We want your opinions

September 06, 2006

ISSUE:

Tyler Heights Elementary School, along with Meade Middle, recently became the first public schools in Anne Arundel County to require students to wear uniforms, following a national trend in which a quarter of public elementary schools have some sort of mandatory policy.

Under a new county policy allowing uniforms, a school's parents must be polled and 70 percent of parents must return the surveys. Of those respondents, 80 percent must be in favor of uniforms. The school community must then research what kind of policy - mandatory or voluntary - it wants, what the uniforms will be, how much they will cost and where families can purchase them.

Two Anne Arundel charter schools also have uniforms.

Advocates say dressing uniformly eliminates the social pressures and expense of buying trendy or flashy clothes and encourages children to behave better and get serious about learning. They also say it helps improve safety by making students easily identifiable. Others who have studied the issue say there is no proof that uniforms provide a benefit.

YOUR VIEW:

Is it a good idea to require students at public schools to wear uniforms? Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by tomorrow. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be published Sunday.

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