Carson High students sign petition to oppose school uniforms
March 24, 2013
Freshman Steven Earl, 14, had to wear a uniform last year at Eagle Valley Middle School. He wasn't a fan.
"We burned them out at Lahontan over the summer in a huge bonfire," he said.
The proposal to implement a similar standard student attire next year at Carson High School has not been welcomed. Earl joined dozens of fellow students Thursday in signing a petition opposing the idea.
"Uniforms, no expression. That's it," he said.
Junior Rebecca Matley created the petition and is circulating it among students during the lunch break. Dressed in zany attire to draw attention to freedom to choose individual fashion, she collected more than 50 signatures Thursday with hopes of amassing about 500 by next week.
"The students want to express themselves," she said. "In general, I think students are in favor of the anti-uniform movement."
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Mark Rodina, dean, said surveys will be sent home to parents and distributed to students as they enroll in classes for next year. The responses, he said, will be considered when it comes time for the Standard Student Attire Committee to make its decision.
"It depends when we get the results back," he said. "We'll have to look at all the data."
Principal Ron Beck told parents during a community meeting Tuesday that the uniforms would increase security at the high school, making it easier to identify students.
Nicholas Lani, 17, doesn't see the sense in that.
"They're saying it's for safety, but if someone wants to get the clothes, it would be easy," he said. "And it creates safety issues outside of school. We're more easily recognized just walking down the street."
Ashley Meyer, 14, also signed the petition, saying uniforms will not improve student performance.
"You're still going to have the same grades," she said. "You're still going to act in the same way. Just because you have a different-colored shirt on isn't going to make you act different."
Not all students oppose the idea.
Gabrielle Palazzolo, 15, who attended Bethlehem Lutheran School before high school, said she's used to wearing a uniform and sees some benefit.
"There's a lot less diversity going on," she said. "We all look the same. You can't pick on each other because for what we're wearing because we're in the same boat. We're in the exact same uniform."
Matley said she encourages the administration to create a more defined dress code, with exact specifications of length and neckline, but to leave students free to choose their own clothes.
She said she will present the petition to Beck as well as to the Carson City School Board.
"It shows we can act as adults," she said. "If we can act like adults, we should be able to make decisions in an adult matter."
Vice Principal Joe Girdner said the petition will be taken seriously, but will be weighed along with other information.
"Their input is valued, and they're doing it the right way," he said. "In a peaceful, appropriate, professional way. It's not the entirety of the input we're going to get. It's a piece of the puzzle."