When the students of Long Middle School return to school this August they will be joining the ranks of the students from two other schools in the Chesterfield County School District who are also required to wear school uniforms.
The decision to move to a school uniform policy was voted upon this past spring by the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and the School Improvement Council of Long Middle School. While the schools in the district have the option to go to a school uniform policy on a local level, the past success of other schools in the district including New Heights Middle School in Jefferson and Pageland Middle School, helped to make the decision easier.
Research on school uniforms has shown that there are many benefits to school uniforms, but a few local parents don’t see them yet. “I don’t like the idea of school uniforms, and I think that it is unfair that one school’s students have to wear uniforms, but kids from other schools in the same district don’t have to,” said Vikky Dunn of Cheraw. “Parents may not be able to afford them, and once they leave the eighth grade they will be right back to wearing whatever they want to again.”
Some of the benefits for school administrators and student include less distraction for students and increased focus on learning. Research has also shown however that school uniforms can also reduce social snobbery and school bullying and increase the feeling of community among students. Many schools across the nation have made the move to require a designated uniform for their students because of these benefits.
Hugh Livingston of Cheraw said “I think that both parents and students have mixed feelings on the new school uniform policy, but the decision has been made, and the positive side of the issue is that there won’t be any fusses anymore about what the kids are wearing in the morning.”
The appropriate uniform for Long Middle School students will be khaki pants, skirts, shorts or capri pants and polo shirts of navy blue, gray or white. In the upcoming weeks a few of the local retailers will be stocking their shelves with school approved uniforms. Some local stores like Pee Dee Outfitters and Wannamaker Drugs have already received their stock and are advertising their lines of school uniforms.