Parents don’t hold back at forum on school uniforms

A conversation Thursday night could completely change the way 6,849 McCracken County students dress. A forum on school uniforms gave moms and dads in our area a chance to speak on the possibility of uniforms coming to their child’s school.

Although the room was full, four people spoke. Three spoke against the uniforms, while one was indifferent.

Greg Whits was the first up to the podium. He said he wasn’t even sure why the topic of uniforms was happening, saying: “We have a dress code in place. If there’s a problem, it’s probably because it’s not being enforced.”

Then, teacher and dad Chad Davidson voiced his concerns regarding the cost of uniforms. “We do have students and parents, families, (who) will struggle to purchase those clothes," Davidson said.

Next up was Julie Shoulders, who said she thinks uniforms won’t solve a dress code problem. “If a girl wants to break it, she will find pants that are too tight, a shirt that’s too tight, and leave it unbuttoned," Shoulders said. She said she was discouraged that only four people expressed their opinions on the possibility of uniforms, not just for her junior and fifth-grader at home, but for those parents who can’t afford to buy more clothes.

Shoulders has served alongside local family resource centers, and she said “If the district decides uniforms, they need to find a way to help low income families to afford them and not put that burden on the family resource centers.”

Many questions were posed to the board, but their goal was to listen rather than debate or make a decision. Questions included: Is this going to include bus drivers? Is this going to include cafeteria workers, teachers, and administrators?

Another question came from an indifferent parent of two, Chris Taylor, who asked: “If we put that new dress code in here, how do we know that that’s going to be enforced?”

McCracken County Board Chairman Jerry Shemwell said based on the comments it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of support for uniforms. He isn’t sure if the board will continue the conversation at this time. 

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