To the editor:

I attended the school board meeting last night, and it was quite obvious from the onset that most of the board had already made up their minds to vote in favor of school “uniforms.” I truly wish Mr. Babb would have turned his camera on the board to catch the bored expressions as speakers against the school dress code addressed the board.

Not one board member addressed any of the questions asked by parents wanting answers such as “how is the district going to pay for uniforms for each student whose parents are economically incapable of paying for all the required items in order to meet the standardized uniform code of dress?”

When Mr. Gish, an assistant principal at Greenville HighSchool gave his power point presentation in favor of uniforms, he did not bring factual evidence with him to back up his power point presentation. Parents were left with their questions unanswered by him, as well.

I wrote to the school board the first time this issue came up and again this time around, also filling out and returning the survey that was sent to me last spring, but I and others feel as though our research and opinions were not even considered. I was asked last night at the meeting by someone in the crowd why I had not attended any of the meetings previous to this one, and my response is that I thought that these men and women had more sense and that they would be able to read my letters on the subject matter without having to see my face. But I was wrong. And from observing last night’s meeting, I would have been wasting my time trying to convince them of this horrendous decision from the first mention of this back last year.

I have six children who will be attending public school in the fall, and for my family this is a great hardship that not one board member cared anything about. In order to purchase the requirements for one uniform for each child including new pants, shirts, polo shirts, jumpers, closed toed and closed heeled shoes, socks in the required colors and belts with specific buckles will be a tremendous expense. My husband and I normally make clothing purchases for back-to-school on a need basis only. We have never gone out and bought “school clothes” just to say we bought school clothes. And if we are going to struggle to try and buy all these ridiculous things, what are the parents of the children who are already getting free lunches and free school supplies going to do?

Yes, the Greenville ISD is going to have to pay for their clothing, too. The decision that was made by only four board members is going to cost the school district thousands and thousands of dollars that could have been spent hiring teachers with the proper qualifications to help raise the TAKS scores. There are better ways to spend tax payer dollars than on uniforms.

So, you better start now explaining to your children that they will no longer have the freedom to choose what color shirt to wear and that they must never wear solid black like I did Sunday. The girls can never wear those pretty Easter dresses again, only black, red, white, and khaki. One of the board members stated that this standardized dress code was akin to the seat belt law, that people have to obey the law, like he was setting law. I wonder if this same board member would enjoy being forced to wear a  white suit with a pea green long-sleeved shirt and white tie along with white patent hard soled dress shoes to build his apartments every day. Oh, and no cap to block the sun off. I don’t think so.

Another board member does not even have children in the school system anymore and he voted on the issue. I want to remind the citizens that these board members are elected and being such, we have the choice to not vote for these board members at the next school board election. Also, consider running for the school board seats so that the people of Greenville will not continue to suffer at the hands of a few.

Deanna Patterson


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