Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Once again the question of mandatory school uniforms came up before the LSC. Since I have been covering the LSC the argument has been raised by and pushed by LSC member MARIA CARRASCO. Her contention that a lot of LPS's students come from other country's where a uniform is required attire. There are a host of other reasons that this would be a good idea, like reducing peer pressure and reducing wardrobe cost by eliminating trendy designer fashions.

In the past the iniative has been voted down because of initial costs and first admendment issues. No one really wants to tell a teenager what to wear. LYNN ENGLISH, where a pilot program was tried and failed a few years ago.

Now in the past, I may have been on both sides of this argument because as is usually the case in a good debate both sides have valid points. What makes this time a little different is that  this time the question was brought up by new LSC member JARED NICHOLSON.

Before the meeting at OPEN MIC, which to everyone's surprise I did not speak, principal at CONNERY, DR. MARY DILL spoke against adopting a uniform policy because many of the students live in homes without ready access to a washing machine so keeping a clean uniform would be problematic not to mention cost prohibitive. Speaking right after her was a parent whose daughter goes to an out of district charter school due in large part to her desire to be in a school with required dress. Also the mother was a small business owner who belongs to the NORTH SHORE LATINO BUSINESS ASSOCIATION and indicated there would be a few businesses willing to help defray the cost of the uniforms so it looks like that argument was eliminated.

As to constitutional rights and the legality of such measures, ATTY. NICHOLSON cited several instances where other school districts have implemented such a policy. While not really coming out and supporting required uniforms he did propose forming an AD-HOC committee to examine all sides of the issue to come to a recommendation on the feasability of going forth with a pilot program in an elementery school (that's how lawyers turned politicians think-that way you are on both sides of the argument-plausable deniability.). Of course it was agreed that the MAYOR would form such a committee.

Although JARED thought there must be a way to work with the language to get around the constitutional requirements since other public school districts have implemented the policy. Instead of anticipating linguistic gymnastics to evade the constitution why not ask the question how do charter schools get away with it. I guess we would just get into another PUBLIC without being really PUBLIC fiasco.

1 comment:

  1. I think the idea of uniforms is great and I am sure uniforms work out well in some districts. I think I may have even been in support of uniforms for LPS at one point. However, Lynn is a large, urban district with a huge number of low income or :economically disadvantaged" students. I agree with Dr. Dill that it would cause a hardship for many families. As a result, I think LPS would see many students not in proper uniform and then what? Will all these students be sent home and miss valuable school work day after day, which in turn will impact overall test scores? Will they eventually receive detention or suspension, which is not as simple as it used to be with the new changes the DESE has put in place. In my opinion, required uniforms will not work in LPS.

    What would be great is if the school committee stopped focusing on nonissues, like required uniforms, and started focusing on the real issues, like the continued under-funding of the schools, the lack of student resources, services, and programs, and the continued overcrowding in classrooms which impedes student learning.