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Board Resolution authorizing Uniform Policy

January 18, 1994

LONG BEACH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
BOARD OF EDUCATION

SUBJECT: Mandatory Uniforms for All Elementary and Middle Schools Beginning with the 1994-95 School Year, and Action to Obtain Legislative Authority for Such Requirement.

Enclosures: None

CATEGORY: New Business

Reason for Board Consideration: Information/Action

Date: January 18, 1994

Background

The Board is taking a courageous and site-supported step in its policymaking power. Together, we must do whatever it takes to help restore order in all schools. Obviously, the policies must be both wise and legal. The school choice initiative will not go away until we have safe schools and quality education. In spite of the recent positive results of our survey, a significant number of parents remain concerned and dissatisfied.

Individual schools cannot do the job alone. The policies of the Board can make their tasks easier. They have the fundamental responsibility of teaching and acquiring academic achievement of all their students, not that of solving all of the other ills of our society and communities. With the stated goals of our Superintendent, schools can be held accountable for this basic responsibility.

In addition, all of our students must learn the difference between right and wrong. They aren't born with this ability; neither do they gain it through osmosis. In our time, the difference becomes both sophisticated and complicated, especially in the area of human relations.

We Board Members believe school uniforms at the elementary and middle school level will simplify proper dress for school business, which is, indeed, very serious business. We know that dress significantly influences behavior. In education we have seen its influence on dress-up days and color days. We have also seen in the schools that have adopted school uniforms a "coming together," greater school pride, and better behavior in and out of the classroom. Moreover, with the complete elimination of gang attire, all of the students at those sites are safer, less intimidated or threatened. Finally, the students look great.

Enforcement of a dress code and the adoption of school uniforms have their opponents -- students, parents, teachers, and special interest groups. However, they are few. We, the Board, are willing "to take the heat."

This Board makes policies; staff implements them on the important issue of dress and decorum in our public schools. It is time we act on dress regulations.

Recommendation

I move to require school uniforms of all elementary and middle schools by September, 1994 This will give each site time to decide on colors, et cetera We strongly recommend the inclusion of parents, teachers, and staff in these deliberations However, anything less than a proper and rational uniform is unacceptable.

The Superintendent has directed our lobbyist to seek legislative support for this initiative so that our efforts to make our schools safer will have the full backing of State law.

Prepared by

Edward Eveland, Member
Board of Education