School board OKs grade-specific uniforms at J.P. King

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 21, 2008

FRANKLIN—The Franklin School Board on Thursday approved a change to the dress code at J.P. King Middle School, requiring students to wear shirts with specific colors that represent their grade levels.

For example, sixth-graders will wear light blue shirts beginning in September, seventh- graders will wear Navy blue and eighth-graders will wear white.

Teachers can quickly identify students who are in the hallways or in areas where they don’t belong, according to Principal Horatio Douglas. J.P. King is already a uniformed school and this system would simply be an addition to the existing dress code that prohibits wearing outlandish clothing.

Douglas addressed the school board at its Thursday night meeting and proposed the change.

Board member David Benton said he was reluctant to accept the idea.

&uot;Parents are already objecting to students’ wearing the same clothes every day,&uot; said Benton, &uot;and now we’d be restricting them even further by making them wear only one color every day of the week.&uot;

Board member Mary Eure, however, supported the plan. She agreed that the color code would help faculty quickly establish where a student belongs, therefore reducing confusion and other problems.

Benton then brought up the question as to what students would wear during the winter months. He stated that if children are allowed to wear any sweater or sweatshirt that could negate the plan of wearing color-coded shirts.

It was decided that students can wear Navy blue sweaters in the winter, with the collars of their color-coded shirts showing.

It was suggested that the school work out an agreement with local companies, such as Wal-Mart, to help donate some of the clothes to parents who can’t afford them.

Should students arrive at the school not wearing the appropriate attire, their parents will be immediately contacted. Whatever steps are necessary to get students to comply with the dress code would be taken after parents are notified.

The amendment passed the board by a 4-2 vote.