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09-14-05 Coldwater uniforms get support

By William Kincaid

  COLDWATER -- School board member support for implementing a school uniform requirement at Coldwater Exempted Village Schools appears to be growing.

  The majority of board members voiced support for such a policy at the regular meeting Tuesday night.
  Superintendent Rich Seas had said in a previous meeting some support exists for implementing school uniforms, since school officials have been facing issues on how to deal with body adornments, unusual piercings and extremely low-rise jeans.
  By implementing a uniform, some school members think students and parents would benefit. For example, if students are required to wear a school-mandated outfit, they may not be inclined to compete in fashion wars or pressure parents to buy expensive brand-name clothing.
  "To define some of these things can be very difficult and binding," Seas said.  Seas did not vocally support or object to a dress code, but did say he didn't think there were any major problems with student appearance.
  Board member Linda Steinbrunner told other board members that many Coldwater parents have given her their approval for the uniforms.
  "It would probably enhance self-esteem," Steinbrunner said of student uniforms, because some students "would not be separated out as much."
  Board member Joe Eichler also believes in the benefits of uniforms, because there would be "no competition" to buy designer clothes, he said.
  Board member Jerry Meyer agreed with Eichler and said uniforms "would save people money."
  According to an article distributed by Steinbrunner, 12 percent of public schools required uniforms in 2000.
  In the last meeting, Seas said he is not expecting uniforms to become part of the policy at this time, even though there are supporters of the idea. Such a move would require broad support from faculty, students and parents, school board members agreed.


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