SD 227 may consider requiring uniforms
By Sarah Zylstra Correspondent September 9, 2013 10:37PM
Updated: October 11, 2013 6:02AM
Requiring school uniforms may be one way to help improve the culture at the Rich Township High School District 227 campuses, school board member Shelia Friday said.
The district has been plagued in recent years with low test scores and declining enrollment, as well as a bitterly divided school board.
“Some of these schools in Chicago, they have uniforms,” Friday said. “And when we go into those schools, those kids act different.”
She said uniforms could help with the issue of boys’ wearing sagging pants and could lessen the gap in school clothing between students from low-income households and others.
“I want to do more research, but I do think it is something we should consider as a school district,” she said.
Board president Cheryl Coleman said she liked the idea and suggested hosting an open forum for parents to get their feedback.
Initial reaction, at least from parents at a recent board meeting, was positive.
“It’s a good idea,” said Brenda High, whose children graduated from Rich Central High School. “It is something we should really consider in terms of helping to change the climate in the district.”
The deans would not have to put in nearly as much effort in making sure that students are dressed appropriately for school, High said.
Dierdre Richie, the mother of Rich East High School alum, also liked the idea of requiring uniforms.
“I came from a district where children hadn’t worn uniforms for years,” she said. “The high incidence days for misbehavior were the days that our children did not wear uniforms. So a uniform does change the way that our children behave.”