By: Amanda Campbell
Uniform policy is a legitimate issue in private schools. It certainly divides students at The King’s Academy in Woodstock, Georgia. The range of who monitors the dress code invites inconsistency and preferential treatment.
During an average day at school, the teacher’s assistants are primarily responsible for noticing dress code violations. The offender is asked to remove the garment and receives a demerit.
However, there are students who constantly receive demerits for dress code violations, while there are others who violate the policy simultaneously and do not receive the same treatment. “Repeat offenders” are sought after by assistants, and students who “lay low” have the opportunity to get away with breaking the rules due to the assistants’ preoccupation with the “more concerning” students.
Junior Karley Willman, who has never received a demerit in her high school career, has only violated the policy twice. She was told her dress was too short on a Dress As You Like Day (DAYL) and was asked to take her “non-traditional” sweater off. Although the TKA Handbook states that, “a minor dress code violation constitutes a Class A demerit,” Willman did not receive one for either offense.
Lindsey Pulvino, also a junior, has had three dress code violations in which she received demerits. In one incident, she was wearing a skirt previously approved by the Student Programs Director, when a group of assistants huddled together to point out her skirt length.
Clearly, this is a complicated issue to tackle. So much so that our school administrators are at their wits end—they have even considered doing away with uniforms entirely. Yet that would only open up a Pandora’s box of new issues.
The key to simplifying the matter is consistency. Robert Kennedy, private school expert would agree. In his article published by About Education, he said, “The real secret to success is consistently enforcing rules and regulations. Hold students accountable and you will see results.”
Enforcement of this policy cannot rely only on assistants’ observation, which can become subjective. School administration is ultimately responsible for regulating dress code violations. They take the time to make a strict uniform policy; however, they do not take the time to adhere to a strict procedure of enforcement. It is vital that administrators fully take on this responsibility instead of leaving it to who notices first. All I’m asking from my school is enforcement as uniform as our dress code.