We, the undersigned Malden Students, are OPPOSED to any Uniform Mandate for the Malden Public Schools.
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The Malden School Committee is considering enforcing a Mandatory Uniform Policy throughout the public school system.
Initially, they pointed to studies that said uniforms reduced bullying, made schools safer, improved test grades, and saved the parents bundles of money. However, people were not so quick to adopt the idea. Most of us were fine with the current dress code. Many parents & teachers are very much against requiring uniforms in public school. The American Civil Liberties Union is adamantly against uniforms too. Many feel the time, energy
and funds should be spent on more worthy and educational endeavors.
After months of scrutinizing these unsubstantiated claims re: the positive effect of uniforms, it became clear that for every expert study stating that uniforms are a good thing, there was another equally respected study which concluded that uniforms are not beneficial.
Even Superintendent DeRuosi admits there are as many studies that are pro uniform as valid studies against them. Finally, we are left with the real motive behind pushing uniforms in Malden Public Schools. The members of the Uniform Subcommittee think it will LOOK nice to have a color-coordinated student body. Also, they think it might increase school spirit.
So, uniforms have no proven educational value, no proven social value, no proven financial benefit to the families, and no proven impact on bullying or safety in the schools.
The parental objections to uniforms encompass many philosophical, sociological, financial, and constitutional issues. Not the least of which is the fact that public schools should be free. This uniform mandate would effectively require an entrance fee, in the form of several sets of uniforms per child. Additionally, when a public school requires uniforms, they MUST provide those uniforms to families who can’t afford them. So it is costing both the parents and the school/city.
The School Committee members are dedicated and caring professionals. They may THINK they are doing what is best for the students, but we feel that in this issue, they are not. It is up to the parents & students to choose their wardrobe, within the parameters set by the current dress code, and the confines of their own budgets.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
The Subcommittee has the results of a survey, which many think was biased and not an accurate assessment of how the Malden parents feel on this issue. (They even excluded results from the High School, which were overwhelmingly anti-uniform.) In fact, when they presented their findings at a meeting on March 6th, there were around 100 parents who adamantly disagreed with uniforms and their results.
But 100 voices may not be enough to stop this Uniform Mandate in Malden. We need to show the School Committee that the majority of Malden Public School Students are against School Uniforms. Please make your voices heard. We hope this petition will encourage the School Committee to squash the Uniform Mandate once and for all.
Please sign this petition once and pass it on! Thanks.
Robin H. Farren
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