MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Board of School Directors has voted in favor of a district-wide dress code requiring uniforms for Milwaukee Public School students. The school board debated the issue for hours Thursday, February 23rd before voting yes.
Guidelines for the proposal are pretty basic: full-length, cargo and capri pants are allowed -- but denim jeans, pedal pushers and bell bottoms aren't. As for tops: polo’s, button-down shirts or turtlenecks are OK -- but anything with brand-names, pictures or insignias are a banned.
"Anyone who truly wants students to be happy and successful, see that uniforms are a ludicrous proposition," said sixth grade student, Ava Antonie.
Each school will be able to pick colors of tops that fit with that school's color scheme, and schools and parents will have the option of opting out under strict guidelines.
MPS will make money available to give students free clothes, however, the budget for next year hasn't been finalized yet. There's no talk, as of now, about where that money will come from.
As for students who don't follow the proposed guidelines:
"Students are coming to school... we must make sure they are allowed in; this cannot be seen as a penalizing measure," said Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent, Darienne Driver.
Schools will sell the shirts and pants at a deep discount, some as little as $5 to $10. If approved, uniforms will be required at the start of the fall semester.
About one-third of MPS schools already require uniforms.