make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Three elementary schools to implement uniforms in 2010

READ MORE: Three elementary schools to implement uniforms in 2010
It's uniform time for students at three Brunswick County elementary schools, but two of them didn't exactly see it coming. The vote to allow uniforms at Lincoln Elementary was on the agenda at last night's school board meeting, but parents of students at Belville Elementary and Town Creek Elementary didn't realize the vote would affect them too. "I would have liked to have known when the meeting was going to be,” said Allyson Rathburn who is against uniforms. Whether they like it or not, Belville Elementary moms will be sending their kids to school in uniforms. Tuesday night's school board agenda included voting on uniforms for Lincoln Elementary, not Belville and Town Creek. However, Brunswick County School Board Chair Shirley Babson said she felt it was a good time to discuss implementing uniforms at more than just one school. “We have to make decisions based on what is best for the children,” Babson said. Lincoln elementary saw it coming, and teachers and parents seem happy with the outcome. "It would bring a sense of unity among the students,” said second grade teacher Carolyn Harrington. The students are not exactly thrilled. “We'll all look the same and everyone will say you copied me,” explained second grader Dreonna Tompkins. Though Belville parents didn't know about Tuesday's vote, they were asked for input a couple weeks ago in a take-home survey. "Some of the comments students made were they want to feel like everybody else, I want to be a part of something,” said Belville Principal Tracy Coston. The school board said over the next few months they are going to look into uniforms for all the Brunswick County elementary schools.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


School Uniforms - Absolutely Necessary

Our public school system is just that, a public school system. The teachers are not there to police the dresscode of our children, they are there to educate the children, who should come to school prepared to learn. If you ask most teachers, they spend entirely too much time dealing with unneccesary tasks, such as tardiness isues, behavioral issues, finding a snack for children that did not bring a snack, etc. It is our jobs as parents to assist in our children being educated. One teacher cannot educate 24-29 children every day without the support of parents. If my child wearing a uniform will assist my child's teachers in their class management, then he will just have to wear a uniform. I am in my son's school ALL THE TIME and I do work FULL-TIME. I am PTA president of my son's school and I see day after day, parents that whine and complain, but don't know all of the facts. Spend some time in the classroom, in the lunchroom, on the school bus, and on the playground, and you will see that the majority of parents just ship their children off on a school bus and expect them to come home with a decent education. My son (who is not a "nerd", as some of you may think), loves wearing polo shirts and kahki pants, etc. He is a straight A student that happens to love his school. He finds pride in his clothing and I would like it to stay that way. We have lowered our standards enough in public school and it is time to turn that around. I have the ability to purchase clothing at the finest boutiques in town, but you may find me rummaging through the racks at Goodwill and yard sales for his clothing on any given day. I welcome uniforms in all public schools. I find these clothing items easier to shop for and much less expensive than the crap at the mall.

Uniform discussion degenerated

I cannot believe how people can become so vain for something that in the big scheme of things is insignificant!!! Appearance... it is all what this thread is all about!!!! at least you'll agree on one thing!!! the kids WILL have clothes on!!! ...Take a look at the real problem and offer solutions instead of criticizing and getting on a low level of discussion... after all you are all seeking the best for your kids!

Celia Rivenbark's book...

Stop Dressing Your 7-year old Like a Skank...pretty much says it all.


If you felt this strongly AGAINST your children wearing uniforms, you should have spoken up. School board meetings are not a private event. They are open to the public. You should have asked the board to hear your side out upon receiving the surveys and phone calls. You snooze, you lose.

Uh...wait a minute...don't

Uh...wait a minute...don't you read the news? Belville parents and Town Creek parents didn't get a chance to speak up as they were not informed. I can understand Lincoln parents speaking up. But not Belville and Town Creek. THEY WERE NOT ON THE AGENDA! How are they suppose to know to be somewhere at a certain place at a certain time and speak up if they never know it's going to be discussed? That's probably my biggest gripe over this entire situation. Not the money part but the way it was pushed throuh. Very underhanded!! Shame on you Shirley Babson and the rest of the Board of Education. You are true policians!

The resolution to that comes

The resolution to that comes with the next School Board Election. By the way, the next School Board can vote to get rid of uniforms the same way that this one voted them in.


If I wanted my three girls to wear uniforms I'd pay thousands of dollars to send them to some private school or military camp! Who wants a school full of little stepford clones running around? So, all of a sudden my older girl's clothes can't be handed down to the middle child for school next year? Who made this decision for all us parents? Now I will be forced to spend the little bit of money I have next fall on bland clothes I don't want to purchase because I am ordered to by the school board? That is just great. Another freedom of choice taken from us! What's next??????

School uniforms

To me this whole controversy would not be on anyones agenda if public officials had the intestinal fortitude back in the so called "hippy days" to say no and parents would have disciplined their children. Now I know you from this generation are going to get up in arms over this, but if you had not pushed for all this "freedom of oppression" garbage, which I recall was a favorite rallying call about all the "injustices" you saw in society back then, the schools would not be half as bad as they are today. It was this movement which has taken us to this road about schools today. Where there was dicipline before the late 1960's, we now have to have police in our schools. If school boards had had the guts to say we need discipline and are going to keep it, then ask yourself what if they had? Also the courts made law not ruled on the constitutionality of some of these cases about school systems regulations, what if they had ruled like they were suppose to? When my children started school in Wilmngton, the stories they told me about the lack of discipline and the staff not being able to do anything stronger than dismissal or basically time out after school, I was shocked. Sorry but this "hippy" generation of parents are at fault for the school systems all over the country not being able to discipline students. Discipline begins at home. And it is not as simple of time out in a lot of cases. I come from the old school, where not only your parents could spank you, you could get one in school. As my generation says, a good spanking or a nice switch from the bush in the yard sure didn't hurt me today. It made me a better person because I learned the old adage respect your parents and elders. You didn't sass or talk back to teachers. Parents taught respect for teachers. Parents are responsible for how their children behaved in class. Today, I don't believe a lot of parents are willing to really come down hard on their child's behavior because either the child could turn them over to the police for punishing them to hard or may not believe in tough love. Don't get me wrong there a few cases where the police would need to be called. I can't tell you how many times I have heard teachers say they were blamed by the parents for johnny's failing grade. Parents don't go to PTA meetings because I believe they want the schools raising their children rather than them. They are just lazy! Teach your shild from the earliest age, they are responsible for their behavior until the day they die! Discipline equals how you present yourself to the public. When I see the boys of all ethnicities walking arround with their pants at half past the crack of their butt, girls, skinny or fluffy, either wearing clothes which look like they were poured into or every roll of fat is either hanging out or inside spandex, latex, or whatever the material is, I think what the hell are the parents doing letting their child out looking like this? Personally I don't want to see the blubber hanging out under their clothes and don't want to see what kind of underwear the guys are wearing. So I ask where are your parents? Do they make their child look in the mirror and see what they really will look like to john q public? If they did, I don't believe they would step out of the house looking as they do. You slimmer young ladies playing peek a boo with your clothes can really lead you down a road you will wish you never had traveled. Appearance is everything in society today and yesterday. If there was strong discipline at home, this would follow suit in schools therefore no need for uniforms in public school. However if the school boards lets the kids wear the uniforms like they do when they get home, then there is no use for a uniform. Until society is ready to let the school systems around the country go back to tough love discipline, then you will have to have uniforms in school. This is for some of the parents out there!! What is so terribly wrong with tough love i.e. discipline? Your childs behavior in public reflects directly back to you. So don't blame the school boards or administrator for all the wrongs in the system today. They surely are just as big of a factor as the parents in the lack of tough love. Look at yourselves parents, then your child. Do they reflect your ideals of how they should act when out in the public eye. If they don't, then you look in the mirror. The image you see is the one really at fault.


What about placing some responsibility on the teachers for being lazy. These days the teachers don't want to do their job either. Instead, they send everything home for the parent to do. Not to mention the fact that they single students out and harrass them. Yes, I know this to be true. And I'm not only talking about my own children. I have witnessed this several times. Maybe if they did their jobs and stopped worrying about a belt or a shirt being untucked then they could concentrate a little better!!! And yes, this is what is happening at my childs school!

Uniforms are cheaper

To those who contend uniforms are more costly, I'd like to point out as others have, that this is simply not true. Children only need 5 or 6 polos and pairs of slacks. These can be bought at any number of stores and even allow a little room for individuality. Because her mom was working and couldn't make the sale, I've shopped for my niece, who is required to only wear polos and jeans or khakis. I found 3 or 4 shirts at Belk's back to school sale that fit the bill. They have a little feminine cap sleeve and a yoke with tucks but have the polo collar and button neckline. They were solid colors. Color too allows for individuality. The best thing is they were $11 or $12 a piece. She wears her nicer clothes, which she already had, elsewhere. It takes the battle out of school dress. Believe me there will be plenty other battles to fight when you're raising a child. Uniforms eliminates one of them. She has no one to hand them down to and I'm sure her mom would love to donate to a school initiative where donated clothes are accepted for those in need.

Uniforms or not, consignment

Uniforms or not, consignment shops and goodwill stores are a great place to find decent clothing at a great price. I have to wear nice clothes to my job, and the majority of my wardrobe and my family's wardrobe come from these places and from yard sales. We look just as good as someone that spent loads of money for a whole lot less.


Hand down the uniforms.


From my experience with uniforms I love the idea. I have two sons still at home. One has to wear a uniform, one does not. There is so many benefits to the uniforms. 1. the ones the school board is requiring can be bought at walmart, they are cheep. For under $30.00 you have a whole outfit. Now days one pair of jeans is averaged 20.00 to 25.00, yes at walmart. 2.I have saved so much with my child, not only in this area but it saves the wear and tear on his other clothes and we don't go through them as fast as my older son does. another savings. 3. he is more attentive to his appearance and what is expected of him at school. 4.the stress of what to wear, gone.. you know what your wearing. 5.and casual day its something each week to look forward to, they respect the privilege more and its a reward, they have a choice they can follow the rule and get the reward of casual day or choose to lose it and have to wear their uniform that day. They still have choices. To MOST children its not as big a deal to them as the parents make it out to be. My son new it was required and he went with it, we didn't fuss, so the child followed suit. People give it a try you will see its a great thing, having it both ways in my home, i can see the benefits.

School Uniforms / Special Needs

Everyone please take in to consideration the children with special needs. I know many of them. Some have sensory disorders and obsessions that a lot of us just don't understand or even know about. To the special needs child sometimes these issues ARE with their clothes. For example, they only want to wear red because it is soothing to them or a collar may feel like cut glass around their neck. To the rest of us uniforms are a great idea. They bring unity, acceptance, and focus on education not on apperance. To a few it will be one more way of how the special needs child will have to adapt, which sometimes can take a lot of work. Maybe a way to meet in the middle is let all of the children choose from three colors, pants and tops, also let them choose a polo or a plain t-shirt, maybe shorts or pants. Where is the harm in SOME freedom as long as they look nice and uniformed? Concerned for EVERYONE!!!

My daughter has a sensory

My daughter has a sensory disorder and the uniforms that I can get her to wear are actually not uniform skits, they are just tan and black cotton skirts..The polos were a little more tricky but we were able to find cotton ones that she'd wear. Its a challenge but it can be done. She nows perfers to wear the "uniform" on her days off for ease of finding clothes. Her choice.

What polos does your daughter wear?

I was wondering the brand of the polo shirts you were able to get your daughter to wear. I am in search of one that will work for my daughter.
Thank you!


I would think that it is possible to make an exception on a case by case basis for children with special needs.

Special needs or not ...

Special needs or not, individuals must learn to adapt. Just because someone "wants to wear red because it is soothing" does not mean that it is acceptable to do so unless red is included in the uniform guidelines. If wearing a collar feels like "cut glass" then I'd say such an indidual has such significant issues at hand that perhaps they should not be in a public school at all. Life is about adapting to the rules/laws set forth by society. Perhaps if children start learning this at an early age through something as simple as wearing a uniform, there will be fewer instances of nonconformity and strife in the future caused by individuals who feel it is their right to "express themselves" through breaking the rules.

Thank you for your "educated

Thank you for your "educated thoughts"... I will try to remember the next time there is a vote from the school board for no more wheel chair ramps to see things from your point of veiw...and that the children should just adapt. NOT IN MY LIFE TIME! I relize everyone has different needs and that is what makes us all great! (even you) Back to the uniform topic, I think if we all were included in on the meeting like Lincoln - and not spoken for we might feel better that our voices are heard at a school board meeting and not here on some news web page!

Special Needs or Not...

Dear dontagree, Please let us know, do you expect someone with Diabetes to adapt? How about Asthma? Cancer? Cerebral Palsy? Down Syndrome? Or is it only Disorders that You are ignorant about? Please educate yourself about Sensory Disorders, then please tell us Dr.dontagree, what you suggest is acceptable and how do these children just "adapt"? Whether you want school uniforms or not...that was the most IGNORANT comment I have ever seen...HOW about YOU ADAPT and get educated before you make yourself look...well, I don't need to say it, you are pretttty smart!


It is apparent that people are not educated about Sensory Disorders. "Cut Glass" is the tip of the iceberg. I also find it sad to know that with all the effort put in to help children or even adults with special needs to feel included, accepted, and allowing them just to live and enjoy the same things in life as "normal" people, that there are still people ignorant to the plight! People with special needs fight daily to be allowed by society to be independent and live equally. If a "normal" child gains weight, and is larger than all the other kids in class, would you say "maybe they shouldn't be there"? All I can say is read...educate yourself...Check out the ADA LAWS...accomodations for these children is a RIGHT by LAW! How much more offensive can You be to suggest that because they have special needs, that can be accomodated, which won't infringe on the rights of your normal child,...sad. I hope for your sake, that your child is never found to be diabetic. They would have to take a shot at school to live...but...maybe they shouldn't be there! SAD! Whoever you are, I hope your kids are taught better!

All children are entitled to

All children are entitled to a free & appropriate education. Our school system fails on both counts. I do not have children with special needs but from what others with children with autism have told me the most seemingly normal things can cause issues for them. Why upset these children over a situation that is not necessary - i.e. wearing clothing that irritates them.

special needs are not


It works

I see my children off to school, uniforms on. My mornings go well, as there is not a struggle about how tight pants are or whether a shirt might be too long or too short to wear. The uniforms are worn for school, then taken off when my children arrive home. At that point they wear sweats. Sure, we also have jeans and nice shirts for birhtday parties, and we have our Sunday best. But I truly have saved money with uniforms, as many of the clothes get passed down from one child to the next. Since we only wear them to school, they stay in really good condition. We can wear any solid colored polo shirt with blue, black or khaki pants. Sneakers are a must. And believe it or not, I see lots of the teachers doing the same. Now that I have children coming out of sizes, I donate them to the school. My children don't worry about what they are wearing. They focus on their school work and following directions. And to me, that's a good thing.

The Journal of Education

The Journal of Education Reasearch published a study conducted on the school uniform's effect on a student's performance. It was conducted by David L. Brunsma of the University of Alabama and by Kerry A. Rockquemore of the University of Notre Dame. The findings: Student uniforms have no direct effect on substance use, behavioral problems, or attendance. You could dress these kids in potato sacks and it wouldn't matter. Kids are going to behave according to how they are raised. They are going to put the same amount of time and effort into getting an education whether they get their clothes at Belks or the thrift store. Uniforms are a distraction by the school administration. No one at school has what it takes to tell some punk to pull his pants up over his drawers so they think a uniform requirement is going to take that responsibility away from them and automatically fix it all. What a joke.

done again

why is it the northern end of county has be the first ones to try something new etc.[year round school] why cant the rest of county try it first. either make it county wide for all schools or dont do it.

I agree...

It should be county wide or not at all. I also think that if we are going to have uniforms then the teachers should be required to be in uniform also. What a double as I say not as I do never works with children! Make it across the board for all school and all faculty or not at all.


When I first heard Forest Hills was going to uniforms I wasn't all that happy about it either. I have 3 children in that school. HOWEVER, when we started shopping, wow, what a difference in the amount we had to spend. My children wear their uniforms everyday to school and sometimes out if need be. They have plenty of other nice things to wear but THEY choose to wear the uniforms to the point I have had to institute a no uniform policy outside of school as the clothes where wearing out too fast! It is very nice to walk into the school and see the kids walking down the halls and everyone looks nice and so handsome or pretty. Girls are not wearing inappropriately short skirts or shorts. The boys are not wearing their pants/shorts down around their ankles either!! It is a very nice clean look! If you are worried about price - Penney's usually has a good sale online as well as Kohl's. Walmart usually has good prices as well however I have found it difficult to find uniforms there on many occasions. There are affordable ones you just have to be willing to look for them!

Freedom of Choice

First of all, I was in the circle at LMS this morning. I saw the parents polling the parents. You were right, they were not talking to each parent. Only every other car; probably ones they knew just like you said. After I finally got through the line, I called the school to complain. If I'm going to have to pay for uniforms, then they need to make sure they don't delay me getting to work on time to where I lose my job. I was 10 minutes late this morning because of those parents hindering drivers in the drop-off zone. PLUS, if they did a phone survey last night and they are polling in the morning, then couldn't a person actally vote twice? How fair is that? That really thows the "honest numbers" out the window. Secondly, I have enough money so that's not an issue to me. I'm thinking about it for other parents. Four of my friends recently lost their jobs due to cutbacks in their companies. Where is the money going to come from for their kids to have uniforms? God forbid they are spending their remaining money (spousal income) on...let's, shelter, insurance. You know, the important stuff that really matters. Also, if they can't afford the uniforms, what are they suppose to do...stay home? So the school can either deny them an education or, if they go to school out of compliance, they are punished for mom and dad not having enough money. Talk about singling out kids. Third, my child doesn't want to dress in the same clothes that they are FORCED to wear to school 5 days a week. Popular brand names have nothing to do with it, so I don't know where that remark comes from. Usually she is in a pair of denim shorts ($8.99) and a Hanes t-shirt ($3.99) purchased from Walmart or Target. A heck of alot cheaper than khakis ($11.88) and polos ($8.99) from Walmart. Hanging around the house, playing ball at the park, going skating, etc. These kids like to play hard on the weekends. I don't expect them to do it in khaki pants and polos. And I'm sorry, I don't think polos shirts are very feminine. Regardless of the optional skirts, polo shirts are a more masuline attire. And last but not can not tell me that the schools and the teachers can donate clothes or money. These poor teachers can't afford crayons, pencils, paper, glue and kleenex for their classrooms. Basic necessaties for educating our kids. You know, the real reason they attend school...getting an education. I seriously doubt that they can afford to clothe their students. Schools are up against such budget restraints that they are cutting out wherever they can....teachers salaries, busing costs, etc. Until I see "stimulus checks" being handed out to EACH student to offset the cost of these uniforms by the shcool system, you can not tell me that the schools and teachers will help with the cost. You need a serious reality check! If you want your child in a school uniform, that's what private schools and RBA is for. You can find directions to them on the internet.

There is freedom

You say there is no freedom of choice and that it is more expensive to buy polos and khakis than jeans and a T-shirt. That is just not true. I just bought 4 solid color long sleeved polo shirts at Kohls for 3.10 each off the clearance rack. That's even cheaper than Wal Mart. Last time I looked polos at Wal Mart were around 5 or 6 bucks and khakis were around 10 bucks. Jeans were more expensive. As a parent I have already told the LMS administration that I would be more than happy to donate money or clothing for families who can't afford to purchase these items, and there are other parents I talk to who are willing to do the same. And in the letter it said that the school would be working with major area clothing chains (including Wal Mart and JC Penney) to come up with a plan to work with parents of LMS students in the purchasing of the proposed items. I do not believe that LMS administration would ever let a student be singled out in the case of a family who is in financial hardship. I already donate supplies for the schools my kids attend because teachers already spend so much out of pocket. There are kids that I know of whose parents can't seem to find the money to buy clothes, paper, pencils and basic school necessities, but they sure find the money to pull up to the school in a brand new SUV while they are yapping on their brand new Blackberry. If you spent any time in the schools, you would see the reason why we need to do something. And as a parent there are times when I believe we should listen to what our kids want. However, this is not one of those times. Of course a teenager is going to tell you that they do not want to be held to a more stringent standard of dress! You cannot tell me that just about every kid does not already have some of the clothing items being discussed (jeans in black or blue, black,khaki or navy pants, collared, solid colored shirts,). This idea should be given a chance to work. Let's do it and see. And by all means if it doesn't help, then you are more than welcome to say "I told you so" and I will readily say "you were right."