OKCPS Considering New District-Wide School Uniform Policy

Thursday, November 29th 2012, 7:43 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma City Public Schools will soon decide if all students should wear school uniforms.

A new dress code for the entire district has been in the works ever since a kindergartner was told to turn his Michigan t-shirt inside out. It violated a policy banning sports team clothing.

Now the school board is deciding whether to enact a new uniform policy for all 40,000 students in the district. 

It's hard to forget about 5-year-old Cooper Barton. He's the Wilson Elementary student who was told he couldn't wear his Michigan T-shirt to school. After our story aired in September, the superintendent lifted the ban against sports team clothing.

"Yeah, that was the beginning," OKCPS Deputy Superintendent Sandra Park says. "That was what caused us to really take a close look at our current policy, to review it, to see if we need to make changes."

A task force formed by the district is recommending uniforms for all 40,000 students in Oklahoma City Public Schools.

"The families learn early on what the uniform is. There's not a discussion at home or at school," Park said.

Kaitlyn Nielsen goes to Hayes Elementary and doesn't want to wear a uniform.

"Because I can't wear things I like to wear and show my creativity," Nielsen said.

But some parents are in favor of the recommendation.

"It'd probably make it easier. That way you know what they're wearing the next day," Amanda Ritter said.

"If we go district-wide uniform, then each school site will choose what their uniform will be," Park says. "We will require there be one standard uniform in the district."

District leaders say uniforms are also important for safety. If someone on campus is out of uniform, they're easy to recognize.

Out of 74 Oklahoma City Public Schools, only 17 of them don't have a uniform policy right now. Families can give their feedback on the district website.

The board will vote on the new policy in February. Changes would go into effect next school year.