked it up to fear of retribution, though during the forum a student in the audience seemed to volunteer for the role. That student didn’t make it on stage.

The school board also sat on state, behind draped tables: Dickinson in the middle, flanked by John Fischer and Colleen Conklin (the pro-uniform bloc on the board) and Trevor Tucker and Andy Dance, who are opposed to uniforms at the moment. The group decided to hold public forums and polls and informal discussions to ensure that whatever it decides come January, it will have done its work with the public. The outcome may well have been pre-determined, given where the individual board members stand on the issue, but Conklin is still attempting to portray her stance as undecided, and she may well be the swing voter whose final decision will come down to that Jan. 17 meeting. She told Wheeler that she would visit Osceola in the meantime, and focus on speaking to parents and staffers who opposed the uniform policy. (Fischer has already visited Osceola.)

The Flagler school district brought Jay Wheeler, the Osceola County school board member, as a ringer in the unirom debate. Wheeler is a big supporter. Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Each panelist had a bloc of time to make a presentation. Wheeler took up almost all of 15 minutes. He spoke of an assistant superintendent who’d once been “adamantly opposed” to uniforms, only to shift entirely. He said gang activity was spiking in Osceola, a district of 54,000 students, and one of the poorest in the state. Uniforms took care of that, he claimed. He went through the evolution of the uniform debate as if to mirror its latest incarnation in Flagler, characterizing a “vocal minority” allegedly drowning out a silent majority on the issue, speaking of a couple of board members who thought it wasn’t the right time (as if to echo the two board members in Flagler), and concluding on this assertion: “We passed school uniforms because of our gang activity.” But the collateral advantage has been satisfying, he said, even though he conceded that there is no evidence of a connection between uniforms and better academic performance, and that it would be disingenuous of him to make one, given the other changes that have taken place in Osceola in the past three years—in the curriculum, in the establishment of a magnet school, in personnel changes.

The mother of three children attending Belle Terre Elementary then spoke “without a doubt” about favoring uniforms for budgetary reasons and to dim others’ temptations to judge hers and other children over their clothing, and to underscore what she sees as uniforms’ reflection of character.

Mitzy Gee, a parent who spoke immediately after her and who’s been a vocal and frequent opponent of the initiative, rebutted the points by underscoring other common theme of uniform debates: there is no hard evidence showing that uniforms improve attendance, grades or character, or reduce such things as drug abuse. She also spoke against the notion that the school district should exercise its authority in what amounts to “a waste of time” at a time when none of the schools in Flagler, including charter schools where uniforms are required, have met the federal “adequate yearly progress” criteria. She had no objection to an optional uniform policy that would grant parents the right to send their children to any school in uniform. Then it was up to both student representatives to add to the opposition.

The many audience questions posed have been asked before, though they clarified at least two points, one of them, both essential to the debate. At one point Conklin asked Wheeler if students are allowed to wear jeans in Osceola schools. They are. She then asked whether it would not be more accurate to define Osceola’s policy as a very strict dress code, rather than a policy. Wheeler said she was right, though the term “uniforms” was more potent. Yet so far, and based on the uniforms shown during the fashion show, this district appears intent on a stricter uniform policy, not a stricter dress code.

Which brought up the second point: If students were adhering to the existing dress code, Dickinson said, “we would probably not be having this discussion.” That was an odd assertion: Several months ago, in a presentation to the board, the student services director, with hard evidence this time, showed that dress code infractions were relatively few, given the number of students in the district. As an article noted at the time, referring to the first four months of the last school year, “In all, the district had 177 referrals related to dress this year, out of a district population of 13,000, and well over half of those were at Flagler Palm Coast High School, which also has the highest enrollment in the district (2,400 students).  It is almost a non-issue in elementary school, where the county’s five schools combined have just four referrals this year. Indian Trails Middle School had no referrals at all: the school doesn’t write up referrals unless the problem is chronic, which suggests that, when problems arise, mere warnings are doing the job.”

andy dance flagler county school board

Andy Dance (© FlaglerLive)

Dress-code violations are not, in fact, at the origin of this latest debate on uniforms. As Conklin herself asserted repeatedly—and did so again Wednesday evening—the issue was revived when Fischer, the school board member, revived it, because it was one of his main campaign planks.

At the end of the forum each board member made a brief closing statement, some more brief than others (Tucker merely thanked people for showing up). Conklin, hinting at being swayed, said that for her the matter will come down to economics, though she remains convinced that uniforms save money. And Dance repeated his assertion that this is not the time to impose “what amounts to an unfunded mandate.” His voice seemed to break on several occasions when he spoke of the hardships many students and parents are facing, and when he spoke of the freshman gym class at FPC, half of which, he said, needed clothing assistance to be in proper gym attire.

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59 Responses for “Uniform Fashion Show Punctuates School District’s Last Forum Before Final Policy Vote”

  1. Cathy Clayton via Facebook says:

    No is not the time, thank you Mr. Dance.

  2. Donald says:

    Mrs Conklin WAKE UP, and fisher and dicksion are you in la la land or something? Have you seen no body wants them? Mr Fisher thinks that the schools are a business or corporation, in my opinion he is not fit to be a school bord member. People,schools are not a prison lets focus on education and not burden mom and dad! Thanks

  3. Justin Digeorgio via Facebook says:

    100% agreed this is not the time for this…

  4. Amy Hamal-Canna via Facebook says:

    I’m so SICK of hearing about these uniforms.. Just Say NO.

  5. w.ryan says:

    Are these elected school board officials elected by us???Then why aren’t they listening?

  6. No Thanks says:

    I hope they plan on paying for these uniforms. My children do not own a piece of clothing that wasn’t bought off the clearance rack. They are well dressed, but I refuse to pay $15 for a tshirt that isn’t going to fit in 2 months or will have stains all over it. I have never paid more than $5 for a shirt or shorts and I don’t intend on it. I have 3 kids and my spouse is currently unemployed. With 3 boys, cheap clothes are a must. I will not be putting my children in uniforms next year, policy or not. It’s just ridiculous how these people are running this county. Parents have no say. This is why I don’t bother to vote, because they are going to do what they want anyways. I dont believe their clothing should be the issue. Stop taking funding away from education, then throw the financial burden on the parents. With the way things are looking, I believe a lot more kids will start to be home-schooled.

  7. bird from the past says:

    This school board needs to start looking at the number of kids getting free meals or discount meal plan. This county have alot of unemployed familes, if getting the max of $275 a week on unemployment. Other families making minumium wage of $7.31 and hour, so if a complete uniform cost between $30- $45 a child, the parents are basically working 5 – 7 hours for 1 uniform. Can these families really afford uniforms for their children. Plus these families still have to pay other bills. This school board needs to take control of the current dress code and enforce it. Once they have control, then they might be able to address uniforms.

  8. Joe says:

    Handing out Bealls coupons? A uniform fashion show represented by Bealls? This is a done deal in IMO, advice to you all, buy some stock in Bealls!!!

  9. palmcoaster says:

    Very bad timing for these 3 board members to engage in and impose uniforms policy. Why elected officials waste valuable time and energy on this? Did the district pay expenses, etc. for the attendance of Wheeler and others? Why are they so detach from reality by further overburdening many of these students families that can’t afford or dislike uniforms? Don’t they realize that many student families are going thru enough distress now over loosing their homes, their jobs and not having health insurance right now?

  10. Don Hopkins via Facebook says:

    Thank you Mitzi Gee for being the voice for the parents that do not want uniforms….

  11. Maureen Vidal via Facebook says:

    Someone needs to get their head out of their butt if she thinks uniforms will save parents money. Of course SHE has a job so what does it matter to her?

  12. Parent says:

    Mrs Conklin you said it your self last night, “the last time around we did it worng we just went along with it and did not take the time to talk with parents” well your right but I don’t think you are listening this time open your ears.!

  13. Justin says:

    Idk what the fuss is about parents just send your kids with there regular outfits on if they pass this like they did in palm beach county then the bord will be sorry watch thats what is going to happen.

  14. God Bless America says:

    Mr. Wheeler stated in Sunday’s News-Journal that “The people who complain about how much it’s going to cost are the same people who are in line in the grocery store talking on an iPhone, with their nails done, buying beer using food stamps.” Some nerve. This prompted me to Google his name. What a surprise! He’s basically the Napoleon of his own school board. Just this August, he circulated an insulting, abrasive rant of an e-mail where he stated all 4 of his other board members were incompetent. He’s also been cleared in an ethics violation for lack of probable cause, where he spent $15,000 on legal fees. He wants the taxpayers to pay his legal fees, claiming the charges were “frivolous” but the commission disagrees. So he’s going to sue! This is a man who’s opinion we’re to respect? To say his character is questionable is understatement. I’d bet money that Mr. Fischer is the one who invited him. Here are the links to those articles:

  15. Thomas says:

    What is happening in America ? Are we now going to be forced to dress our children like the german nazi’s did. This is America, Freedom and Choice is our heritage. DON”T tell me I have to dress my children like little Hitler youths.

  16. Former Student says:

    It sounds like Sue Dickinson’s time is up.We know Fischer is completely for uniforms since that apparently was one of his campaign goals. In this case the only 2 board members that seem to actually be listening to the parents/students in this County are Andy Dance and Trevor Tucker. Ms.Conklin if you are reading this I hope you know that the majority does not want students and it would only make sense to listen to what the majority of people want.

  17. tulip says:

    Why can’t they just vote on the pants and polo shirt and make it be known to parents that they can buy khaki pants and dark polo shirt ANYWHERE, Walmart, Target, etc. and parents aren’t “forced” to buy them from one particular place. I’ll bet Walmart and Target, would have a good supply in real fast and offer sale prices on them, and any other store that carried them would be competitive also.

  18. Grandparent of 20+ Kids says:

    I think uniforms are the best thing. I have over 20 grandchildren aging from 6mths – 22yrs and think the county should have them. What they can do is have a designated spot for parents through the schools to bring any article of the uniform that no longer fits their child and do an exchange or credit. Everyone grows so there will always be clothes there once it gets moving. I have asked my grandchildren that go to a Flagler School and they said it would be fine for them because so many kids are making fun of other kids because of how they are dressed. The kids that want to show their individuality are the ones getting made fun of because they are different. One of my grandchildren have tried to wear the “in crowd” clothes & got made fun of because they weren’t her so she said she is over it and wore her own thing and still gets picked on. She is only in elementary and shouldn’t be worried about what to wear & who is going to like it or not. I see it in every school I go to volunteer with my grandkids. It is a major loose loose for some kids, rich or poor. If it is not one thing it is something else for parents to try and fight over with the school board and be seen. Looking at the picture above that looks super cute & I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  19. God Bless America says:

    Grandparent of 20+, I have volunteered in the schools here since the early 90’s and have not witnessed the teasing you mention, at least not any more about clothes than about other issues that kids unfortunately will continue to tease about regardless of whether uniforms are mandatory … looks, weight, etc. Our oldest acted a little “different” when he was in elementary school. As parents, we took it upon ourselves to boost his self-esteem. He developed a hobby that set him apart and gained him positive attention … magic! As a 16 year old, he continues with that hobby and even gets paid for doing shows here and there. Putting on a uniform is like putting on a bandaid. I’m an advocate for strong parenting. Kids need to have strong coping skills to get through life in general. It takes time and effort to model and teach these skills. I feel like parents are pushing these duties off on the schools and us parents who are doing their job are getting punished. We have three children total. They wear hand-me-downs and some t-shirts they get for birthdays or that they buy with the odd jobs they do.

  20. JIM GUINES says:

    It is painful to watch the board work through these activities which continue to confirm he same results, people do not want uniforms in this district at this time. ALL BOARD MEMBERS MUST LISTEN, NO!!!

  21. JUST WONDERING says:

    Again the school board (of which everyone of them make a substantial income) are not listening to the parents. Talk to the parents of the working poor, those who make 10.00 an hour and have just enough to
    get their children to school let alone worry about uniforms. Count the number of people whose children get
    free breakfast and lunch, do we not think this correlates into people with limited funds? Or maybe we should look at those programs. Just a thought. Get rid of Dickenson, that would be a start.

  22. Brad West via Facebook says:

    I say yes to uniforms.

  23. Robert says:

    Sorry folks this looks and sounds like a done deal for uniforms.

    The man from Osceola says that uniforms stopped gang activity. What is he on?
    More important what are the people on who believe that junk ?
    Uniforms stopping gang activity.
    I didn’t know it was that easy. Someone ought to let the authorities in on that solution.

    That line of reasoning sounds like those who removed pay telephones from street corners in order to stop drug sales.

  24. OKES Parent says:

    I am completely against the uniforms. For one, I am not even sure why the school board feels the need to have them. What is it that they hope to accomplish? I would like to know what the school board feels is going to be the end result IF they enforce the uniform policy besides the obvious burden on parents and students as well as teachers. Are they thinking it’s going to increase grades or attendance? How do they base their need for these uniforms? What data are they looking at that I don’t see?

    I can’t imagine there is an over-abundance of issues with choosing clothes to wear every morning before school. And would that not be the parents’ concern and not the school board? So to the parents who want uniforms so they don’t have issues in the mornings, I suggest you go buy them but don’t wrap the rest of us into your troubled world. That’s not a valid reason for a uniform policy.

    So, what is the reason for the uniform policy and why does the school board feel it’s going to improve anything? Enlighten me…

  25. I'm not Saying....I'm Just Saying. says:

    In a county whose unemployment rate is 14%…in a county where a large percentage of kids qualify for some kind of government aid…this board feels its perfectly acceptable to throw an extra burden on parents. Why exactly is this?

    Are there constant fights, muggings, thefts, etc. being committed in the schools against kids for wearing a certain brand of clothing? If there are, then FCS is doing a great job from keeping those stories out of the media eye.

    I would strongly suggest to Mr. Fischer that he keeps his own house in order…namely, reporting things in a timely manner to police :cough cough: and take care of the ‘structure and discipline’ in his own home before lecturing ANYONE else on doing the same.

  26. Anonymous says:

    it’s going to be like palm beach and duval county if this thing passes, and thats all im going to say.

  27. Mitzi Gee says:

    I am still unsure what the school board is trying to accomplish with a uniform policy. I think that government intrusion into our personal lives and into our rights as parents is unacceptable. Just enforce the existing dress code policies – and that would solve all the problems. There is really only a small percentage of students who violate the dress code.

    I will do everything I can to stand up against this uniform policy – it is wrong on every level. Parents have rights, and education is supposed to be FREE to all students in a public school. Imposing an additional “tax” on parents by forcing them to purchase clothing is unacceptable. If I chose to send my child to a private or a charter school, that is my choice, and they can wear uniforms. But you don’t have a choice if the entire county.

    And that fashion show was surreal and left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. It was a sales pitch and it was very distasteful in my opinion.

    Thank you Don Hopkins for your comment. I am doing everything I can and I will keep fighting this initiative.

  28. thank you says:

    THANK YOU mr Dance and mr Tucker for listening to the people of flagler county THANK YOU and the rest of the board hopefully they will come around like last time or there is going to be major protest.

  29. Judy V says:

    I also read Mr. Wheeler’s quote in the newspaper and was appalled. And this is the guy we’re looking to for guidance. Ridiculous. Just stop it. If you want to send your kids to school in khakis and a collared shirt, that’s your choice. Why must everyone else go along with it? Enforce the dress code or ignore what the kids are wearing and EDUCATE them.

    A random thought – would a student score higher on the SAT if he/she wore a uniform to the test site??

    Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season to all who read FlaglerLive! We may not agree but I respect everyone’s opinion and their right to share it.

  30. w.ryan says:

    It’s a done deal folks. The writing is on the wall. So much for Democracy.

  31. Grandparent of 20+ Kids says:

    If sooooo many parents are against uniforms why did on 30, yes 30 if that, showed up last night???? if they decided against them all the same parents will find something else wrong with the school board. i’m not saying everyone on the board is perfect but is anyone perfect for anything?? the schools have so many good programs and never once do i hear about parents saying how much they like the programs, it us usually 95% negative from the same people & they say EVERYONE feels the same but never see anyone else. hmmmmm… i have never been on this site & don’t speak my mind often but uniforms or not just guide your kids either way. just like with the fcat scores everyone gets in a huff when scores come in & move their child to a different school that has a better grade & their kid starts getting bad grades, it isn’t all the schools fault for a lower grade. it all falls back to parent & kid relations. i see it all the time, parents need to step up & help their children at home with homework and make sure they are getting it & stop blaming everyone else. same goes with uniforms, if it is time issues lay out clothes the night before. everything is a loosing battle with some people that have to have their 2 sense in. its sad.. GOOD JOB FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS & KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. love seeing you at all the county events too interacting with students & parents by first name.

  32. Grow up says:

    No Grandma people did not show up becuase they did not want to hear someone that want’s unifoms so thats why and if it passes it would be the biggest protest in this countys history i think it would be so funny so pass it you will see what happens i know for a fact that is going to happen.

  33. How about says:

    Just say it’s against our religion then the school will have to let the kids wear what the parents want.

  34. Nancy N. says:

    It was immensely inappropriate and also very telling that Beall’s was there sponsoring the fashion show last night. They were pushing HARD to sell the uniform concept to the audience, and also to get our business to buy uniforms when it is implemented.

    Do you think a clothing retailer would be pushing for the implementation of uniforms if uniforms were going to save all the parents in this town money on their kids’ clothes? Us saving money = reduced sales for the retailers! Bealls is advocating for the uniforms because they know that it costs parents MORE money – meaning more sales for them!

  35. God Bless America says:

    I went to the first meeting. My husband, myself, and my three teenagers all stood up and spoke against uniforms. We did not attend this one because we were shuffling our kids to three different activities. Also, we saw what the format would be and that we would not be able to speak, so we watched what we could catch live on the computer. Grandma, I agree with you. Good job, Flagler County Schools! We are proud of our public school system and feel our kids are receiving a quality education … and have done so for the last 17 years WITHOUT uniforms. Mr. Fischer pulled this issue out of his tuches because he made some campaign promises, not because taxpayers and parents are gunning for socialism. This issue died when it was brought up only 4 years ago and it’s a dead issue still.

  36. Tobey says:

    Uniforms…..They remind me of a structured organization that does not want anyone to be an individual. Like the military, police, iran’s revolutionary guards, german youth groups of the 30’s. Lets make sure that all our children become little robots that look alike and act alike.

  37. I'm not Saying....I'm Just Saying. says:

    No offense meant, ‘Grandparent of 20,’ but if you think time constraints are at all a factor in this, I think you’re missing the boat on this one.

    Your idea mentioned earlier of bringing ‘any article of the uniform that no longer fits their child and do an exchange or credit’ is an admirable one, but that would not alleviate (a) the cost involved for the older students, (b) the initial cost that parents will endure having to buy the uniform parts, nor (c) the extra water or trips to the laundromat needed for parents to continually wash the same clothes over and over again.

    As for people ‘not showing up’ to these events, quite frankly, we have things to do. We have dinners to make, kids to pick up from afterschool events and sports, and believe it or not, some of have to WORK at night in order to make ends meet.

  38. palmcoaster says:

    @God Bless America. We should thank you for enlighten us regarding Jay Wheeler’s background. Board’s wrong pick. Anyone for the take on these uniforms contracts?
    And yes maybe was Fischer idea, or Dickinson. A man that describes and undermines the less affluent members of our country in those words, does not deserve any respect either. Vilifying the poor. More or less like Republican candidate Gingrich and his proposal.
    “Let me get down to the janitor thing, and these letters are written that janitorial work is really hard and really dangerous and this and that,” he said. “Fine. So what if they became assistant janitors and their job was to mop the floor and clean the bathroom. And you pay them.”
    Gingrich went on to compare his plan to a project paying children to read books in Georgia…..Why instead this prejudicing Gingrich, proposes that we stop all foreign aid and all foreign wars and have the millionaires and billionaires pay more than just 1% in taxes like 30% or more, as we most pay and then help these children with some of that revenue?

  39. Lou says:

    If uniforms help with grades then tell my why doesn’t Imagine have the best grades in the county?

  40. FlaglerLive says:

    all dressed up, could you provide more accurate documentation for that claim, which seems outlandish?

    • Parents says:

      we need more structure in this day like the military & police. i would love for children & more so the parents today to have the structure that the military & police have. i know that not all uniformed officers are the best, but everywhere there will be good & bad. parents need to show kids how to RESPECT others today. i c it everyday in the stores how these parents talk to others & to their kids & u wonder why kids are the way they are. grow up parents, some of you say if they go to uniforms there will be a big protest, what if they do that will you keep your kids out of school? if so what are you really teaching them, to skip school and be truant? u will be taking away from your child’s education & setting a poor example to them plus you would get in trouble for truant. UNIFORMS ALL THEY WAY, maybe slowing putting them in place so that way everyone can slowly buy them, start with shirt & pants & by august full uniforms. was would be so much easier, 1 outfit a day & if they need play clothes, they have plenty from old school clothes and do wash 1x a week, yes that is possible my kids play sports, go to school everyday, and have play clothes and only do wash on saturdays. i have bought 2 new oufits for school a year per kid & besides that hand me downs. i like the idea of bringing out grown uniforms to a designated area for trade or credit provided by county, that would be great & have people volunteer there

  41. lou says:

    The comparison to prior year is provided because these scores have a similar meaning but not
    exactly the same meaning with the move to the new standards. Belle Terre Elementary School
    and Rymfire Elementary had the highest percent of proficient students in Reading with 86%
    scoring level 3 and above at both schools. In Mathematics Old Kings Elementary with 87% and Belle Terre Elementary with 86% lead the district in this category. Rymfire Elementary showed the most improvement from prior year of all district schools in both Reading and Math. Rymfire improved 12 percentage points in Reading (74 to 86) and 10 percentage points in Mathematics (73 to 83). Imagine School at Town Center also improved with a five percentage increase in Reading (72 to 77) and a 8 point increase in Mathematics (76 to 84).

  42. DP says:

    What joke of a forum, Mrs. Dickinson avoided some of the questions that were sent up to here on index cards. Jay Wheeler from the Osceola County school board was much disorganized in his presentation and very one sided and didn’t care what was said against. I wonder just how much money the school district spent to bring him up to stress his beliefs on uniforms???. Again no hard proof that uniforms changed any academic scores or GANG activities. It seems that the school board was pushing beall’s dept. store as the vender as they were brought in to show the clothing. It appears that the board already has their mind made up, Members of the board follow Mr. Dance and vote NO. It’s not the time now or never. Uniforms are for business, prisons, and not PUBLIC schools. Government needs to stop intervening in personal business, and deal with other issues much more pressing, Like “FUNDING”

  43. bird from the past says:

    If most kids wear jeans anyhow, why do they have to buy complete uniforms… maybe just have the uniform as the school tee shirt and a pair of jeans. Then they are all dress alike, just a different type of uniform.

  44. Nancy N. says:

    Wheeler kept touting the stat about the decrease in “gang activity”. What the heck is gang “activity” by definition for that stat? Because if “activity” means visible things like displaying colors and signs (which I get the feeling it does)…decreasing “activity” by their made up stats definition means squat as far as actually making the school or community safer. The gangs are still there…they are just operating underground in a way that can’t be seen. You’ve whitewashed the problem, not made it go away.

    I love how the district has proven themselves completely incapable of enforcing the current dress code but they somehow think they can magically enforce an even more complex uniform code? I’ll tell you exactly what is going to happen here with the kids that want to circumvent the code…the boys are going to show up in pants that fit the uniform code – that are hanging off their butt like they always have complained about and not enforced against. Are they going to suddenly start enforcing that now? The girls are going to buy skin tight pants, too short skirts, and shirts that are several sizes too small so that they are skin tight and their bellies and their boobs hang out. Those items aren’t enforced now under the current code, especially because male staff are afraid to be noticing such things I hear – are the staff going to suddenly have the guts to enforce it because the shirt in question is a white polo shirt? Well then….how about just start enforcing it no matter what the shirt is and you can save us all the freaking hassle of the special clothes.

  45. Anonymous says:

    To patents: people every day are protesting and if I dont want my kid to wear a unifoms then my kids are not going to ware a uniform simple has that.

  46. It's Your Right says:

    You got it all wrong, kids are going to be kids you can’t change that so kids rebel, the school can not force you to wear something you do not want to wear and if they do say it’s against you right or religion and parents are going to back there kids up watch this cuonty will be in a big fat mess next year if this thing passes.

  47. Justin says:

    Whats the point of uniforms if not every one has to wear them, the school can not and will not force me to wear this thing my mom wiill not let me wear this to school and the school can not tell me put something on that i do not believe in . people think this is going to turn out like osceola county well it’s not it’s going to turn out like palm beach county.

  48. Nancy N. says:

    “Parents” – there are so many things wrong with your comment I almost don’t know where to start!!! You want the parents and children today to have the structure of the military & police? I’m sure there are plenty of countries like Iran and China that are police states that would be happy to have you and provide you with all the structure that you desire. This is a FREE COUNTRY last I checked. We have the right to not have government intrude into basic decisions about our lives like what to wear and to protest government decisions that we aren’t happy about. It is what makes this country great.

    All your arguments about slowly buying uniforms for kids and being able to get through a whole week on 2 uniforms for kids forget that 1) KIDS GROW and 2) KIDS MAKE MESSES. My 8 year old daughter is lucky she can get through a whole day without having to have her clothes changed due to a major spill or mess. There is no way I’m making it through a week on two uniforms with no laundry.

    But it’s hard to take any of your arguments on this educational topic seriously anyway when they are written in such an illiterate manner.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Honey I don’t care if the president said every school had to wear a uniform I am not sending my kids to a school with uniforms on and that’s the final word on that!

  50. suewho1010 says:

    I like the idea of children wearing uniforms.

  51. No Thanks says:

    “Parents”, Even if these uniforms do pass, few will actually wear them. My children will not be wearing uniforms unless they are paid for by the school. I’ve never spent more than $5 on a t-shirt for my children and don’t plan on it. They are dressed very the clearance rack!

  52. Former Student says:

    Why are all you wasting your time? The board doesn’t care what anyone wants. It’s 3-2. Conklin says she hasn’t made up her mind but she is for uniforms. These people need to be reminded that we vote for them and they should listen to us. Uniforms in public school = most ridiculous thing ever.

  53. 2009 15310 students 1908 in-school suspensions 1115 out of school suspensions

    St. Johns County lies on the Atlantic coast just south of Jacksonville. CHARACTER COUNTS! began there in 1998-99. By 2002-03, youth crime had dropped dramatically. It also declined significantly compared to the Florida state average — and especially compared to Flagler County, which has never had CC!. Flagler lies just south of St. Johns and resembles it geographically, ethnically, and socioeconomically.

    Below are official 2002-03 figures for juvenile offenses committed “on school grounds, on school transportation, and at off-campus, school-sponsored events,” compared to those in 1997-98, the year before CC!:
    Cases of battery in St. Johns dropped to 18 percent of the pre-CC! level — compared to 84 percent in Flagler County and 67 percent in Florida.
    Cases of larceny in St. Johns fell to 11 percent of the pre-CC! level — compared to 88 percent in Flagler County and 49 percent in Florida.
    Drug offenses were 49 percent of the pre-CC! level — compared to 213 percent in Flagler County and 118 percent in the state.
    Alcohol offenses were 19 percent of the pre-CC! level — compared to 606 percent in Flagler County and no change in the state.
    Harassment cases were 47 percent of the pre-CC! level — compared to 789 percent in Flagler County and 76 percent in the state.
    Total property offenses fell to 17 percent of the pre-CC! level — compared to 90 percent in Flagler County and 50 percent in the state.
    Total juvenile crimes fell to 26 percent of the pre-CC! level — compared to 91 percent in Flagler County and 49 percent in the state.

    [Source: Florida Department of Education]

    • Nancy N. says:

      All dressed up, did you actually read the MOST RECENT statistics for the links that you posted? It showed that Flagler actually had 10 fewer criminal justice referrals per 1,000 students than St. John’s had. Why would we want to emulate them?

  54. Heather Sowter says:

    Im an american..who , for the better half of my life, has resided in Australia. Where every school, from k-12, has uniforms! And let me tell you, they are awesome! You don’t have to buy a whole lot of seasonal clothing, as the bulk of it is in uniform. I relish the fact that i can spend 400 dollars a year for clothing that WILL last the whole year, and she is part of the school community and representing her school while in the uniform!

    I am in disgust at everyone against them. Yes, you are entitled to your opinion but given the american school culture in your society..something needs to change, and uniforms are the way to go! Jump on board!

    and before you all start crying about the polo shirts in australia are minium 25 dollars withe pants and shorts the same.. jumpers and jackets are cry poor to someone else please, because i clothe 5 kids!

  55. Justin says:

    Omg parents, students just say it’s against our religion the school can not do anything about that.

  56. The HeathenAngel says:

    I said it before, I’ll say it again. The documentary that I watched on school uniforms was very informative.. or, at least I think it was. Since it was all in German, it was hard to tell.

    The school board is insane if they think that putting kids in uniforms is going to do anything except anger the parents, the tax payers. But then, I’m not shocked to think of the possibility that the school board is insane. Some of the practices in the schools are illogical.

  57. Kamamani says:

    Sue Dickenson says that there is a “silent majority” of parents who want uniforms. How does she know this if they are “silent’?!!! Is she a mind reader or a psychic? The vast majority of parents who have been vocal have been opposed to uniforms. Please, parents, if they pass this policy, we MUST be VOCAL – loud and clear! – on election day! Let’s do all we can to make sure that they understand that the “silent majority” only exists in her head.

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