Showing posts with label Enforcement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Enforcement. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

OMG, I volunteered for the school uniform policy review committee

When I started this site a few years ago, I said that I would focus on shopping and reviews of school uniform clothing. I intended to shy away from the endless debates around uniform policies and their enforcement. I still do, but ... when I found a survey regarding school uniforms in my daughter's backpack, I couldn't help but raise my hand and volunteer on the committee being formed to review polices at her school.

I mean, how could I not? I am familiar with the national retailers in the US market knowing their standard inventory items off the top of my head. I bet I spend more time browsing websites that sell school uniforms than folks that have full time jobs in the industry.

I also follow school uniform news articles from around the world. Some report on procurement issues and manufacturing woes. Others report on the drama that always ensues when a school board debates adopting an initial uniform policy. But the most entertaining news articles are on the topic of school uniform policy enforcement.

There are three themes around school uniform policy compliance and enforcement. 1) Each year, the media interview parents to document their concerns about the cost of school uniforms that comply with policy. 2) The students protest. Girls complain (rightfully so, IMHO) about being labeled "a distraction" to boys. And the boys will inevitably organize a stunt to wear kilts or skirts when they aren't allowed to wear shorts in warm weather. And 3) school administrators will occasionally hold a mass enforcement event disciplining large groups of otherwise good kids for uniform infractions that weren't enforced or weren't consistently enforced previously. This causes some parent to complain to the media and the cycle repeats.

But I digress.

So, back to my recent experience on the school uniform policy review committee. Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, I found I shared the same opinions with most of the other parents in the group. All of us that volunteered for the committee strongly favored school uniforms, over not having a school uniform policy. Ours is really a student standard attire policy that allows us to shop at any retailer for standard basics like navy bottoms and white tops. The uniforms just make getting the kids out the door in the mornings SO much easier.

The policy changes that were under consideration were fairly minor tweaks. We discussed if the kids should be required to wear dress shoes on non PE days, or if we would recommend that the kids be allowed to wear sneakers every day. We discussed if all kids should be required to wear belts on pants with belt loops, or if the younger kids should be exempt. We discussed if solid navy polos and solid navy polo dresses should be allowed, verses only white polos and no polo dresses. We also discussed how hard it is to find basic solid colored shoes to comply with the policy of "mostly white, navy or black" shoes.

We then reviewed the feedback from other parents and the teachers from the survey. We found that it was fairly consistent with our thoughts. We only got one comment criticizing uniform policies as restricting of a kid's creativity. We brainstormed enforcement methods and ways the PTA can assist families and ensure all kids have access to uniform attire regardless of financial means.

We will meet one more time to finalize our recommendations to the school board. So far, it has been an interesting experience. I'll keep you posted on any further developments.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The strangest reasons school kids were suspended, expelled or arrested

Because I follow news related to school uniforms, I frequently come across articles outlining efforts by school administrators to enforce the dress code.  Many of them are what you might chalk up as "major fails" where the schools makes decisions that are unpopular with students, and in many cases, the parents as well.

Those stories pale in comparison to these incidents where students have been suspended, expelled, and even arrested for some pretty crazy things.  Arrested in school for things such as  engaging in a food fight or hacking a computer to change their grades.  But those aren't as far fetched as the tales about the students that getting arrested for talking on the phone, texting, missing too many classes, passing gas, or throwing paper airplanes in class.  My favorite is the kid that got charged with a 3rd degree felony for having a plastic butter knife.  Check out this video:

I found a bunch of other useful articles for parents in the Kids Safety Network:
#Sponsored Post

Monday, November 23, 2015

Code Socks- fun socks for kids that wear school uniforms

I am excited to be one of the first to review Code Socks, a new collection of school uniform socks.   The socks allow kids to "follow the rules, but crack the code inside your shoes."  Most uniform dress codes and schools with standard student attire require students to wear basic navy or white socks to match their uniforms. Code socks are a solid color, except on the heel and bottom of the foot where it features a fun colorful design.

What a great ideas! They are perfect for kids that aren't looking to break the rules, but may be itching to express a bit of personality in their attire.

Code Socks is currently offering 3 knee high styles in the basic white and navy.  While looking to expand their offering, they currently offer code socks in girls knee highs that fit youth shoe sizes 12-5 which roughly translates to ages 5-10. The owners sent me two pair as a basis for this review.  The socks are 85% cotton, 12% polyester and 3% spandex.  In our house, the school socks with that hint of the poly blend hold up and wash up better than other socks.  We struggle to keep our white socks white, but the poly blend ones stay a bright white.

The three styles feature cute designs on the bottom of the foot and heel which would be hidden inside the shoe while wearing school shoes.  They retail for $8 per pair or $20 for three pairs.
  • The first design is a cute polka dot (shown above).
  • A second design has rainbow colors along the bottom of the foot (shown to the right).
  • The third design features the word hello written in cursive across the foot.  

My daughter especially loves the hello socks.  She is totally into the hi/bye trend in girls clothing, so the hello socks play right into it. She wears a size 2 shoe and they fit her fine, not too big or tight. She is also very picky about the seam that run across the toe on socks. It has to be placed just right before she'll put on her shoe. Maybe she was successfully distracted by the cute design, but the seam on these socks didn't bother her a bit. She wears knee socks to school all fall and spring with her skorts, so these will get a ton of use.

I think the designs are super cute.  The socks are very soft to the touch.  The quality of the material and the workmanship is solid.  No loose threads and the stitching is clean.  Uniform Mom is big fan of Code Socks!

Please consider supporting this small US based business with an order for the uniform girl in your life.  They will make a great gift this holiday season.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Is Your School's Dress Code Sexist?

Just after Labor Day, I noticed a spike in visits to a Uniform Mom post that featured longer skirts for girls that would pass the "fingertip test".  The fingertip test is a commonly used way to determine if the length of a skirt or shorts is too short.  If a girl extends her hands down to her sides and the skirt is past her fingertips, it passes.  If it is shorter than her fingertips, it is considered too short and therefore a uniform infraction at many schools.  Sometimes, administrators make efforts at the beginning of the school year to set the tone with consistent enforcement efforts. In some cases, the school conducts some sort of mass inspection that usually results in headlines in local newspapers and on local news channels. Girls that receive warnings that their skirts are too short may be offered a change of clothes from a inventory of donated second-hand uniforms.  Other times, they may be isolated until a parent can arrive with a change of clothes that complies with code.

I thought that increase in traffic was an indication that your daughters' might be getting caught up in enforcement efforts that left you searching to find retailers that carry skirts that are long enough to pass the fingertip test. I was relieved to learn that this wasn't the case. But....

Instead, I stumbled upon a conversation regarding "slut shaming" that referenced the post.  Stelman, a writer for Addicting Info, a popular liberal blog, wrote a post that summarized recent examples of uniform policies and enforcement efforts that he found to be sexist because they selectively applied to only girls.

This lead me to a video by Laci Green, a sex education activist with a popular channel, Sex + on YouTube.  In her video on Dess Code Sexism, Laci says that the use of school dress code guidelines are not the problem, but she presents top five reasons dress code double standards are sexist. She raises many interesting points that should cause school boards and school administrators to pause and reflect on their own policies and enforcement efforts.

So what do you think? Does your school have any policies that contain these dress code double standards? Have you seen sexism in enforcement efforts or in comments by teachers or administrators? Share your thoughts or observations in the comments below.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

School Uniforms in the News - Back to School 2015 edition

Below are articles that feature school uniforms from all over the world! They are complied from my twitter stream. Follow me at @NavyPlaid to get updates on these types of headlines as they are published.


  • The true value of school uniform CWB - Childrenswear Buyer Magazine:
  • Parents dig deep into pockets as kids head back to class

Assistance Efforts:

Enforcement Issues:

US School Boards Discuss School Uniforms:

(photo used with permission from Microsoft Press)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Examples of School Uniform Policies

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As a reader of this blog, your child likely attends a school with a uniform policy or a uniform dress code. Most school's now post their policy online on the school's website or the PTA website.  Please take a minute and add a link to your school's written policy.

In the comments below, share with us:

  1. What type of school? Public, Private, Charter, Parochial, etc.
  2. Where is the school located? City and State & Country if you are outside the US.
  3. URL Link to the school's written policy:

(image used with permission from Microsoft)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pass the Fingertip Test

During the development of a schools uniform dress code, there is typically some back and forth that leads to an common understanding of the policy between the school board and the larger community of parents and students.  Once the policy is adopted, enforcement can be a constant battle for school administrators everywhere.  Recent articles included in the "in the news" series show many examples of battles between administrators and students, and in some cases, a larger group in the community.

A policy with clearly stated expectations and guidelines makes it easier for parents to understand so they can guide the student's choices when shopping.  Consistent enforcement by different teachers make clear examples of what's acceptable and what's not acceptable.

The length of a girls hemline for shorts, scooters, and dresses is a huge area for consternation.  Many schools have tried to set a simple easy to understand rule of thumb which is commonly referred to as "the fingertip test".   A young lady passes the fingertip test when the length of the skirt is below the fingertips of the student while standing with her arms extended straight down.  The same test works for jumpers, scooters and shorts. Maybe its a backlash to the mid-thigh trend we've been seeing for the past few seasons, but this fall, I noticed a trend of several retailers offering new longer lengths. Lands End's fall school uniform catalog features girls skirts in 3 lengths: above the knee, top of the knee and below the knee.  The French Toast fall catalog page on girls skirts feature both "the long and short of it" featuring two knee length skirts and one long skirt.  This can make shopping easier if your school has adopted the fingertip test as a rule of thumb to guide enforcement.

Below are some examples of new longer skirts:

Girls' Plus Solid Pleated Skirt (Below The Knee) - Gray, 14
Lands' End
 Girls' Plus Solid Pleated Skirt (Below The Knee)

French Toast
Kick Pleat Skirt
Little Girls' Solid A-line Skirt (Below The Knee) - Classic Navy, 6
Lands' End
Little Girls' Solid A-line Skirt (Below The Knee)
French Toast
Knee Length Straight Skirt

Little Girls' Box Pleat Skirt (Below The Knee)
Lands' End
Little Girls' Box Pleat Skirt (Below The Knee)

What do you think of these knee length and longer styles?