Parents of Carson High students say ‘no’ again to uniforms
March 28, 2013
In a second community meeting, parents and teachers again spoke out overwhelmingly against requiring Carson High School students to wear uniforms beginning next year.
"If you want us to be young adults, why take away our rights?" asked student Denise Chalfant. "Yes, some people dress provocatively, but in the real world some people are provocative. That doesn't mean you take away our rights guaranteed by the Constitution."
Dean Marc Rodina reiterated what Principal Ron Beck said last week, that the proposal is a response to safety concerns.
Rodina, the chairman of a committee that will decide whether to implement standard student attire, said the dress code was a separate issue.
"Every year, the student dress code is evaluated and revised," he said.
Nearly 120 people attended the second of two meetings designed to collect public opinion on the matter before a decision is made in May.
Concerned parents cited uniform costs and limited self-expression, including the ability to wear attire supporting sports teams and other clubs, as the main reason against them.
Surveys soon will be sent to all parents of Carson High students, and students are being surveyed now, Rodina said.
Some parents questioned the decision-making process. Lisa Rosas said she was concerned the decision already had been made and that the meetings were a formality.
"So we look like a bunch of idiots here," she said. "Why are you doing this to us?"
Committee member Shane Quilling, a teacher at the school, assured her that wasn't true.
"We have made zero decision on anything," he said. "We've done nothing but talk about it. But one thing does need to happen: Things need to change. We, as parents, need to make sure our children are dressed appropriately."
Several parents expressed a desire to be on the committee tasked with making the decision, but Rodina replied that it already has been formed.
Parents were initially notified, he said, through word of mouth, and some were added after last week's meeting.
Others questioned the penetration of the surveys, some students saying they registered but never received the survey.
Rodina said more than 1,000 responses had been collected and that those missed would be looked into.
"We want as much input as we can get," he said.
Emails will be sent to parents in coming weeks, he said, directing them to the online survey. The survey results will be used to inform the committee's decision.
"We're going to take everything into consideration," he said. "We will look at all the data. It's a tough decision."