I guess I don’t know a lot about the effectiveness of requiring school uniforms, but several studies out there including this one, don’t show they help much;

In general, students in schools that required school uniforms did not demonstrate better social skills, internalizing and externalizing behavior, or school attendance as compared with students in schools without school uniforms. These associations were true across both public and private schools. 

I’m sure there are hundreds of studies showing both sides of the coin, but the bigger issue is how the SFSD left the parents in the dark when making this decision;

Peters said she doesn’t agree with the way administration doled out information about the major changes coming to Axtell this school year in meetings held at the school Aug. 2 and Aug. 9.

“Removing the programs built to support our students, restructuring the school and intentionally hiding from the parents and students in my opinion is shameful,” she said. “We are supposed to be a team. This is not how a team works. Ultimately, our children suffer when there are breakdowns of this proportion.”

It kind of seems like this is an authoritarian move instead of something that would actually be beneficial to the students;

“We believe all students deserve the best opportunities,” Konrad said in a statement. “Regular attendance, positive behavior and self-image, and a strong focus on academic success are critical factors for the students who participate in the behavior programs at Axtell Park, now and in the future.”

So shouldn’t this policy be implemented district wide? Why single out lower income or challenged students? I have long heard from teachers across the district (from elementary school to high school, to lower income to middle income schools) that there are major discrepancies on programming and funding depending on what school it is. Maybe uniforms are NOT the issue? Maybe it is staffing, programming and funding?


While private schools are a ‘choice’ I wonder how many parents that send their kids to Catholic Schools will be keen on this policy;

The policy states that students cannot “advocate, celebrate, or express” either same-sex attraction or “transgenderism” in a way that would “cause confusion or distraction in the context of Catholic school classes, activities, or events.” It also says that teachers or staff cannot refer to a student by a pronoun that corresponds with the opposite sex.

While the SFSD did say they made their decision on uniforms based on committee recommendations, kind of sounds like SFCS decision was based on what the Bishop thinks. You get what you pay for.

While I don’t have a dog in the fight since I have no kids, I do fund the public schools, and it seems over the past couple of years there has been a push to turn our schools into a fascist state. There are many reasons why students fall behind, and it has little to do with identity, it usually has to do with income status. I have argued for a long time that ALL students, regardless of income status should get a FREE lunch, if they want it, no questions asked. There should also be equal funding and programming at ALL schools in Sioux Falls, regardless of the neighborhood they are in. But there needs to be a community wide effort to raise wages for the working class parents, offer more affordable family housing and public funding for Pre-K education, which has proven to help with better student outcomes and saves families childcare dollars.

Of course none of this works very well without having an open and transparent conversation with the community instead of implementing polices in the dark of night.

By l3wis

9 thoughts on “Sioux Falls School District introduces school uniforms for challenged students”
  1. I hope students go on strike against this policy. I mean I hope the walk the hell out of that school until the policy is changed. Students don’t need to be dressed up in prison uniforms and treated as if they are subhuman. Here’s an idea: make the goddamn administrators wear the uniforms.

  2. Segregation? How about tattoo numbers on their arms instead? Then they can cover it with sleeves. It’s terrible that special needs children don’t fit with other students but don’t make them wear a sign.

  3. I’ve subbed at SF schools and sent middle school girls to the office for jorts and tube tops. In February.

  4. If the only ones who strike are same sex people and transgendered people, the traditonal conservative minded people end up with what they want the most, to rid the community of that type of behavior. So if you call for a strike, then utlimately, you fall victim to the concept that the majority wish for and desire.

  5. Conservatives can believe whatever they want to, but just because you don’t believe in transgenderism doesn’t mean it won’t still exist. Why do conservatives always think another group is threatening them? Mind your own f’king business.

  6. Conservatives, you can’t run back to the past just because it’s familiar. Read a book and find a new friend that challenges your thoughts and behaviors, get out of your antiquated rut.

  7. Like Don Lemon, of CNN, used to say during the height of the George Floyd controversy: “Become friends with someone who does not look like you.”

  8. You summed up my issues with this policy in one basic statement:
    “So shouldn’t this policy be implemented district wide? Why single out lower income or challenged students?”

    There are arguments you can easily make in favor of a standard “Dress Code.” But it should be standard for all students across the district.
    There are, IMHO less compelling, arguments for a school uniform. But again, it should be standard for all students across the district. We apply everything equally.

    And these arguments do not cover what is IMHO the biggest issue with school uniforms for kids.
    Who is going to buy them, who is going to sell them?
    If you are forcing a family to go out and purchase X number of uniforms every year or possibly MULTIPLE TIMES per year for younger kids when they go through a growth spurt you are you are defiantly hurting lower income families more than higher income families.
    All to go to schools that kids are legally required to attend. It’s an extra tax on parents who are sending kids to school -IF it was applied equally across the board.

    The way it’s being implemented it’s an extra tax on the parents of kids who already have issues.

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