School uniforms at M.A.?

Published APRIL 1, 2011, in the Talon

MA’s new dress code

Faculty and Student task forces approve … uniforms for 2011-2012 school year???

You’ve got to read the whole story to believe it!

By Maggie Pelissero
Talon Staff Writer

After months of review and much speculation about the current dress code, including disagreements on what is considered “distracting attire,” the faculty and student task forces have reversed course and decided to implement a uniform dress code for next year.

Initially the task forces had unanimously said ‘no’ to substituting the current dress code for uniforms. However, as the time approached to make a decision, they diverted their primitive ideas to uniforms.

“Because of the recent trends, such as ‘jeggings,’ we figured our only real option was uniforms,” said senior task force member Ella Ostlund. “Without enforced rules, it seems students are willing to wear anything, regardless of its effect on others.”

Uniforms also provide students with a unique way to represent themselves.

“Uniforms allow the student body to express themselves through academics and sports and not through clothing,” said economics and philosophy teacher David Hoffner.

Social studies teacher Matthew Ridenour, a member of the faculty task force, had a wonderful experience in high school with uniforms and believe that it will be extremely beneficial for Minnehaha.

“I attended a high school that had required uniforms and I found it created the most healthy learning environments,” said Ridenour, “specifically, an environment wherein what someone looked like played no role in how that person was treated by faculty, staff and other students.”

Parents will also reap the benefits because expenses will go down, since there is no obligation to purchase trendy outfits. Also, having uniforms decreases the visible disparity of wealth amidst students in the school. It provides an equalizer and demolishes the feeling of clothing being unsatisfactory among friends.

“As a member of the committee who made this recommendation, I can honestly say that this is the best of all possible scenarios,” said Ridenour.

The faculty and student task forces felt that it was important to address the entire student body at the same time to announce the new dress code.

“We don’t want students to feel as if upperclassmen found out first or think the uniforms are simply rumors,” said senior task-force member Kwesi Hinson, “The entire story and correct facts are all presented here, without forcing one to do any work to go seek out the answers.

As “classy” as some students find it to wear the outfits they do, Minnehaha is upping their standards to a more traditional look; a look in which the administration doesn’t need to be concerned with encountering clothing that is “dirty, sloppy, attracting undue attention, with rips and holes.”

The task forces strived to ‘think outside the box’ and create an ensemble that didn’t possess the cliché catholic or military school look. It was unanimous among the students and faculty during their meeting that the look of a UPS driver is what they are striving for.

For starters, students are to wear black or khaki colored pants. The pants can be slacks, shorts, or skorts. As for tops, students should wear white or black collared shirts. Shoes are required to be solid black dress shoes. If you walk or bike to school it will get chilly during the middle of the year and students are welcome to throw on some sweatpants over their uniform. However, any clothing not meeting the dress code requirements must be removed before school begins.

“Although you are not permitted to wear the clothing you desire, women love a man in uniform,” said Hinson, “Think about it: police officers, firemen…people do good work in their uniforms.”

The school will not be too strict when it comes to accessorizing or hair. Many schools that have uniforms will require males to cut their hair when it reaches a certain length and to shave as well. Also, females are sometimes not allowed to wear jewelry; however, Minnehaha is allowing students to slap on bracelets, necklaces and other miscellaneous attire that assist in student’s expression of oneself. However, the attire must not infringe upon the standards we have as a community. (Hats are still not permissible.) Further details will be announced before the end of the year.

If a student shows up to school without their uniform, they will be asked to call their parents and have it delivered to school. If a parent or guardian is unavailable, there will be spare uniforms in student services to borrow and then the student will receive a detention as well. Bottom line, don’t try to defy the faculty because this will only subject a student to wearing a uniform that they don’t know how many people have worn.

For those who completely believed all that was written in this article, I apologize, I feel awful. Not really, just trying to be sensitive! APRIL FOOLS!



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