If you spend ridiculous amounts of money on clothing for your children, you might have found some relief in an Anne Arundel lawmaker's proposal to encourage public school children to wear uniforms.
But if your children seem perfectly content wearing jeans and sweat shirtsto school, like most Carroll students, you might have thought the resolution by Del. Charles W. Kolodziejski, D-Pasadena, was far-fetched.
Other lawmakers apparently did, too, and defeated the resolution in committee. Even so, Kolodziejski, noting he had support for the measure in urban areas, says he may propose similar legislation next year.
Carroll educators oppose any measure requiring students to wear uniforms. Kolodziejski's resolution would not have required, but encouraged, uniforms in public schools.
"We were opposed to it simply because we don't feel it's an issue here in the county," said William H. Hyde, assistant superintendent of administration. "In some areas of the state, clothing worn by kids does become an issue and does become an area of conflict between kids."
Kolodziejski said grades are up and violence is down in the 113 Baltimore schools that have adopted uniform policies.
Carroll educators conceded that clothing can become expensive and prompt competition among students, but they also noted that most parents seem to exercise good judgment with theirchildren in choosing wardrobes.
"It's really more of a parent issue," said Dorothy Mangle, director of elementary schools. "I don't think the type of clothing worn by children in Carroll is disruptive. We've never had a violent incident over a piece of apparel."
Deborah Baity, Eldersburg Elementary's PTA president, said uniforms were a "neat idea" because some parents can't afford certain children's fashions, such as Bugle Boy pants.
"Some kids are fashion conscious," she said. "I think it's a good idea, but it would never go in this area."
Patricia Brink, principal at St. John School in Westminster, said Catholic students always have worn uniforms and teachers have found a dress code causes a "lot less behavioral problems."
"Kids doget tired of (uniforms) and periodically we let them dress in their own clothes," Brink said. "But every teacher has remarked they have seen behavioral differences. I'm definitely in favor of (uniforms)."
Becky Duex, a Westminster High School senior and a student representative on the school board, said uniforms could resolve clothing competition among some students but also would take away individuality.
"I would envision a (uniform) policy creating many problems," Mangesaid.