Uniform thoughts


Friday’s Aegis newspaper included a front page story and an editorial regarding the Harford County school district’s recent discussions on whether to require students to wear uniforms. From the story it sounds like any kind of uniform requirement would be at least five years off and the district would solicit plenty of parent input before it happens. By then my second-grader would be in middle school and I trust able to dress himself and take decent care of his clothes. But for now, I have to say I appreciate the current freedom I have in allowing him to wear those clothes to school that:

  1. He’ll agree to wear

  2. Are in relatively good condition

  3. Fit him decently

  4. Are appropriate for the weather

  5. Don’t “feel funny” in any way

Now I suppose a uniform can be made to fit these criteria, however, it would be a challenge. Little boys tend to blow through clothes. Pants last a couple of months before my son has worn holes through the knees or outgrown them completely. Shirts have an even shorter life. I’ve tried endless numbers of stain removal techniques but I find it’s most often easier just to pick up new t-shirts from the sale rack at for a few bucks each. Thank goodness for his slightly older cousin who keeps him in hand-me-downs. This is especially true for the khaki pants and collared shirts we manage to keep looking nice enough for church. His baseball uniform is enough of a challenge at the moment. We were almost late for his last game yesterday waiting for the jersey to finish in the dryer. I wore a uniform through 12 years of private schools. I remember it was a bit of a journey and expense at the beginning of the year to get to the one store that sold the Black Watch tartan jumpers I wore through elementary school. What I remember most was the shorts all of us girls wore under our jumpers in case any boys dared to lift up our skirts on the playground. The boys rarely mustered up the courage. The girls did most of the skirt flipping to embarrass each other. I was probably well into my teens before I stopped wearing shorts under everything. I do think kids look good in uniforms. I saw a bunch of school boys in maroon polo shirts and khaki pants playing at Annie’s Playground last week and they looked adorable. But I can’t imagine the constant hunt I’d have trying to locate uniform pants for my son that fit him right and didn’t feel funny and didn’t cost a fortune every time he grew an inch. And if everyone in the entire school district had to wear the same kind of slacks, I imagine I’d have quite a bit of competition hunting down the perfect pair. I wouldn’t mind a dress code that would allow me some flexibility in finding appropriate clothes. But for public school kids in elementary school, I like that it’s casual Friday all year long.