Standard Attire for Sweetwater ISD

November 3, 2010

Sweetwater Independent School District officials are considering standard attire for students in the school district. During a public forum, Assistant Superintendent Kathy Smartt brought out seven Sweetwater ISD students of all ages to model what the standard attire might look like if adopted for Sweetwater schools. Girls and boys were dressed in red, navy or white polo shirts without a logo, with khaki pants, shorts, skirts, or Capri pants. What do you think about that idea?

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January 21, 2011 by (not verified), 4 years 31 weeks ago
Comment: 113

i would agree to uniform dress long as it is required for all is meaningless if all grades are not UNIFORM !!

Thank you to our board members

November 16, 2010 by swatermom (not verified), 4 years 40 weeks ago
Comment: 20

I attended the SISD school board meeting on Monday. I want to thank those that serve on our school board. These people donate a lot of their time to run our schools. It is NOT just time spent one day a month. I can personally say that these people ARE listening to the public. One thing that concerned me was NOT with the school board …it was with us, the parents. Around 150 people attended the presentation about school uniforms. But only 86 people took the time to fill out a survey. Out of those people a small amount actually signed the survey. I have heard over and over how people were scared to sign the survey. Let me say that our school board are not head hunters out for revenge. I have been very outspoken and done a lot of research on the subject of school uniforms. The board members treated me with respect and welcomed me to their meeting. I can say that our board members are respectful of the people who filled out the survey and they appreciate those who signed the survey. They want and welcome parents to help. The results of the survey was that 30% want uniforms. 16% want to continue with the same dress code. 54% want the dress code rewritten. The school board has recommended that a committee be formed to rewrite the dress code. They want the assistance of students, administration, teachers, parents and school board members. They also discussed teachers setting an example in the way that they dress. As parents lets offer our time to help them out. We as parents do not have the right to gripe when there is a problem if we do not work to form a solution. So lets volunteer! Lets be models to our children. It takes all of us to make a good school system. Maybe by us setting an example it will inspire our kids to get more involved. Across the nation kids are working to better their schools and help their fellow students. It may be something as little as kids getting together to have a no makeup day to show it is what is inside that counts not outside. Student councils are doing things like having food drives, clothing drives etc. I know our kids do a lot of these things. Our kids can make a difference in their school. Our kids can be leaders and help the self esteem of their fellow students. Lets as parents encourage them. Lets volunteer. Lets take time out of our lives to go to board meetings. SISD post when the meetings will be on their site. I am sure they will welcome our support. We can have some of the best schools in the state. Lets as a community work together for that goal.

Standard Attire

November 15, 2010 by beenthere (not verified), 4 years 41 weeks ago
Comment: 19

We have recently relocated to Sweetwater from a city that required uniforms to be worn in PUBLIC SCHOOLS. The uniform requirements were almost the same. My daughter's school also sold classroom shirts, PTO sold their shirts with the mascot of the school, all for $5.00 a shirt which all could be worn as part of the uniform. When it comes time to buy your child the required clothes, it will be so much easier and cheaper. I know many parents who have 2, 3 or more children to buy for before school starts and it can be expensive. The education of my children was NOT effected by the uniforms. I was NOT paying for uniforms for the entire school nor district. It was beneficial to a lot of students and parents. There will always be a group that is more forunate than others and are able to purchase maybe a better quality of clothing, but that is with everything. The district can't regulate where to purchase your clothing or how much to spend! Do you think that employees at a superstore who have to wear uniforms are treated different my customers or co-workers because of the "brand" of clothing they are wearing?
Just a little reality check...some talk about paying for uniforms and lunches for disadvantaged children. Who is there to complain about the tax dollars spent every year on uniforms and breakfast, lunch, and dinner for hundreds of thousands of Texas inmates and prisoners? It's ok to pay for these items?
Instead of saying no, no, no...listen for a moment to what you are really saying. Your child's education starts at home, you teach your child right from wrong. If you believe your child is treated unfairly because of the clothes they were then maybe YOU should be doing something about it. Monitor those halls, sit in the classroom. Try being proactive instead of reactive!


November 12, 2010 by laserpam (not verified), 4 years 41 weeks ago
Comment: 16

All of my kids attended a private christian school from grades 5 and up. Uniforms were the norm. The first year we all hated it; but by year 2 we had all adjusted. The ONLY area that kids could show their differences was in their shoes ~ Even the socks/belts had to be in uniform! As a parent, I admit I loved it! I had 2 places I could shop; they had 5 uniforms they could mix/match. The only hard part of shopping I had was to find backpacks and shoes for 3 kids!
By nature, we simply HATE change! You'll scream the first year only I promise! Uniforms truly aren't such a bad thing!


November 13, 2010 by swatermom (not verified), 4 years 41 weeks ago
Comment: 18

As you stated your kids attended a private Christian school. You CHOSE to have them attend there. There is nothing wrong with that. You paid for your child yourself. I appreciate that. A public school is different. All the arguements that they gave for having uniforms are unfounded. In the state of TX you have to meet a certain level to impliment this. And if they do impliment it there are cost obligations that are going to be on the tax payer. But also in TX we as parents can say we CHOOSE not to participate. We have the legal right. There is nothing wrong with uniforms if that is what you choose to have your child wear. They say it will level the playing field. That has been proven wrong over and over. Teachers spend part of their class time being uniform police. Kids also have a big tool to be cruel to others and get them in trouble. Like the wrong shade or color, no belt, coming untucked and all kinds of silly things. They talk about kids not feeling good about themselves because some kids have expensive clothes. Some kids will have expensive uniforms that are better taylored and are more fitting. Then you have kids that because of being bigger or smaller dont feel comfortable in those close. So instead of being comfortable and learning they are always pulling at clothes and feeling self aware. Some will look better than others in the uniform. I know if I get a uniform that is long enough for my child it will look like a huge bag on her. If a family wants to send their kids to school in a uniform they can. That is their right and choice. But others have a right and choice too. We are in the US the rights of one can not infringe on the rights of another. This battle has happened year after year. It gets to be an expensive mess and takes away from what school is for. LEARNING.

school uniforms

November 12, 2010 by swatermom (not verified), 4 years 41 weeks ago
Comment: 14

They say it will increase grades, attendance, reduce violence etc.Studies show that went back to same schools reported that there was actually a .05% increase in grades. There was 100%-300% increase in discipline problems in the first year. Then the second year it dropped but was still above the pre uniform figures. Also a 30% increase in skipping school. What they didn't say in the presentation is that many of these schools have already went back to regular dress because it doesn’t work and is expensive for the school district. In Sweetwater tax payers would be paying for 61%+ of the kids clothes. That over 1500 kids. It does not, just include free lunch kids. It also includes economically challenged and educationally challenged according to Texas regulations. It breaks the school district and doesn't help. The ACLU also fought for people that bought big uniforms and still sagged. So amazing you can still do the sagging in school uniforms because the school was so tied up in court. They also fought and won for girls that wore their shirts too tight. Groups like this love to get involved and sue schools sadly. I know I have already been contacted by two such groups and we haven't even implemented it! Also in TX parents are protected. We all have the right to opt out of the program. All we have to do is write a letter to administration requesting the opt out for religious OR philosophical reasons. So if you just don't think it will do any good and believe the regulation steps on your parental rights you have a reason to opt out in TX. So instead of instruction time teachers will be wasting time going through list to see who is on the opt out list and who is breaking uniform dress code. You can choose to opt out at any time so these list could change daily. Even the Abilene Superintendant rejected that uniforms would help in the Abilene paper. Notre Dame did a study that says that the biggest influence for schools is not uniforms. It is having teachers patrol halls between class time. It is educating teachers that even the worst dressed kid can be smart. One study addressed this. They sent a boy into school. He was dressed as a thug. Had another boy dressed preppy. They staged their homework to be the same. The thug boy received lower grades in each school for the same types of answers. The school did classes for the teachers about this and teachers done better in class and the students grades started going up. Also grades and attendance went up for schools that require report cards to be picked up by parents. Notre Dame says that there is no study in the world that proves that uniforms help in any of these situations. They said that from their research of the schools that bragged about the positive effects of uniforms were false. When pressed for figures the schools administrators admitted it was what they thought the effect would have. That the figures weren't based in fact. Overseas many of the schools are dropping uniforms because they have not worked and are expensive on the system. But I guess if we want to be like failed economic policies in Europe we could try, and find out it doesn’t work and cost our school a lot of money that could be used on good programs like sports, clubs, books, teachers pay etc. that actually is proven to help grades and violence in the schools.


November 12, 2010 by momma3 (not verified), 4 years 41 weeks ago
Comment: 15

Unfortunately, there continues to be confusion. How, by requiring a standard attire, does a school have to pay for "uniforms?" I think the question has become mistakenly switched into something it's not. Schools in Texas don't pay for students' clothes. Maybe those are the statistics we should focus on.

confused reply

November 13, 2010 by swatermom (not verified), 4 years 41 weeks ago
Comment: 17

Actually yes students clothes are paid for by our tax dollars if we require uniforms. It is part of the Texas Education Code. It is requiring the purchase of a certain item and type of item that does not directly relate to learning. If our school district goes to uniforms the tax payers in this community would be responsible for anyone that is on free lunches, considered economically disadvantaged and the real kicker is educationally disadvantaged. By SISD's own reports 61% of our students fall in the economically disadvantaged range. So yes by regulation if we allow this we are on the hook for those uniforms. That is around a half a million dollars and not counting the educationally disadvantaged. By SISD's reports we only had about $1.3 million surplus from what was brought in revenue. That half a million dollars also doesnt count in if a child grows out of a uniform and has to have new ones. The cost to the school district is one of the main reasons it fails in public schools. With private schools the tax payers are not responsible because it is a private school with a fee tuition. But all public schools requiring uniforms in Texas are required to provide to those three groups if they choose to impliment uniforms. If the district DOESNT require uniforms the tax payers are not responsible for any clothing. So our surplus funds would be safe.

Standard Attire

November 9, 2010 by momma3 (not verified), 4 years 41 weeks ago
Comment: 10

Although I'm not sure if SISD has posted the results of the city-wide survey, I have to admit that I'm crossing my fingers the outcome will be positive.

As a mom of 3, I look for every avenue to save money. Thorough research confirms that it WILL save me money, and I'm a bargain hunter. There sure have been a lot of slippery-slope scare tactics posted, but my common sense thinks our local Sweetwater retailers will be thrilled to have a way for us NOT to go to Abilene to find school clothes. What a great thing to be able to find everything I'd need to outfit my kids right here in town! What better way to ensure economic growth for our community?

I am excited so many people have expressed down-to-earth logic about this thing. I applaud our local administrators for listening to a mother who has real-life concerns about her kids (not to mention our pocketbooks). It's nice to see SISD take those concerns seriously and allow the community to provide feedback through those surveys before making such impactful decisions.

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