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In opposition to the Board of Education's new uniform code
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Dear Editor,

We’ve heard again that the Effingham County will be requiring uniforms for the 2007-2008 school year.
We will simply not allow our child’s school dress to be mandated by the BOE.

If the Effingham County BOE wishes to make uniforms voluntary, that is certainly acceptable. But it is not the business of the BOE to selectively mandate uniforms in a publicly-funded facility. This is not a private school system. Had we wanted our daughter to wear a uniform, we’d have sent her to a private school.

Our daughter has been in the SEARCH program in Chatham County and the gifted/talented program in Effingham County schools. She dresses appropriately at all times and her classwork is not affected by the clothes that she wears. There is already a dress code in effect. If the BOE would take steps to see to it that this code is properly enforced, the uniform would not even be an issue.

We’ve been told that the schools’ faculties do not have the time, energy or wherewithal to spend ensuring that students follow the mandated dress code. I find that to be disingenuous.   

We were called, via a recorded phone message, and asked to vote “yes” or “no” on this matter. We voted “no,” but feel that our voices were not heard. I attended and spoke at a school board meeting. Unfortunately, one female member decided to ignore me by spending the entire meeting pointedly writing in a notebook — I suppose that was her rather childish way of dismissing outright an opinion she had no wish to hear expressed.

I am 46 years old. My husband is 42. Perhaps the BOE feels that we are not old enough, wise enough, experienced enough to buy the appropriate school attire for our daughter?

They certainly don’t think any other parent has that ability, either.

My daughter has been able to dress herself in an appropriate manner since she was 5 years old.  

I would urge all parents who disagree with the BOE’s decision to force uniforms on these students to disregard the directive and dress their children how they best see fit. Uniforms are not a cure for the schools’  ills. They are merely a cosmetic aid to cover up deeper concerns.

My daughter will not be wearing a uniform on the first day of school. If she is sent home, we will go to the Effingham County Board of Education and demand to know, in writing,  just how and why they consider her “inappropriately” dressed. The reason had better be good enough to deny our child her constitutional right to a free public education based on their notion of what is and is not “proper attire.”

Michael and Terri Patillo