Thursday, April 18, 2013

Why Non Uniform Days as Fundraisers are a Bad Idea

School Boards implement uniform dress codes for a variety of reasons. One of the most commonly cited reasons is nicely stated by the Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five (SC) to "to reduce stereotyping based on apparel and build unity across social and economic lines". So I applaud Susan Gleaton, a trustee in that school district, for questioning why principles are allowed to declare dress down days that allow students to pay cash to be exempt from the school's uniform policy for the day as reported in the Times and Democrat. Via Twitter, I see evidence of these types of fundraisers used at schools in the US and the UK. I encourage other school boards to examine if this type of activity is occurring in their schools and decide if it is a practice consistent with the goals they set forth when implementing uniform dress code for the students.

These "fundraisers" teach kids that you can buy your way out of following the rules. It promotes a perceived benefit for those with the ability to pay. Aren't we trying to teach kids that socioeconomic status is irrelevant to ones ability to succeed in school, both academically and socially. If your child attends a school with a uniform policy or uniform dress code, you are likely well aware of the both sides of the uniform debate.

So instead of recounting that debate, lets take a look at what students themselves are saying about the specific issue of non uniform days:

I understand the need for school fundraisers and fundraisers for other cause organizations, but I challenge the school and the PTA's to be more creative with their fundraising programs. Instead, why not design and sell school spirit T-shirts that can be worn for PE class or a sweatshirt with the school logo that can be worn on Fridays.  If you want to tie a school fundraiser to the issue of school uniforms, it should support and reinforce the goals of the uniform program.

Ok, so I'll step off my soapbox and allow you to chime in in the comments below on what you think of non-uniform days as school fundraisers.

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