To The Editor: High school uniform useless under clothes!

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“Parker High School needs to address the issue of school uniform shirts that parents are forced to buy and students are forced to wear. The problem: students simply put another shirt over the uniform shirt so all that is seen is barely the collar of a tee or polo. What is the point of having parents pay for uniform shirts when the school does not enforce the very purpose of why they implemented the policy – to create uniformity among students and alleviate some of the dress code violations. Parents now have to buy school clothes for their kids as they always have, and buy uniform shirts. There is no cost savings. I have been at the school several times and disappointed to see that the majority of the students look like they are not wearing uniform shirts. I think uniform shirts are a good idea but not if the students are hiding them with a second layer of clothing. PHS needs to make up its mind – do they want students to wear the uniform shirts or not? If they do, then they need to not allow the students to cover them up. Otherwise, us parents are paying for uniform shirts that are never seen!”

– Mother Against Dressing Down

Thanks for the email, MADD. Where I come from (Northern Ireland), pretty much all high school students have to wear uniforms, and they’re much more than a casual shirt. I had to wear dress trousers, black shoes, button up white shirt, school tie and blazer (and it wasn’t some top-of-the-line school). So, Parker High’s policy of having a mandatory uniform shirt doesn’t seem like a big imposition.

Incidentally, you mention that the purpose of implementing the policy was to create uniformity and alleviate dress code violations. That could be true, MADD, but do you know what the original purpose of uniforms was? To improve student behavior, attendance and achievement by hoping that higher levels of discipline and group morale would accompany uniform-wearing. It didn’t work. A 1998 study published in The Journal of Educational Research states: “Student uniforms have no direct effect on substance use, behavioral problems, or attendance. A negative effect of uniforms on student academic achievement was found.” In other words, uniforms actually made the students’ test scores worse, not better!

Anyway, I digress. The point of your email, MADD, was to ask PHS to decide: uniform shirts or no uniform shirts? Since there appears to be no benefit to be gained either way, and students would rather express themselves with regular clothing over the top anyway, does the policy make sense? And if it does, shouldn’t it be better enforced?

What do you think, parents? Uniforms or no uniforms? Answers below.


  1. Simple. Wear them or get sent home from school.Get sent home from school enough times no graduation. Make the parents responsible.

  2. I have grandsons at PHS , I remember before dress code the blouses the girls wore left nothing to these teens boys imagination was disgusting really, or shorts so short wow need I say more. I would rather see them wear something over the t shirt than their body parts hanging out . And why do you feel it’s all the schools fault , are you not the parents who were given the dress code rules for your child? Maybe it’s the parents who need the second chance notice not allowing your child to violate school policy’s. So I say keep the t shirts ! They can wear their skimpy outfits on the weekends! So this may not fix all the problems at school with attendance grades etc, but I am sure they are concentrating just a bit better now.

  3. Joe Marshall PHS'62

    Where are the parents? When many of us were students at PHS in the 50’s and 60’s, our parents taught us to have respect for ourselves and others. And also to take responsibility for our actions. These ideals carried on the teachers and administration also. It is beginning to appear that has become something that neither the bulk of the parents and the administration, who were raised in the “Political Correctness” of the current eras, has on their lists of importance. This country was founded on several ideals, of which those two are very critical and important and must be brought to the top again, since the current ideals consist of “Getting yours first.” and depending on the government to provide for you.

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