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Uniform Policy Rules and Penalties Dress Up School District’s New Code of Conduct Edition

| August 7, 2012

school uniforms flagler schools

The Flagler school district’s other shoe just dropped. (LenDog64)

With summer as the school district calendar understands it ending six weeks earlier than creation intends it, the school board just approved its new Code of Student Conduct, in time for classes resuming next week, on Aug. 16.

The 51-page document (see below) is much like its 2010-11 edition, with two significant changes: The dress code has been re-written to reflect the district’s new uniform rules and penalties for those who break them. And the bus transportation policy has been amended to specify that elementary-age students who live less than one mile from the school, and middle and high school age students who live less than two miles from school, are not authorized to ride a school bus. That’s not a new policy, but it had not been previously spelled out as explicitly, leaving room for a lot of negotiations. The district, facing more cost cuts, may take a harder line.

Click On:

Much of the focus will be on the dress code, or what the code of conduct defines as “a school uniform,” which must be worn “at all times while attending school or any school-sponsored activity during the school day.” The school board adopted the uniform policy last spring after much debate and disagreement on the board. Three board members wanted the policy: Colleen Conklin, John Fischer and Sue Dickinson. Two didn’t: Andy Dance and Trevor Tucker. The policy advocates justified the initiatives by claiming that uniforms would improve discipline and academic performance. Opponents said this wasn’t the time to impose a new mandate on parents, with almost two out of three children in the district on free or reduced lunch, a sign of hard times.

When, after several public forums, including intense student opposition to uniforms, it was clear that the three board members’ position would hold, Tucker joined the majority in the vote approving the new policy. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly included Dance in the vote for approval.)

It’s not a strict uniform policy by any means. Students must wear khaki, tan, navy blue or black pants. They may wear blue or black jeans. They may wear shorts of the same colors. Girls may wear skorts or skirts of the same colors, as long as they’re not higher than 4 inches above the knees (10 cm in French class), and small trademark logos on the clothes is acceptable. Pants, of course, must have no holes: none of those trendy torn jeans will do. No tatters or unfinished hems, and the pants must be worn securely at the waist, making the lowering of pants below the hips, to show off underwear, inadmissible. If pants have belt loops, belts must be worn, except for students in third grade or below.

Shirts must be standard short or long sleeve polo style, Oxford style, or button-up dress shirt with a collar. Small logos are acceptable. But colors are limited to white, black or grey, with two additional colors at each individual school. In a big concession to students and faculty (teachers were worn out over having to enforce that one), the district will not make it mandatory for shirts to be tucked in. The code reads: “It is recommended shirts be tucked in.” But cleavage “must be covered.”

More permissiveness: sweatshirts and sweaters are acceptable as long as the required dress is worn beneath, but those outer garments must conform with the color policy. There are also generous, common-sense allowances for wearing the clothes of recognized organizations such as Boy or Girl Scouts on meeting days, and clothing worn for participation in special, school-sponsored activities. “Dyed hair and piercings will not be considered a dress code violation,
unless they are disruptive or unhealthy,” the code states.

Disallowed: Hats, headgear, or any head covering, including bandanas, sweatbands, gang colors, sun glasses indoors, and du-rags. Also, no trench-coats. Prohibitions do not apply to religious head covering such as veils or yarmulkes. And school IDs must be worn at all times, at least by students. The dress code does not apply to faculty or staff.

“The superintendent,” the code states, “in consultation with the principal, may waive the school uniform policy on a case-by-case basis for reasons such as, but not limited to, medical necessity or sincerely held religious belief, documented by a medical physician or religious leader.” Also, no student will be penalized or denied attendance for not wearing a school uniform “if such failure is due to financial hardship.” But the district has arrangements in place to provide clothing for those who can’t afford it.

When a teacher or staff member makes a judgment about a student’s clothing, the principal is the ultimate judge. But students committing infractions will be sent to the dreaded office. Parents may be summoned to bring appropriate clothing. In brief, a student will not be allowed to attend class when not wearing appropriate clothing.

Here are the penalties by grade:

Grades K through 6:

1st Verbal warning
2nd Parent contact/call
3rd Referral, one period in-school suspension.
4th Referral, three periods in-school suspension.
5th Referral and up, one day in-school suspension.

Grades 7 and 8:

1st Verbal warning
2nd Parent contact/call
3rd Referral, detention.
4th Referral, additional detention.
5th Referral and up, one day in-school suspension or Saturday school.

Grades 9 through 12:

1st Verbal and written warning.
2nd Parent contact/call. 45 minute after school detention.
3rd Referral, 90-minute after school detention.
4th referral and up, Saturday School (no showings of “The Breakfast Club”).

The code of conduct leaves silent the issue of political signs or buttons worn on shirts in support of certain campaigns. But courts have ruled consistently in favor of students’ First Amendment rights along those lines. The grayer area is when a campaign shirt that abides by school colors includes logo-size support for a political candidate.

The policy does not apply to the district’s two charter schools–Palm Harbor Academy and Imagine School–where stricter uniform policies apply.

In other changes to the code of conduct, “counterfeit drugs” has been added to the list of prohibited items on campus.

Here’s a draft of the code of conduct the school board approved Monday evening. The additions appear in blue ink. The deletions appear with strike-throughs.

Flagler County schoools code of conduct for 2012-13

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50 Responses for “Uniform Policy Rules and Penalties Dress Up School District’s New Code of Conduct Edition”

  1. Flagler Native says:

    Here today, gone tomorrow. What a joke……This is a great way to look at it: Take away a child’s individualism, make them all march around and look like little tin soldiers, control them like puppets, make them eat when you want, get to a certain place by the time the bell rings, talk a certain way, and make them have to accept others that they may not normally want to accept, and expect them NOT to retaliate. I call what this county along with what others are doing about 1 step away from mental abuse. Thank god I’m financially, and mentally strong enough to homeschool. I’m ashamed of public education if that’s what you even call it.
    If I had to put my kids in a brick and mortar setting I would just die. It’s so unfair to them. And to Flagler County, and DOE for goodness sake look at the big picture: Your’e not going to help any kids with a uniform, the parents have to change NOT the kids. Punish the kids for their parents bad parenting skills. Your doing a fantastic job!

  2. Clint says:

    What’s next for our little angels….Brown Shirts and Black Boots with SS symbols on them. Making them march while goose stepping and raising the old ” Heil Flagler” arms in support ? Asking at the schools front door ” Where are your PAPERS” ?

  3. Deep South says:

    I am in favor of the new school uniform policy for these reasons.
    It will definitely help the parents in savings on their child clothing. They will not have to spend money on the latest fashion trend or brand names because their child has to dress that way.
    It will lessen the competition between students based on the way he or she is dressed compared to others.
    Clothing does not make the person.
    It will help students concentrate more on their school work and less on how they look.
    It will increase a safer environment and minimize bad behavior based on what a child is wearing.
    It will decrease tardiness, because it will be a lot easier for a child to get dress and ready for school in the mornin.

    • Nancy N. says:

      Hoo boy Have you ever worn a school uniform or had a kid who did?

      Let’s take a reality check here…

      1. Parents don’t save money when they’re buying uniforms. Kids don’t wear uniforms 24/7. So parents have to buy TWO wardrobes – a uniform wardrobe and an after school/weekend wardrobe. And since the uniform wardrobe can be any brand – kids still want the brand names for their uniforms! And the fashion trends for after school! Wearing polo shirts to school 30 hours a week doesn’t make kids blind to fashion the other 138 hours of their week! Also, uniforms give parents no flexibility to spend their money how they want…they are tied to buying certain products, no matter what the cost. That makes it very hard to save money on a child’s wardrobe. Polo shirts are more expensive than uncollared shirts, and you may have to spend more money to get a certain approved color instead of the cheap one. You can’t use clothes that you receive as gifts or souvenir t-shirts to offset school clothes spending you’d otherwise have to do.

      2. Competition over fashion will simply shift to who has the cool brand polo shirt or jeans/khakis, who has the coolest accessories, the right shoes, the best haircut. You can’t cure a disease that infects every corner of our culture and starts it’s hold on our kids from the moment they are born by telling them they have to wear polos a few hours a week!

      3. Teachers should be able to get kids to focus on their school work without having to use artificial means like putting uniforms on them. YOU GET PAID TO TEACH. DO YOUR JOB. I concentrated just fine when I was a teenager wearing regular clothes. Why do we suddenly think that kids can’t concentrate without wearing a polo shirt? Frankly, putting uniforms on kids and telling them it helps them concentrate and behave better sets up expectations for lower standards of achievement and conduct when they are wearing non-uniform clothing. Why can’t we just tell our kids we expect high standards regardless of what they are wearing and have there be consequences if they don’t live up to that? What happened to common sense?

      4. No studies exist to show that uniforms increase “safety” in schools. In fact, they may actually make it easier for intruders to blend in on a campus – no one will look twice at someone wearing the right clothing, which is easy to duplicate in most schools. There are documented cases of this occurring. Also, high school staff indicated during the uniform debate in the spring that uniforms make it difficult for them to pick the gang members and other troublemakers out from the crowd at the school, thereby making it harder for them to monitor them and prevent incidents. That compromises safety of other students. And how about we teach our kids to behave no matter what they are wearing instead of restricting what they can wear?

      5. How many kids will be tardy or miss school because they will wake up in the morning and realize that they don’t have a clean uniform? How many kids will be tardy because they are having fights with a parent over wearing the uniform? Again…how about we teach our kids to decide what to wear and actually still manage to get where they need to be on time? It’s called LIFE SKILLS. They are important for kids to learn! How about we put the effort into teaching them to our kids instead of just throwing our hands up and giving them shortcuts that they won’t be able to rely on later in life?

      Deborah, That’s a complete and utter myth that some kind of social utopia results from the kids all wearing the same thing. I wore a uniform for one year of school that was literally so strict that we all had to buy a certain list of clothing items from the same store.

      So what happened? Did peace, love and harmony result from the student body? Far from it. The kids were nasty. There were still class divides – it was easy to tell who was rich or poor based on accessories, how worn the clothes were and how well they fit (families with money could replace them more often), how good the haircuts were, dental care, etc.

      And there was plenty of bullying…Only it was targeted at personal characteristics instead of clothes. You’re fat, you’re dumb, your hair is ugly, you’re poor, you’re a band geek, etc etc etc.

      You cannot ever make people all the same by dressing them alike. It is human nature, especially so in kids who are trying to figure out their place in the world, to seek out those differences and use them against others.

      And kids will still be wearing expensive clothes under this uniform policy…places like Aeropostale and AE sell polos and pants that can be worn under the uniform policy. You are living in a fantasy world if you think suddenly everyone is going to start shopping at Walmart just because they school board said they had to dress a certain way. Some kids will still have brand names plastered on their clothes and some still won’t. This didn’t change anything about that except what kind of clothes it will be.

      • confused says:

        Parents absolutely DO NOT have to buy 2 wardrobes!! If you’re argument is that they need “play” clothes so they don’t mess up their “school” clothes, you would be buying 2 wardrobes anyway. Why can’t the kids just wear the clothes you bought them for school? Is a button-up polo really that bad?

        • Nancy N. says:

          Find me a 16 year old girl who wants to wear her school uniform on her Friday night date or to hang out with her girlfriends on Saturday afternoon and then we’ll talk.

          • justaperson says:

            a 16 year old girl who wants to wear something for a “friday night date” can buy her own outfit. Also, if you buy 5 polo shirts you’re going to buy a Saturday and Sunday outfit anyhow whether it’s school uniforms or regular school clothes.

      • confused says:

        Oh and you can get polo shirts for $5.00, quit crying! I don’t see any Hollister or other name brand shirts for less than $40 on sale!

      • Jerry says:

        I have two kids that wear uniforms and I know for a fact it is MUCH cheaper for them to have uniforms that regular clothing. upkeep of the uniform is the parents responsibility and also the child’s. (my daughters iron their own shirts). there is never an issue with having a clean uniform…and if that does happen to you, you have issues.
        bullying will always be present, but removing a small item that can be a point of bullying is always a win/win situation.
        the way you talk you probably want the teachers to do all the work…I can tell you really give a shit less about your kids if you do have any at all.
        and yes, there are all kinds of studies stating uniforms help. just because you lack the ability to Google for your own answers should not mean we have to do it for you.

    • gary klahr says:

      I suggest the pro-uni people go to China or Cuba–where they would fit in better, DIVERSITY is what America is all about. NANCY N made most of my points, but

      In answer to Deep South”s points—-
      1. It is not “easier” to get ready for school with a uni——because most kids just put on a pair of jeans and their favorite Tshirt and go off to school. Now they will be barred from class for doing what they have been doing since K on 180 mornings. NO THANKS

      2. Most kids do NOT use school as a fashion show; if they do, the school needs to TEACH THEM OTHERWISE. Clothes do NOT make the man; rather, YOU CANNOT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER.
      In Calif., where kids can opt-out of unis, it is the BEST & THE BRIGHTEST who opt out; the ones who wear the unis are the losers and gang mermbers. SUIRPRISED??–well it is true. Can you imagine Steve Jobs or Albert Einstein in a uni??????

      3. I quite agree kids should NOT be judged by their clothes–just like Dr. King said “Judge a person by his character–not the color of his skin “-or the color of his clothes!!


    • concerned citizen says:

      I agree with u Deep South…Wish this chanfed had taken place when my 4 kids were in school, would of saved me a whole lot of money….NOT THAT I COULDN’T AFFORD IT, BECAUSE THEY WERE ALWAYS DRESSED. But the money I could of saved on clothing along….

      I know some of the parents are happy for the change and they will appreciate it also.

      Thank you for writing this…

  4. Out of curiosity says:

    Deep South, how do you know uniforms will bring about these changes? Not trying to be rude, but I have not been able to find any studies that have conclusive evidence one way or another on the effects of uniforms.

    • Winny says:

      Out of Curiosity
      I KNOW!
      I have taught a Criminal Justice Academy out of a career center for years. The uniform policy creates structure in the school that not only promotes a sense of belonging to something bigger than one’s self, it also saves money, promotes teamwork, and provides a safer learning enviroment as well. It is not going to hurt these students a bit to conform to a uniform standard that requires them to follow a rule, and be held to a higher standard.
      In fact, I will go as far to say that if there was a higher standard in the home of many of these students, the standard of what is acceptable in school would not be a issue. On top of that, how many of the parents that oppose of this uniform policy acually show up to parent/teacher conferences, return teacher phone calls about student behavior (good or bad), and are actively involved in their students education? I will say not many. I KNOW! Because I am one of the instructors trying to put away years of bad parenting in the two years that I have them.
      Bottom line is this, People need to look at this school policy as a developmental tool. Not a slap in the face of individuality. Individuality is fine once you have already learned how to see beyond yourself. Ask yourself this question. How many people would lose their jobs because they didn’t wear their uniform or related safety equipment to work with them? How many would lose their LIVES?
      Contrary to popular belief, schools are in the business of preparing students for success. Not failure. This is just a tool to help ensure the success of your student.

    • Deep South says:

      Out of Curiosity
      In my 30 years in my profession, I was required to wear a business suit , and our female colleagues were required as well. It brought respectability for each other, a well as disciplined and aprofessional atmosphere.
      So yes a uniform policy will prepare a child for more structure and a capability to succeed. Now we need to work on the child’s grammar. Where do they learn to speak like that today ?

  5. Just Me says:

    I think the Policy is to strict!!!!!! We moved to Palm Coast this year and we came from a School District that had a uniform policy. Our Policy was simple …..plain color shirts, blue,black,tan pants!!!! Only having 5 colors to choose from is not a good thing. I mean come on Old Navy sells solid color shirts …ummm 16 different colors…so why not allow them all!!!!!

    • confused says:

      Too strict? You can wear jeans if you want. You have at least 5 different colors to choose from. At least its not the like a catholic school/similar type uniform wear you must buy the clothes from a specific retailer and you only get 1 or 2 choices.

  6. meh says:

    sending a kid to in school suspension for breaking the dress code… so they miss crucial instructional time; good idea

    then we keep them after for a little after school.. even better

    i don’t see how this will “decrease tardiness” haha… and as far as clothes not making the man… lets face it, when people are more comfortable with themselves, they will perform on a higher level; oh and spending money on the latest fashion trend? you can clothing shop at stores like marshals and tj maxx if you want name brand clothing for cheap. so gimme a break.

    i cannot wait til this blows up and the parents get to purchase normal clothes again :) oh what will become of all these gently worn uniforms?

  7. Amanda says:

    Actually, Andy Dance voted against the policy I believe.

    [Actually, Dance voted for it.–FL]

    • Amanda says:

      The March 20, 2012 school board meeting was when the final vote on the uniform policy was taken. Andy Dance was the only vote opposing it. I replayed it through the school website to verify that I recalled correctly, and I did.

      [Amanda, our apologies, you were right: it was a 4-1 vote, with Dance in dissent.–FL]

  8. maryann says:

    I come to work every day in a uniform. It is a structured situation and I am in full agreement with the uniforms. Why is it “punishment” for a child to be dressed accordingly. Unfortunately parents nowadays DON’T know how to parent and their kids are dressed completely inappropriate. I think it is a very lax requirement as far as uniforms go and it will help kids see kids for who they are – not the junk they wear or CAN’T wear. This is good preparation for the working environment. Being an “individual” or “expressing yourself” if for a different or more approriate place where it cannot interfere with other childrens learning / working. Express themselves at the playground!

  9. Palm Coast Mom says:

    So what is the dress code for the teachers and school staff?? Another issue to be addressed, have you seen how some of them dress, why wasnt that brought up?

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a school staff member and I completely agree with your comment on the way some of the staff dresses. Staff members are not required to follow the school uniform policy but the Principal at the school I work at has requested that all staff members wear school uniform or “better”. Business attire is acceptable. But……………then who decides what business attire is? I dress professionally everyday, even on Fridays when it is considered casual day. I may wear jeans but they are always worn with a dressy shirt and heels.
      When I see the way some staff members come to work, I am appalled. I don’t even look that unkempt when I stay home doing housework. Although I don’t want to wear a uniform, I hope the “better” dress is enforced. We need to bring some pride and professionalism back to the place of employment.

  10. Deborah says:

    Dress code will allow for every child to be the same, and not leaving those feeling left out who don’t have brand names plastered on their articles of clothing. I hope it sticks because every child deserves the chance to feel like they belong and don’t stick out if they don’t happen to have Aeropostale or AE clothes.

  11. Mary says:

    @ palm coast mom, My thoughts exactly I have been to the school on many occasions for award ceremonies, open house and other events. I agree some of the female teachers look like they are going out to a club. I know for a fact that my son is probably the least concerned about how he is dressed and I personally do agree with the dress code due to the fact that it does take away financial status profiling and the students will hopefully be “uniformed” . .

  12. gator fan 4ever says:

    best thing to ever happen to flagler county schools. it won’t hurt them. might even teach them a little dicipline…God knows the teenagers today need it….doesn’t hurt the military and never has. thank you flagler county school board. these students will thank you one day. i assure you it won’t hurt the little darlings.

  13. tulip says:

    The kids will learn to look and communicate and get to know each other for their minds and personalities, and viewpoints, rather than judging everyone by their outfits, jewelry, etc..before deciding whether to get to know them better or rejecting them.

    No more pants drooping to the ground, cleavage falling out, shorts and short skirts leaving little to the imagination. Wow, that means the kids might just pay more attention to their studies while in school.

    Who knows, brand names might even become less important, and those that can’t afford all the clothes the kids whose parents have more money can, will feel more like the belong by being dressed like the others.

  14. Samuel Smith says:

    Quick point: the rich kids get the expensive shoes, shirts, and pants. The middle class kids get clothes from target or some other middling place. The ones on the bottom are wearing walmart clothes, or they don’t even have to wear uniforms at all. What exactly is this dress code supposed to accomplish? IMHO, you’ll still have a caste system with cliques and gangs, except instead of the bloods it will be the “faded glories” or the “abercrombies.”

    No wonder the kids that pass through my classes in college are so messed up. It’s a function of the screwed up priorities that k-12 has.

    • Jerry says:

      My daughters’ school require uniforms to be all exactly the same and they provide a list of stores that sell them (not that many). Prices are subsidized for those with lower incomes. (uniforms are not that pricey though) everyone is exactly the same except for socks, underwear and undershirts. my daughters have a sense of pride in taking care and the proper wear of their uniforms…they were so excited to get those uniforms when they got into the 7th grade.

  15. tulip says:

    I forgot to add this to my previous post. It was mentioned that kids would focus on the brand/cool names of the clothing. Perhaps if parents, took the time to teach their kids that BRANDS don’t “make the person, Values, personality and attitudes towards life and other human beings are what “makes” a person and that personal relationships are what will carry a person through life, not a brand name.

  16. Kelsey says:

    These are PUBLIC schools. If you want your kid to wear a uniform, you can pay all the extra money to put them in PRIVATE school.

    These kids are not going to get to know one another because they are all dressed the same. It’s called Aeropostale, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste compared to WalMart, KMart, and any other basic clothing stores. Not only that, FACEBOOK and every other social media site has a lot to do with how kids interact and “judge” one another. What’s a polo going to do for them when they get home and post all kinds of stuff? Absolutely nothing.

    It’s really sad that students have to wear a uniform to get a better “attitude.” If I’m going to have a bad attitude, I don’t care if I’m a wearing a black polo or a cheetah suit, it has nothing to do with emotions and respect. Furthermore, I saw above comments speaking of when they have had to wear uniforms in a career center class and workplace. You are all talking about adult settings. Let the kids be kids, why rush them to conform to adult situations right now? They are supposed to enjoy their elementary, middle, and high school times. It’s not going to give them “good structure” for later on when they have a career, it’s just going to stay the same dress code from when they were in elementary school. Which, if I had to wear a uniform since middle school, I’d be really sick of it by the time I got done with school.

    Whoever said something about paying double for clothes, I applaud you. Did people think that these kids were going to stay in the uniform when they got home, went to sleep, and on the weekends? Uhhhhh, no! If the kids don’t even want to wear them to school, what makes you think they’re going to wear it all the time? Sure, they might change into pajamas or something more comfortable, but they have two full days to express themselves freely. And, if teachers think that a polo shirt and some nice pants are going to get kids to focus on other important things, that is completely ridiculous to me. Like I said before, they are KIDS; They don’t care what they’re wearing, they are not going to focus if they don’t want to! It’s called self motivation and responsibility. Kids have imaginations and tendencies to put childish things in front of their schoolwork, like hanging out with friends and whose birthday party is that weekend. If they think it’s going to help teachers keep student’s attention, then I think teachers should wear uniforms,also, so students aren’t distracted by what they’re wearing so they can pay attention to the teacher. How ridiculous did that just sound?

    I don’t care what people think about uniforms being punishment. And for people to comment on others’ parenting skills is flat out rude. Last I checked, thinking uniforms are punishment is not parenting, it’s called an opinion. You have no idea how their child dresses, they are talking about punishment being that they can’t express themselves. Just like I’m doing is not commenting on anyone’s parenting or teaching, I’m simply stating my opinion.

    To anyone that is saying that they’re thankful for no more disgusting outfits like saggy pants and cleavage, well I just graduated high school about three years ago, and wearing that stuff was against school dress code and there would be punishment; Yeah, that NEVER happened. They never enforced the dress code, maybe if they did and actually punished students for breaking dress code before, there wouldn’t be a problem. Now it just seems it will be easier to spot someone violating dress code because it’s a uniform. Like it was so much harder to spot someones butt hanging out of their pants before. If saggy pants, skirts, and cleavage was the only major problems, then why not just say students pants must be at waist with belt, NO skirts allowed, and wear an undershirt. I mean, they are still allowing skirts. If you’re really going to pull a ruler out and see if it’s four inches above the knee, you can enforce someone wearing saggy pants, gang clothing, hats, and anything else against dress code policy.

    If anyone could please tell me why they are treating this “polo and pants” as if it has special magical powers or some sort of invisible shield from all the evil in the world, that would be awesome. Let them be kids! They don’t have that long! Parents, instill responsibility and self motivation in your child! Not that you don’t, but as long as you try! And teachers, push creativity and wisdom, that’s what you’re there for, not to get “polo and pant’s” help distracting students from other things. Uniforms are not going to get kid/student a good grade, they themselves are.

    Oh, and I’m not saying that any teacher thinks this way about the polo’s, but that is how everyone else is making it come across. I’m just putting it into perspective. I respect all teachers, especially for the patience they have to teach kids how to do things. They should be paid more, they do have a lot to do with what a child gets from life and what they learn along the way!

  17. Samuel Smith says:

    You don’t pay “extra money” for private schools just for the uniforms, you pay “extra money” to actually fund the school, thereby ensuring that teachers get a living wage and classrooms are equipped in the proper manner. This “extra money” also provides for the school’s operational budget, thereby enabling a more legitimate assessment of a student’s ability than public school’s “better pass them, we need to make sure we get funds from the state” approach.

  18. Flagler Native says:

    Ignorance is bliss I suppose. Before my son was homeschooled he went to a private school for his K-1st grade years. We paid alot of money for my son to be taught and for the uniforms that they required. At the beginning of his Kindergarten year we bought him all Tommy Hilfiger attire, even down to his socks. He looked adorable. We sent him to that god awful academy and in just 2 weeks he was beat up by 4 underprivleged children and stripped naked. He sat in the floor of the bathroom for 40 mins until a janitor heard him crying. This was an A rated school. They had uniforms in place. They were actually a little more strict than Flagler schools with their uniform policy. So I ask you all WHY??? If uniforms do all that you say then WHY was my son beat up? Why was he disgraced? Why was he ashamed? UNIFORMS DO NOTHING! It’s the parents who must take the active part in their childs education and development.
    If this could happen to my son then it could happen to any of YOUR kids, and the dam uniforms won’t make a difference. Trust me.

    • Local Viewer says:

      Just wondering but who did it make feel good to buy all Tommy H. clothing “even downtown to the socks”? You or the child?

  19. Kelsey says:

    I never said what all of your money was going to. What I meant was that most, if not all, private schools require a uniform. Private schools hold a higher standard for learning achievements and you pay a lot of money to provide a stricter atmosphere for your child and teachings of different things that aren’t state required that you want your child to learn. So, if all these people think that uniforms are great because they’re going to get better grades out of their kids, then they might as well send them to private school and pay the extra money to believe in that system. I’m not knocking private schools, you’re paying for everything because they are not funded by the state. If private schools have a stricter atmosphere where uniformity is wanting to be created so that all students can focus on work, then what is the difference between public and private? Just the state required academic guidelines compared to private academic beliefs and that one is not funded by the state? Public schools want to make students wear uniforms so that they don’t judge each other and can focus on their schoolwork, so now what is the need for private schools? If public schools are going to do the same thing as private schools, then why in the world would parents PAY to have these extra requirements and guidelines? All I’m saying is, if you want your kid to wear a uniform because you think it will shape them into a better person and make them pay more attention in class, then you should pay to put them in private school. Private schools are also allowed to teach religion and anything they think is appropriate for a student to learn, which is another big reason why parents put their kids in private school. And for all the parents who want their child to express themselves and push their own self motivation can keep them in public schools. No one is ever going to completely agree on one side of this argument. I’m just stating how I feel about it. If I want my child to wear a uniform and have a stricter learning atmosphere, then I will pay to put them in that atmosphere where they learn about religion and other things they’re not allowed to talk about in public schools. And if I want my child to be on the state required academic teachings and they can wear their own outfits, then I will put them in public school.

    “The reality is that private schools create a climate for learning more consistently than public schools do. Uniforms and dress codes are just one part of the formula for success. The real secret to success is consistently enforcing rules and regulations. Hold students accountable and you will see results.”

    • Local Viewer says:

      [Editor’s note: Local Viewer makes a demonstrably false statement to open this comment, namely that education is a privilege rather than a right. Most Americans are right: In the United States, education is, in fact, a right, and must be provided to students who seek it through high school under any circumstance: it is the school district’s burden to provide that education when individual students choose to be in the public school system.–FL]

      Education is a privilege; not a right. However, most get those two things confused. Most Americans think it’s a right. Our country wants to be a contender in the world economy therefore it insist on everyone deserving an education so that the jobs that are done here in America are done by the well-educated. You must think bigger than working for AT&T or a bank. You must think in terms of the sciences, history, and economics. America makes a choice to be a leading nation. It wasn’t handed to America. It has been earned.

      Just because a person puts their child into a “private school” does not mean that they are better, richer, or smarter than anyone. We live in Flagler County. If you think that children in this county who attend the charter schools have a better quality of life or are more educated than those who attend public school then you are sadly mistaken.

      This isn’t the movie “Clueless” where everyone in the private school is driving a vehicle over $100k and there is just one student who needs help. Flagler is more like “Keeping up with Kardashians” while living amongst “The Jeffersons”, meaning the middle class citizen. Most folks are living beyond their means and crying about it when a RESPONSIBILITY arises.

      Maybe folks should look into reports such as the census and view the information about our economic standing ( Then make your own assumptions about it. If you do look on this page, please know the difference between median and mean.

      And you’d be surprised by the breakdown of funding from the Fl. Dept. of Education that is spent on charter (private) schools and compare that to the definition of charter (private) school. Check this out in GA ( and if you don’t think it’s happening here in Florida then go back to watching reality tv for your facts.

      Oh, I almost forgot to mention this… “The real secret to success is consistently enforcing rules and regulations. Hold students accountable and you will see results.” That was your excerpt from (a reputable site) regarding private schools. This skewed view is correct but it doesn’t list the why. Why? Because they CAN and WILL kick you AND your child out of their school for not following the rules or being a classroom disruption. This is where public schools fall short. The district has to teeter on a wire so that it doesn’t fall down to the wolves. Private schools do not have to put up with BS (unless the parent is a booster).

      • Local Viewer says:

        No,sir, FlaglerLive. There are no educational rights afforded in the constitution. Education is in the hands of each individual state. There are laws in place.

        There is no “right” to an education, just as there is no “right” to a job or a home. These things are all in pursuit of the “American Dream” or the pursuit of happiness that all Americans should strive for and attain.

        “the state is the central actor in any claim to the right to education: it is the prime duty-bearer and the prime implementer; it is the guarantor; and it is the state´s signature vis-à-vis the international norms and standards which binds it to respect, protect and fulfill the right to education.”

        I’m pretty sure Jesse Jackson made an attempt at getting education added to the constitution but was mocked for his efforts.

        By no means, by supporting this rebuttal with correct information, does it mean that I do not think education SHOULD or SHOULD NOT be a right. That is not the topic at hand.

  20. flaglersucks says:

    Really this is ridiculous. Why should people go and help “donate uniforms” to others who have no money? If the Flagler School Board wanted this they should be providing the free uniforms. What bs this is.

  21. Local Viewer says:

    Whether you are “for or against” uniform policy, there are major points that need to be recognized. 

    The school board and teaching staff(s) are educated and trained on matters such as “what works in the classroom.” We should leave it to them to make the desicions that affect our children in regards to their education within the school system. There IS the option of home schooling, charter schools, and attending another district. I’d venture to say that ‘most’ people will not tell their doctor, lawyer, mechanic, or cook how to do their jobs. Those who do disagree will get a second opinion and take their business elsewhere. Those options are there as well for education. 

    While I understand that Flagler County has SOME poverty issues, those who are poverty stricken should understand the need for an education. They should also understand that sometimes desicions have to be made for the betterment of the group; not just for an individual. If you disagree with this statement then you have never been ‘in poverty’ or if you are ‘in poverty’ then you should sell your laptop, tablet, iWhatever, or computer and go buy your kids some clothes. If you know someone who is that poor then you should do the same and give your proceeds to a family in need. 

    We, all residents of Flagler County, see the system being abused daily. The 18 year old that is buying a sandwich, soda, and chips at Target (not the cheapest retail choice) with an EBT card. The family that buys groceries with an EBT card but yet can afford 4 DVD movies, Calloway golf balls, and a HD cable while both parents are carrying iPhones. I witnessed both of these customers ahead of me, in line, while checking out at Target. 

    That doesn’t happen? The parent that drops their child off at school with clothes that haven’t been washed in days or been replaced with new ones after several years of use but the parent has new, name brand clothing, recently done hair, and drives a vehicle that cost over $30k. 

    That doesn’t happen either!? Anyone ever been to a Flagler food bank? Where the overweight, cigarette smokers are standing outside waiting for food to be handed out? If you can afford cigarettes then you afford Raman Noodles and if you are overweight then things just aren’t as hard as you think they are in life. Raman Noodles aren’t good for you? What about the thousands of college students who live off of them every semester? You don’t complain about that. By the way, those food banks hand out way more than canned food. You need electricity, a refrigerator, a place of storage for the refrigerator, a car, insurance, gas, and time out of the middle of the day during the middle of the week to get assistance. I don’t see over 100 bicycles lined up but I do see over 100 cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans lined up. 

    Enough of the “we are so poor” mantra. 

    “I didn’t wear a uniform and turned out just fine” readers: keyword: I. We are talking about a district of students. Please read a book on psychology that focuses on what works in a school/business environment. School is not a business environment? Then please tell that to the students who take the FCAT which is part of large formula on how districts receive funding. 

    Each level of schooling is for a purpose. Individualism is traditionally left for college or completion of public schooling. 

    “When you turn 18 then you can do what you want.” -My Mother

    Our society wants what we want and we want it now. This is killing our school systems from the outside in. 

    I am neither for or against uniforms. Each side has their valid (meaning their information is validated through study and hands-on experience by a group of individuals who are educated on the matter) points. It’s just tiring to read, watch, and listen to everyone complain about our schools and those who are in charge. 

    -this message was composed on an iPhone by a person who comes from a single parent home without a father that was raised on the west side of Flagler County where the mother worked 60-70 a week and spent a ton of personal time in with their child to instill values in him that caused him to serve his country, earn a college degree just to not be able to find a job, who has a family of 4 that worked 3 jobs that were all found within a month within Flagler County who never collected on government assistance who did this for over 2 years who finally attained a job with his degree that now works 40 hours a week and has a well cared for family. 

  22. Anonymous says:

    Really is a polo shirt and pants/shorts that of a big thing

  23. Judy V says:

    Oh my goodness, let’s hear it for Kelsey! Your points are so well made.

    I know there is much dissension with regard to this subject. Kelsey just makes so much sense and I couldn’t agree more. And I’m so happy I don’t have kids in school anymore.

  24. LivesinPalmCoast says:

    Local Viewer

    While reading your post this sentence really got me angry :

    “If you can afford cigarettes then you afford Raman Noodles and if you are overweight then things just aren’t as hard as you think they are in life.”

    Just becuase someone is overwieght that doesn’t mean they don’t have to eat. You don’t know somone’s story. Could they be overweight becuase of their family history (their genes?) or maybe they are SICK and medication made them gain weight….. You really don’t know….. I think you really should be NICE to others and not judge them before getting to know them.

    • Local Viewer says:

      I apologize for angering you. Those are all valid possibilities. I don’t know an individual story… I just know what I, along with others, witness daily. There is always a small percentage of the deserving. Those who do have those special circumstances. Then there are the freeloaders. “It’s not my fault!” is a lame excuse. Every choice that a person makes is theirs and theirs alone. Some choose to spend money on cigarettes over food to let the food banks feed them because of their chosen habit. Others have expensive cell phones, new clothes, new cars or whatever else and choose not to buy their kids uniforms because someone else will pay for them. I choose to work every day, pay taxes and a result of my hard work is that I get to support those listed above. The freeloaders. I assure you that if everyone who claims that they need assistance is asked to provide 3 years worth of tax returns along with their last 6 months of pay/bank statements then I bet the lines everywhere would shrink.

      I forgot to mention… I’m a smoker, a bit overweight, one income (not to exceed the average household income in Flagler) in a household of 4, own iDevices, and I can still afford uniforms for my children. Why? I make choices. I choose to not buy certain things so that I can do other things…things called responsibilities. Oh, and I don’t blame me being overweight on genetics. I eat too much and don’t work out enough. Calories In – Calories Out = Weight loss. It’s all a choice…not a destiny.

      • LivesinPalmCoast says:

        Thank you for the apology. I too am a family of 4 on one income in this county. Things are HARD. We NEVER go out to eat, don’t take vacations, don’t own new cars, I don’t own an iphone, tablet or any of those devices. We live simply and if my child needed uniforms (they are young and not in school yet) I would make it work….

  25. Deep North says:

    Atleast the students in Matanzas can look like Best Buy employees, not bad may I add. I don’t see how this is a uniform. I mean uni translates to one but how can the school district have a uniform with three different colors on one school? I thought uniform meant one form. As for my opinion, I don’t really want a uniformed district. I don’t see a possible solution. “Students must wear belt around belt holes and wear the pants up to their waist”. I really don’t think that’s going to happen holmes. You see, you’re going to have a wannabe gang banger wearing their pants saggin down to the floor like they just pooped in there. The problem is at home. The parents need to be involved. By anyways my opinion doesn’t count. I’ll just be a little puppet for the school board and their brutes. Heil FCSB! (No not really)

  26. ???? says:

    If you take a steaming pile of poop and wrap it in a wonderfully decorative package what do you have? Does the packaging really change the fact that all you have is crap? This dress code will change nothing of the day to day business inside of the school. There’s a reason for the old saying, you can dress them up but you can’t take them out.

    Hitlers nazis, Castros and Stalins communists all came in very nice attire. Its a good think we didn’t judge a book by its cover in those situation.

    I guess in this case we’re not concerning ourselves with the content of someone character but by how they present themselves. Great lesson to send to these kids. Dress the part and all will be fine.

  27. High school senior says:

    Really uniforms on my senior year. Thats not how i imagined it. I dress very clean and nice with no skin showing except my legs Barely. I dnt think this will help kids with any education. I know for a fact kids are going to be so mad about the dress code and not even pay attention. Adults need to stop thinking whats the best look for students and worry what their grades look. Ive had some experience with the teacher and i can say some of them dont do their job at all. Some really dont even care if the student knows or understand the material. I failed algerbra 2 because the teacher i had didnt care if i could do the work, im not even sure she understood some of the work she was looking Confused all the time. I know this year will bring MUCH chaos from the Staff and Students. Uniforms are not the way to go for education. Its the teachers and how well they teach the kids. I will say the school board will regret this policy and remove the uniform policy.

  28. Tammy says:

    Local Viewer…Do you know that there are currently OVER 300 (yes THREE HUNDRED!!!!!) homeless children in Flagler County right now? THREE HUNDRED children who do not have a permanent place to live. THREE HUNDRED children who do NOT have tablets, computers, iWhatevers to sell to buy uniforms.

    Before you start throwing stones and basically accusing those who are “in poverty” of not really being in need, you should learn at least some of the real facts about the economic status of our community.

    There are kids in every school, and very likely ever classroom, that truly are “in poverty.” Kids who’s families don’t have any of those things that you mentioned that they can sell for money; and if they did, and if they sold them and got two pennies to rub together, do you think they should have to spend that money on uniforms? Wouldn’t food, school supplies, laundry expenses, etc. be more important?

    Being “in poverty” is NOT a choice that they made. Most of them ARE doing EVERYTHING they can do to get OUT of poverty. The last thing any of us should be doing is judging them because they own a computer. Maybe they are using that laptop computer to go to the library or other wi-fi hotspot to apply for jobs. Maybe that laptop is the only thing their kids have for recreation – maybe they are living in their car and for an hour every night their kids get to watch a video on that laptop. My point is, you don’t know what type of situation anyone is in, and until you’ve walked in their shoes, don’t begrudge them the few luxuries you THINK they have, because that luxury might be the only thing keeping them from going over the edge.

    I know that there are some people out there that work the system and have all the “stuff” and all the bling, yet they receive food stamps and other gov’t assistance, but there are many, many more who truly are “in poverty” and are doing their best to get through every day.

    So, as you lay your head on your soft pillow, in your safe, secure, air conditioned home equipped with running water, think of those THREE HUNDRED kids who may not have a pillow to rest their head on…who may be sleeping in a car or in a cheap sleazy motel room or on the floor of a friends living room…who may not know where they are going to be sleeping tomorrow night….who may have to go into a public restroom tomorrow to wash themselves up and brush their teeth….and think about how requiring them to wear uniforms to school next week is going to save their parents lots of money and time…NOT.

  29. Kelsey says:

    Nicely put, Tammy! I completely agree with you. And for the people that do have nice things while being on food stamps, could have been a birthday gift or something like that. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they spent their money on that nice thing instead of food.

    I would like to know where he got that I got my view of private school from reality TV. I never said that private schools were full of rich, snobby kids that were spoiled. Obviously you watch “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” since you can make a valid comparison. I never watched “Clueless,” so I couldn’t tell you my opinion on the private school on that show. All I said was that private schools have more of a strict learning atmosphere and don’t put up with a lot of slack. Parents do pay a lot of money to put their kids in private school, and some schools are cheaper than others. You don’t know me at all to say that I get my opinions on things from TV shows, that’s judging me instead of stating your opinion. Not only that, you’re a little off topic with the matter of making opinions about me and every other person on here. Last I checked, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” government assistance, and food banks have nothing to do with uniforms. You’re focusing on people that are saying they can’t afford uniforms, making invalid judgments of ever person on food stamps or welfare.

    The fact of the matter is how people feel about wearing uniforms to school. Some people CAN’T afford uniforms, but until you ask that person, you can’t make accusations that they are on government assistance. Uniforms are not going to cause people to not judge each other and uniforms are not going to make kids pay attention in class. Maybe you can argue those topics, since the only thing really said about the price of uniforms was that they are going to be buying double clothes, uniform and normal clothes. Simply an increase in wardrobe expenses, no one crying for help lined up at the grocery store with their EBT card and iPhone.

  30. DP says:

    Once again the stupidity of the school board has stuck. and I quote “In a big concession to students and faculty (teachers were worn out over having to enforce that one)” If the teachers and facility followed the previous dress code and enforced the previous we wouldn’t have been in this situation of now pushing our children for expressing the right of or freedoms of Being an “individual” or “expressing yourself” . Dent the child the right to learn by suspending them?????? Take not the members of the school board who are running for re-election “I VOTE, and I HAVE” and you two got a no vote for re-election to your current school board seat, and I have twenty others who voted the same way I did. So if you don’t get reelected you have nothing to cry about, you did it yourself. And the remaining members who approved this dress code your next. Oh where do I send my receipts to be reimbursed for additional clothes that I had to buy because of this “PET “project that was pushed through, as they claimed it wasn’t going to cost any additional money to the already cash strapped families under paid families of the cash broke county. Good by Conklin & Dickinson and your fouled opinions.

  31. Leslie (Daizy) Noel says:

    I think it is a good thing and a bad thing with the uniforms. First the kids that don’t have money and it shows in the clothes they wear, don’t get pick on for what they are wearing now. BUT I think the school should allow the students to wear a collared shirt with any logo on it. Not just a BES logo. My daughter is in the FYO, Flagler Youth Orchestra, and they have collared shirts with the FYO logo on them. My daughter is not allowed to wear this shirt at all. Which is really not ok, only because it is a $12 shirt and it has never been worn due to the school not allowing her to wear it. The school should allow the students to represent the groups, or organizations they belong with. As long as it is a collared shirt. My daughter is a Girl Scout a well, she can’t wear her “Junior” level collared shirt either. On Fridays I think the school should allow the students that are involved in other activities outside of school wear their shirt to represent what they are involved with outside of school.

    Just to fair warn the families that are involved with the FYO, buy the shirt because it helps the FYO, but your child can’t wear it to school at BES, not sure about the other schools.

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