Opposition to Mandatory School Uniform

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We are proud Americans who at present feel let down by our government. The uniform/standardized dress codes that are spreading throughout this country like a cancer are trampling on the rights of both parents and children. The amount of time and money that is being spent litigating this matter, both by individuals and school districts, is escalating tenfold and the end is nowhere in sight. Even more tragic are the abuses that are being perpetrated by so-called educators under the guise of preventing school violence. These abuses are indeed grievous in and of themselves and need immediate redress. We as American citizens are demanding that our legislative body take action to help put a stop to this.

Since the empirical evidence "indicate[s] that student uniforms have no direct effect on substance use, behavioral problems or attendance ... [and] [a] negative effect of uniforms on student academic achievement was found," we demand that all school districts be required to meet a defined threshold showing of harm prior to the implementation of any mandatory uniform policies.* Further since it also shows that [t]he notions that school uniforms and zero tolerance for gangs would reduce school disorder and consequently improve student academic performance were not supported, we demand more from schools then just their opinion that school uniforms might improve the learning environment.** If a school district wishes to adopt a uniform policy with strong community support, but absent this threshold showing of harm, we demand that all such policies be voluntary and contain an undeniable opt-out policy that affords constitutional protection to those who wish to assert it. American citizens should not be made to jump through hoops to prove or substantiate their beliefs. Nor should they be forced to suffer in silence, because they do not have the wherewithal to challenge this infringement upon their fundamental rights through our ever so expensive judicial system.

Schools which have already implemented uniform policies should also be required to show they would have met the defined threshold of harm and, if they cannot substantiate it, then they must abandon their current policy or make it voluntary with an undeniable opt-out policy.

We respectfully request that you initiate immediate action to prevent any further abuses from occurring.

APROD (Asserting Parental Rights - it's Our Duty)

* Brunsma, David L., and Kerry A. Rockquemore. "The Effect of Student Uniforms on Attendance, Behavior Problems, Substance Use, and Academic Achievement." The Journal of Educational Research, 13 Feb. 1998, http://www.members.tripod.com/rockqu/uniform.htm

** Wenglinsky, Harold, Richard Coley and Paul Barton. "Order in the Classroom: Violence, Discipline, and Student Achievement," the Educational Testing Service, ftp://ftp.ets.org/pub/res/order.pdf