Beginning in September, female students at St. Bernadette Catholic School in Connecticut will dress in khakis and polo shirts rather than plaid skirts and jumpers. It’s a move that has left parents outraged, mostly because the new uniform breaks “tradition.”
Why the sudden change in uniform? A big part of it has to do with older girls rolling up their skirts’ waistbands to make the hem shorter. (Oh, teenagers.) This isn’t sitting right with many parents, like the mom who declared, “I would like to carry on with the beautiful tradition that the kids wear their proud uniform.”
Another mom, Brenda Abel, told the New Haven Register, “You don’t see girls in skirts often and, if you do, they are often in skirts that are inappropriate.”
Um, I don’t mean to sound disrespectful here, but isn’t that precisely the point? It doesn’t matter that the official school uniform has knee-length skirts. Teenagers will always find inventive new ways to shorten them, rendering them “inappropriate.”
And, besides, this is 2012, not 1952. Girls should be allowed to wear pants to school if they so desire, and it’s astounding to me that parents would feel otherwise. In fact, if it were me, I’d be embracing the change.
Granted, some people are upset that the uniforms will cost them more money because the current uniforms will have to be thrown out. That I can understand. But the other reasons seem just plain silly.
Aside from the whole ‘girls belong in skirts’ philosophy, some parents like that the school’s trademark plaid skirts have a certain recognition factor around town. “People see my daughter and they know she goes to St. Bernadette,” said Kayla Bailey.
And yet another mother, Nancy Owens – who led a petition against the new uniform – told the New Haven Register, “I don’t want my kid looking like a magnet school kid.”
Fortunately, other parents sound way more reasonable. These are the ones who recognize that kids often play outside in cold weather, which would make pants the better option.
I think the whole thing is being blown out of proportion. What these angry parents fail to recognize is that all of the good that comes with a school uniform will still exist. And isn’t that the most important thing?
(Photo: Ron Chapple Studios)