Rumors have been confirmed by Head Of School Dr. Sherrill that a Middle School uniform could be appearing in the 2015-16 school year.
The Gregory School conducted a survey during the 2013-2014 school year asking Middle School students if they would like to have a mandatory uniform. In a recent interview with Sherrill, she said “we found that 50% of the students were interested in a uniform.”
The journalism staff conducted a recent poll to all of the Middle School students regarding the thought of a uniform. According to our survey, 90% of the 68 students who answered did not support a uniform. Along with that, 90% of students did not support the cost of the uniform. Also, 79% of students said that they liked the current Middle School dress code.
When Middle School students were interviewed about the idea of a uniform, most of them were opposed to the thought. Sixth-grader Victoria Nee said, “I just like the dress code. It’s better; you can wear whatever you want and not have to wear the same uniform everyday.”
According to Sherrill, there would be a strict uniform from Monday to Thursday, and Friday would be open dress code to the students.
The current dress code at The Gregory School states that Middle School students may not have any attire without straps for girls and no racerbacks, transparent shirts, or mesh shirts for boys. The dress code also states that “shorts/skirts no shorter than mid-thigh, which means they can be as long as halfway between the knee and top of one’s leg.”
According to Sherrill, there are very few Middle School dress code violations. Sherrill mentioned in a recent interview that “one of the violations that occurs most often with Middle School dress code has to do with shorts.” Many students are fine with the dress code and think it is a fair rule. Seventh grader Charles Weibel said, “I prefer open dress code, but they should just make a lot more types of apparel.”
One reason for having a uniform is that it neutralizes students’ apparell, which is something that for better or for worse differentiates students. Sherrill said, “It takes away the comparing and contrasting that kids have with each other in the middle school, which is a sometimes a bigger deal than when you’re in the upper school”.
Students judging each other based on clothing is a large problem in all schools, especially in larger schools. According to BullyingStatistics.org, “some of the top years for bullying include 4th through 8th graders in which 90 percent were reported as victims of some kind of bullying.”
Sherrill also said, “It’s one less thing people have to worry about. You have set certain choices every week, you don’t have to stew about what it is you’re going to wear to school that day, you don’t have to worry if you’re going to be violating the dress code.” The school counselor, Ashley Davis, stated that “I don’t think it would hurt. I think it takes the pressure off trying to dress a certain way.”
Students are also concerned about the cost of the uniforms. Seventh grader Charles Weibel said, “If some people don’t want uniforms, there’s no point in paying for something they don’t want.”
Students are also concerned about whether or not it would be fair if the Middle School was enforced and the Upper School was not. Weibel said, “If an Upper School student comes down to the Middle School for a class and the rules are different, it’s kind of unfair.”
Another thought behind the introduction of uniforms is that it will profit the school. All of the uniforms will be purchased from Lands End, which already has designs for a possible uniform. According to Sherrill, “one advantage is that there is a kickback to the school, so we would actually have some revenue coming in.” The cost of the uniforms are expected to range from twelve to seventy-five dollars per outfit. Each student would probably need four or five outfits, but it would really depend on the student. It would probably cost from $30 to $60 on an outfit depending on how much the student was willing to spend.
Students are encouraged to express their opinions to their teachers as well as Sherrill. Sherrill is expecting to meet with the Middle School student council as well as re-polling the students to see if they want to have a uniform for next year.
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