Glendale Middle School students will slip into school uniforms this fall, a move in step with Bryant Intermediate and several elementary schools in the uniform-pioneering Salt Lake City School District.
"This is so that clothing doesn't become a factor in the education of the child," said Glendale assistant principal Jeffrey D. Herr. "Uniforms build unity . . . and with kids being so clothing-conscious, there is no hassle as to what they're going to wear. They can buy two or three uniforms and they're set for the week."Letters were sent to all Glendale parents to explain the proposed uniform policy and ask for their vote. The letter also was translated into Spanish and Tongan.
"The response was pretty overwhelming," Herr said.
While he could not supply a vote tally, Herr said uniforms were favored by "a wide margin." About two-thirds of parents voted in the matter. The school enrolls about 600 students.
The school uniform policy requires collared, button-up shirts or polos in white or navy blue and navy or khaki slacks, finger-tip length shorts or skirts. No T-shirts or jeans will be allowed; brand logos may not be visible on shirts and must be unobtrusive on pants, Herr said.
Sandals may be worn but must have a strap on the back for safety reasons, Herr said. Shoelaces must be the same color as the shoe, as students have been known to use shoestring colors to identify with gangs.
Parents not wanting their students to wear uniforms may request a waiver.
Otherwise, students must wear the uniform or face consequences, ranging from parent calls and wearing a school-issued uniform for a first offense to two-week suspension and alternative night school referral on a fifth offense. Noncompliance there-after would result in placement in an alternative school.
Parents will be notified of the new policy this week.
A handful of other district schools have opted for school uniform policies. The state's first, Nibley Park Elementary, has reported increased respect for others and decreased vandalism and office referrals over the past two years, since kids have been wearing khaki, blue and white uniforms.
Bryant Intermediate parents last spring voted to implement school uniforms in the fall. Franklin Elementary requires students dress in school colors, and Jackson Elementary has adopted a standardized dress code for next year.