The Augusta Chronicle received 54 responses from readers about the uniform policies and dress codes in Richmond County schools. Although there is not enough space to print all the comments, here are some excerpts:
"After school is the time for 'self expression.' After all, they all look alike standing in the mall!"
- Lathy Reese
"My child goes to Curtis Baptist Christian School. I believe that kids should wear uniforms. It gives structure and builds character. Curtis just started this year, and it seems to be working."
- Della R. Allen
"I think the Richmond County public school system should focus on the education of students and bringing the schools up to standard, instead of focusing on the stripes on a shirt."
- Katherine Watts
"Middle school kids are already dealing with body changes, and many girls try to hide their bodies. Tucking in a shirt at that age can be mental torment on them."
- Jane D. Wylds
"Come on. These are elementary children. How can you punish a child for what his parent chooses to dress them in?"
- Rhonda Watkins
"I agree with the uniform dress code. My child attends a school where they do not wear them. Today's kids get picked on and teased at if they don't wear Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, etc."
- Cathy Durham
"I have twin sons in middle school, and to me, having this dress code is a blessing. They know exactly what is acceptable and are dressed in a flash."
- Sylvia Jenkins
"Not everyone in the school is in uniforms. The teachers and staff should be made to do it, too."
- Anna Autrey
"The Richmond County Board of Education needs to concentrate on the curriculum and getting off the needs-improvement list. There's no wonder the more affluent families are moving to Columbia County."
- Rodney C. Young
"I think the school board is trying to control the parents, since they can hardly control the students."
- Sharron Hanke
"Mandatory uniforms have no demonstrated benefits and impose on families both financially and philosophically. They have no place in public education."
- Lee-Ann Williams
"The time that the educators spend inspecting our children and disciplining them for not wearing a certain outfit could be spent teaching them the fundamentals."
- Robyn Lofton
"It is a good idea to insist on shirts without obscene language and tucked-in shirts (when the shirts are made to be tucked in.) Pants should be worn at the waist, and shoes with heels and heel straps should be worn. Having parents buy 'uniform' colors is a joke. ... Dress code, yes. Uniform code, no."
- Brenda Wasden
"I am retired military, and I feel it instills good grooming, discipline and makes you want to look your best in the uniform."
- Robin Jones
"They have never been shown to decrease absences or violence. Yet, time and again, public school boards are making the decision to enact mandatory uniform policies."
- Ramanuj Basu