School dress code needs streamlining

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 6, 2000

If the Natchez-Adams School District plans to keep a uniform dress code, then it must streamline and limit that dress code.

District officials said this week they will limit uniform options this year, disallowing cargo and capri pants, designer logos on shirts, and other distracting clothing.

The move makes good sense, and it follows an approach taken by at least one other local school district earlier this year.

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As Millicent Mayo, Natchez-Adams spokesperson said this week, the uniform policy is designed to level the playing field for students. By eliminating the markings of class found through designer clothes and fashion statements, a uniform code ultimately eliminates distractions in the educational process. By putting all the children on equal par — i.e., all students wearing the same-style uniform shirts, pants, or dresses — uniforms can be an effective tool. Students, and teachers and administrators, can pay less attention to clothing and more attention to education.

But the key to that effectiveness is streamlining the uniform policy.

If schools continue to make exceptions in the policy, they erode the foundation of the policy … and ultimately they erode the policy’s effectiveness.

Cargo pants, capri pants … even designer logos on shirts may be important fashion statements, but they have no place in a school environment. Let the students save those outfits for weekend and after-school activities.

We applaud and support the Natchez-Adams officials and parents who recommended the changes in this policy, and we encourage them to continue to strictly enforce the uniform guidelines.

Because ultimately, anything that improves the effectiveness of our educational system is a benefit for everyone.