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Waukegan High to survey parents on school uniform
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New innings for battle of the sag
Waukegan High to survey parents on school uniform

September 22, 2008
By RYAN PAGELOW <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e -->

WAUKEGAN -- Those pesky kids and their crazy fashions have riled up middle-age adults on the School Board again.

The perennial issue of whether or not Waukegan High School should adopt a uniform policy surfaced again when two School Board members recently asked to survey parent opinions on that issue.

Waukegan's 14 elementary schools and five middle schools currently have uniform dress codes that include wearing some combination of white, navy blue, khaki or black clothing.

The high school is the last bastion of fashion freedom for district students to wear what they want -- within the boundaries of the school's existing dress code, which already bans things such as pants that sag below a student's natural waistline and wearing anything affiliated with gangs.

While some students have said their peers' clothing can be distracting in the hallways, others said they preferred to wear what they want to show their individuality.

"Everyone has their own style. They like to express it," said senior Janelle Ramirez of Waukegan.

As a student at Webster Middle School, she adopted the navy blue and white uniform, but said controlling what high school students wear would be more difficult.

Student Council President Alejandra Mesa supports a stricter dress code but admits that uniforms would be hard to enforce in a school of about 4,000 students.

"There are a lot of kids that don't follow the rules," Mesa said. "People wouldn't buy the uniforms or follow them."

Trustees Anita Hanna and Sonny Garza said during the Sept. 9 School Board meeting that they support surveying parents on whether or not they would support school uniforms at the high school.

"I would like to revisit uniforms at the high school," Garza said. "Sure, it would be a hardship on parents initially ... but it would cut down on gang issues."

A survey will be handed out to parents during the curriculum night at the high school on Sept. 23 and 24. The question regarding uniforms will be added to a list of other unrelated questions for parents. In April 2005, the School Board approved spending $18,000 that year to survey parents of students in all grades about updating the dress codes at the schools.

"We need to get our students where they are adhering to the rules," Hanna said. "When you see guys going up the stairs with their pants at their thighs, they could trip."

Principal Steven Hamlin said adopting school uniforms is a "controversial issue," but the survey would get a "pulse check" on the community.

"If the School Board and the parents expressed a significant interest in a uniform policy, I would put together a subcommittee of parents, students and staff to come up with something," Hamlin said.

Although the existing dress code says students must wear their pants at their natural waistline, it's difficult to enforce because of oversized shirts covering their waists, Hamlin said. Students found wearing sagging pants are asked to adjust them.

"Having a uniform, it's easier to enforce. But at the same time, young people are emerging adults and the opportunity to self-express is denied somewhat with uniforms," Hamlin said. "I will let the community decide on that one."
How about orange jumpsuits for those that don't comply with the dress code?
GOOD ONE broken arrow.This could be the next step?

Attire will be... (all solid color, none mixed)
WHITE ___ Shows dirt really easy. So if someone had fallen, sat, fought others it'll SHOW UP NICELY. Wink
GREEN ___ ?
RED _____ ?
BLUE ____ ?
ORANGE_ For those that are under detention of school rules. :twisted:

Might be too many colors tho.
Theatre of the absurd. Go to any middle school and see for yourself. Dress code DOES NOT stop the sagging of the pants nor does it stop gang colors. Look at the "colors" the girls wear in their hair, the belts and buckles under the long shirts, the back packs, purses, or man bags the kids carry, shoe laces, shoe color, the layered tops the girls and boys wear UNDER their dress code shirts. You're kidding yourself if you think dress code solves any problem in our district related to the education of our students.

How about some REAL statistics? What happened to the student/parent/staff safety survey conducted last year on line? What about the delineated referral information (entered into a discipline referral database)? Why take the time to input that info, but then not make it available to the people that work here. ALL the people. Not just the administration (district or building) or a select few suck ups in a building that the principal deems are appropriately acceptable 'team players'. The caste system is is alive and thriving in the WPS system.

Fighting is a huge problem in district. Is it gang related? Who the hell knows. The kids aren't going to say so. They know the discipline handbook better than we do when it comes to that!! Fighting vs gang related activities...of course they're going to say it's NOT gang related. (Just like the shooting behind the BP gas station at Grand and Jackson a few weeks ago, no one is talking, so no one is charged. It'll be classified as a random drive by in the long run)

We have street smart kids, legacy kids, born and raised into the the gang life style. They're not going to give up their affiliation or colors any time soon. Dress codes won't help.

We need to STOP looking at things like dress code, and start looking at HOW to educate within the system/community we have before us.
this is ridiculous..... what about new books for SS
How about smaller class sizes so students have desks, books and can receive individual attention?
How about a whole new school board and administration, so our kids can get the tools they need to learn?? They need to tear down this whole district and start from scratch....hell, IMO it would be worth the money spent to do it!! :evil:
JustMe Wrote:How about smaller class sizes so students have desks, books and can receive individual attention?

Batiste assured the school board that the class sizes are within the allowable limits in the teachers' contracts. I guess it doesn't matter if they actually make sense or not.
You must be referring to the contract that only benefitted the Administration and certain Union Members. I hate to say I told you so but I TOLD YOU SO. Big Grin
School is supposed to be a place of learning. Somehow the school system itself has lost that concept.
More money will fix it. That's all I ever hear anymore..... more - more - more money!
Got news for you politicians, "We the People" can't afford it anymore!

If a class size is too large then run it the classes the way big business does. (besides this can work in any size class).
In "X" class that's supposedly too many students, have some of the gifted students act as assistant managers to the teacher. These assistant managers have their own smaller group to "help teach". Pete, i repete, HELP TEACH. This in turns helps educate kids to the REAL WORLD. It worked way-way-way back when I was in school. Back then 23 per class was getting too big. Anyway, the kids got that individual attention they needed BUT the best part was, it was on that childs mental level. Believe me or not, it worked. I was one of those helpers and our class grade level shot way up. :ugeek:

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