DD2 addresses rumors of school uniforms for 2017-2018 year

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Officials with Dorchester District Two addressed rumors Wednesday via social media of school uniforms for students during the 2017-2018 year.

Spokeswoman Patricia Raynor says there have been several posts on social media sites, like Facebook, recently stating students would be wearing uniforms.

"That was the first I heard of it seeing the Facebook post," said Veroncia Butler, a DD2 mom of a rising freshman. "So I didn't even know it was considered."

The post on the district's Facebook page reads in part:

"Students in Dorchester District Two will NOT be required to wear uniforms for the 2017-2018 school year. We have learned that there has been a bill pre-filed in the state Legislature to require all public school students to wear uniforms and this has been reported by a Columbia television station."

The bill pre-filed by Representative Cezar McKnight on December 15, 2016 would provide the Department of Education the opportunity to establish and enforce a statewide mandatory dress code program "requiring school uniforms be worn by public school students beginning with the 2017-2018 school year".

According to the South Carolina Legislature, the bill has been hung up in the Committee on Education and Public Works since January 10.

"Please know that consideration of any pre-filed bills could not occur until the next legislative session in January 2018," the post continues. "A bill of this nature is quite often introduced in the Legislature but has never been passed."

"I would actually like to have them because I have two little girls and image issue is their biggest thing," said Jodi Prevette, a mother of children in DD2.

Prevette has two girls who attend Joseph R. Pye Elementary. She said while they haven't had any issues with dress code at this point, her older daughter has been bullied about how she dresses.

"I don't want bullying," Prevette said. "I want them to look the same. Education is first, not appearance."

Prevette and Butler were two of dozens of people to comment on DD2's Facebook post regarding school uniforms.

"I think they did it on time because now is when most parents are actually shopping," Prevette said.

"Uniforms were definitely easier and more convenient financially and just in the home life," Butler said. "Khaki pants, black pants, navy pants, and a colored polo shirt. They all look the same no matter where you buy them… You can get a polo shirt at back to school time for $5."

Many parents commented on the hardships of finding clothes around back to school time.

"I wish they would require uniforms!" wrote one parent. "We struggle every year to find clothes that not only fit my daughter but also fit the rules and requirements of the district. It's becoming quite ridiculous."

"Uniforms would be easier," wrote another parent. "Ever trying dressing a pre-teen these days."

"In Tennessee my daughter has always worn a uniform, in private and public schools," Butler said. "It's just easier, number one. You know what to shop for."

A former substitute teacher for DD2 also shared her thoughts on the issue of school uniforms via a Facebook message.

"School officials spend so much time on dress code violations," said Amber Hotelling. "I don't think parents realize how many hours a week teachers and admins spend on dress code violations… All of that takes away from the educational time when the students have to go to the office to have shorts checked or sit our of PE because of improper footwear."

However, not everyone is for uniforms.

"If we go to uniforms it would suck," wrote a Summerville High student.

"So glad this hasn't passed," wrote another woman.

"As parents, we spend so much time teaching our kids that beauty is on the inside, not on the outside," Hotelling said. "So if we really want kids to love people for who they area why should what they wear matter? If all the kids are wearing the same or similar clothing then there are less superficial things to judge each other on."

The bill also states uniforms would be flexible for individual school districts and would assist students eligible for free or reduced school lunches in getting at least five sets of school uniforms for each season, if there's money available.

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