Smartly dressed

A welcome change or reign of the fashion police? Students, parents and staff comment on the new district-wide uniform policy.



Booker T. Washington High School student Daniel Kupetsky initially protested the new uniform policy, but now admits he can live with it.

(page 1 of 2)

Khakis. They’re the new black. This school season’s must-haves. And that’s not fashion jargon — students really must have khakis to attend class in Tulsa Public Schools.

The classic pants, shorts, and oxford and polo shirts on the approved wardrobe list may not be coming down any designer runways this fall, but they’ll fill the corridors of every school as part of Regulation 2601-R, the TPS uniform policy.

Stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe would hardly call the look “major,” but since 2006, all middle school students have been required to wear uniforms. In 2011, the district’s elementary and junior high students joined in, along with East Central and McLain high schools and the new Will Rogers College High School.

By Day 1 of the 2012-13 school year, uniforms were the order of the day for all students, in all grades, at all TPS schools. It’s like a never-ending game of “Who Stole My Look?” for the Joan Rangers of Joan Rivers’ “Fashion Police.”

Yet the biggest surprise of the new policy is how smoothly it happened and how little resistance it generated.

“It all started when a group of high school principals came to me with the idea, citing safety and security issues,” says TPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard. Initially, there was a strong reaction that included a large number of emails, lots of activity at school board meetings — even student protests at the meetings.

“I was impressed with the students,” Ballard says. “They were respectful and articulate in getting their point across.”
Since the implementation, both sides have calmed down.

“Now, there is no competition among students for designer this or designer that,” he says. “But we did have some pockets of pretty fierce opposition.”

Daniel Kupetsky of Booker T. Washington High School was one of the students protesting.

“The objection for me was that the uniform was uncomfortable and unnecessary,” Kupetsky says. “Other students argued for the right to express themselves.”

Now, he admits, “I can live with it. It’s not a huge deal, but it didn’t help anything. And there are still people who miss class for code violations.”

Daniel’s mom, Michelle Cantrell, objected to the policy, too, but for different reasons. With three boys in three different schools with three different uniform requirements, this new policy hit her in the wallet.

“Before, they would have worn jeans with one of the countless hundreds of running shirts we had,” she says. “I know it sounds easy to put on a uniform, but finding a belt in the morning or not having clean khakis can be more stressful — and more expensive.”

White oxford shirts are the one item all three boys can wear, but that gives their mom little comfort.

“Those get stained,” she says.

Many parents of girls feel differently. Donna Keffer’s little fashionista is about to be a first grader, but already — thanks to the uniform policy — mornings with Madeline have taken a turn for the better.

“There isn’t a battle over what she’ll wear,” her visibly relieved mom says.

Their discussions have shifted to how Madeline can personalize her uniform look. Striped or polka dot leggings in school colors often do the trick. Hair bows and barrettes help. And footwear, of course.

“She wants shoes to make her run faster so she can catch the boys,” Keffer says. “Her turquoise sequin tennis shoes are good for that.”

The skirts, jumpers, shirts, pants and shorts in Madeline’s closet can be mixed and matched to make about 10 outfits. She is not really partial to pants, but the shorts come in handy on the days she wants to twirl on the monkey bars.

At Eisenhower, Madeline’s school, uniforms must include the school logo, which can add as much as $5 to the price of a garment.

“There are a couple of places around town that (can add the logo), or I can catch a 1-cent sale at Land’s End,” Keffer says.

The school also hosts a consignment sale every year, a convenient outlet for parents to donate and buy used uniforms.

The uniform policy has certainly changed the pace of business for Chari Edwards of C&J School Uniform Co. Her store originally catered to private and parochial school students, but now serves TPS families, too.

“This is our 18th summer, and the business has grown substantially,” she says.

Local discount and department stores carry the individual pieces that make up the TPS uniform collection, but a uniform store can offer additional perks.

“We have sizes parents can’t find in stores, like slims and huskies, from 2T to 54 men’s,” Edwards says. “Our boys’ pants have reinforced knees. Some girls buy the boys’ pants for that reason.”

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

Relax and stay awhile

Learn how one couple turned an old garage into a cozy, French-inspired guest cottage.

Video: Okie iconic

One would never guess Tulsa-area artist John Hammer is new to the painting scene.

Table Talk: August 2013

The buzz on Tulsa’s tastiest products, restaurants and events
Edit Module

Add your comment:
Tulsa Guest Guide

 

Get the best in arts, entertainment and more straight to your inbox.

Join our email list

Edit ModuleShow Tags

October 2018

The Arabian Horse Association is headed back to Tulsa, Okla. for the 2018 U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show from October 19-27. Join us for exciting new events,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Expo Square
4145 East 21st Street
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-696-4500
Contact Name: Kelsey Bergland
Website »

More information

We’re serving up our new chef-inspired fondue and traditional brunch options like Alpine Benedict Cheese Fondue, French Toast Fondue, Avocado Fiesta Toast plus bottomless mimosas. Reserve...

Cost: Varies

Where:
The Melting Pot of Tulsa
300 Riverwalk Terrace #190
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-299-8000
Contact Name: Alex Cooper
Website »

More information

FlyingTee is fun for the whole family and on Sundays, kids eat free! *Limit one free meal from the kids’ menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. Not valid on brunches or holidays.

Cost: Free with purchase

Where:
FlyingTee
600 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 918-528-7717
Website »

More information

Wiener dogs are already funny to look at. Now try watching over 100 of them zig, zag, jump, and generally get confused in a test of speed and intelligence! Ok, we’re being dramatic. The pups...

Cost: $10

Where:
Tulsa Oktoberfest
2100 S. Jackson Ave
Tulsa, OK  74107
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Riverparks Authority
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

Are you staying in town for Fall Break? The Melting Pot is offering an extended weekend-long family special with kid-friendly fondue for the whole family.

Cost: $29.95 per adult | $19.95 per child

Where:
The Melting Pot of Tulsa
300 Riverwalk Terrace #190
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-299-8000
Contact Name: Alex Cooper
Website »

More information

Willkommen to four days of Oompah (or Bavaria or Oktoberfest) in Oklahoma with nationally-known German bands, authentic European foods, arts and crafters MarktHaus, full carnival and fun...

Cost: $10

Where:
River West Festival Park
2100 S. Jackson Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74107
View map »


Sponsor: Linde
Telephone: 918-596-2007
Contact Name: Tonja Carrigg
Website »

More information

  Prepare to be delighted and entertained at Magical Family Evenings. Treat your family to a kid-friendly meal with mystifying magic from 6-9 p.m. at your tableside. Choose from the regular...

Cost: $29.95 per adult | $19.95 per child

Where:
The Melting Pot of Tulsa
300 Riverwalk Terrace #190
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-299-8000
Contact Name: Alex Cooper
Website »

More information

The Fear Factory is Tulsa's newest haunted attraction.

Cost: $20

Where:
Tulsa, OK  74115


Sponsor: 75 Productions
Telephone: 918-947-9544
Website »

More information

TU Theatre presents Man of La Mancha on October 18-20 and October 25-27 at 8pm. October 21 at 2pm,

Cost: 10.00

Where:
Kendall Hall
3102 E 4th Place
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Arabian Horse Association is headed back to Tulsa, Okla. for the 2018 U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show from October 19-27. Join us for exciting new events,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Expo Square
4145 East 21st Street
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-696-4500
Contact Name: Kelsey Bergland
Website »

More information

Think you can't do something, like sculpt, build a robot, or make a stamp? Think again! Come enjoy our 45-minute workshops held every Monday at noon at the McKeon Center for Creativity....

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: McKeon Center for Creativity
Website »

More information

TU Theatre presents Man of La Mancha on October 18-20 and October 25-27 at 8pm. October 21 at 2pm,

Cost: 10.00

Where:
Kendall Hall
3102 E 4th Place
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Arabian Horse Association is headed back to Tulsa, Okla. for the 2018 U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show from October 19-27. Join us for exciting new events,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Expo Square
4145 East 21st Street
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-696-4500
Contact Name: Kelsey Bergland
Website »

More information

Join the Red Shoe Society benefitting the Tulsa Ronald McDonald House in enjoying some yummy food at Red Lobster at 51st and Yale Avenue and support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tulsa,...

Cost: Purchase of appetizer, entree, dessert or drink

Where:
Red Lobster 51st and Yale
4525 E 51st St
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Red Shoe Society
Telephone: 580-399-7264
Contact Name: Bayli Hobson
Website »

More information

Our series concludes with roundtable discussions about specific issues in end-of-life care planning and decision-making. Resources, Toolkits for Healthcare and information consultations will be...

Cost: free

Where:
Clarehouse
7617 S. Mingo Rd.
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Clarehouse
Telephone: 918-893-6150
Contact Name: Britni Smith
Website »

More information

It's time to get spooky! Join us for Halloween fun in the garden. We'll watch Mel Brooks' comedy "Young Frankenstein" while we decorate pumpkins. We'll supply the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Central Library
400 civic center
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa City-County Library
Contact Name: Rebecca H

More information

TU Theatre presents Man of La Mancha on October 18-20 and October 25-27 at 8pm. October 21 at 2pm,

Cost: 10.00

Where:
Kendall Hall
3102 E 4th Place
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Arabian Horse Association is headed back to Tulsa, Okla. for the 2018 U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show from October 19-27. Join us for exciting new events,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Expo Square
4145 East 21st Street
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-696-4500
Contact Name: Kelsey Bergland
Website »

More information

The United Nations Association of Eastern Oklahoma (UNAEO) will host His Excellency Ambassador Kai Sauer, the Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, as guest speaker for the...

Cost: 100

Where:
Greenwood Cultural Center
322 N Greenwood Ave
Tulsa , OK  74120
View map »

More information

TU Theatre presents Man of La Mancha on October 18-20 and October 25-27 at 8pm. October 21 at 2pm,

Cost: 10.00

Where:
Kendall Hall
3102 E 4th Place
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Arabian Horse Association is headed back to Tulsa, Okla. for the 2018 U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show from October 19-27. Join us for exciting new events,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Expo Square
4145 East 21st Street
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-696-4500
Contact Name: Kelsey Bergland
Website »

More information

Tulsa Metro Sound invites you to visit our weekly rehearsals - to be introduced to the women's All American craft of a cappella singing. We meet every Thursday evening at Christ Church Episcopal,...

Cost: 0

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 S Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace
Website »

More information

TU Theatre presents Man of La Mancha on October 18-20 and October 25-27 at 8pm. October 21 at 2pm,

Cost: 10.00

Where:
Kendall Hall
3102 E 4th Place
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Arabian Horse Association is headed back to Tulsa, Okla. for the 2018 U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show from October 19-27. Join us for exciting new events,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Expo Square
4145 East 21st Street
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-696-4500
Contact Name: Kelsey Bergland
Website »

More information

Bring your little ghouls to our annual Not So Spooky Halloween Bash! This is a costume party (only non-scary costumes please). It gives you a chance to see our gym, play a little, win door...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Little Gym of SE Tulsa
6556 East 91st Street
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »

More information

The Fear Factory is Tulsa's newest haunted attraction.

Cost: $20

Where:
Tulsa, OK  74115


Sponsor: 75 Productions
Telephone: 918-947-9544
Website »

More information

TU Theatre presents Man of La Mancha on October 18-20 and October 25-27 at 8pm. October 21 at 2pm,

Cost: 10.00

Where:
Kendall Hall
3102 E 4th Place
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »

More information

Its painting party time! Grab your friends and favorite bottle of wine and join us in painting this lovely painting of two kitties gazing at the moon

Cost: 40

Where:
DECOPOLIS
502 S. Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: DECOPOLIS
Telephone: 918-382-7388
Contact Name: Kathleen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Arabian Horse Association is headed back to Tulsa, Okla. for the 2018 U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show from October 19-27. Join us for exciting new events,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Expo Square
4145 East 21st Street
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-696-4500
Contact Name: Kelsey Bergland
Website »

More information

We’re serving up our new chef-inspired fondue and traditional brunch options like Alpine Benedict Cheese Fondue, French Toast Fondue, Avocado Fiesta Toast plus bottomless mimosas. Reserve...

Cost: Varies

Where:
The Melting Pot of Tulsa
300 Riverwalk Terrace #190
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-299-8000
Contact Name: Alex Cooper
Website »

More information

Come celebrate the arrival of fall!  With hayrides, games, trunk or treating, train ides, emergency vehicles, a petting zoo, and more,  Asbury is bringing in the Autumn season!  This...

Cost: Free, except food items for purchase from Food Trucks

Where:
Asbury UMC
6767 S. Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury UMC
Telephone: 918-392-1165
Contact Name: Kim Broadhurst
Website »

More information

BaseCamp Spook-tacular: A camping, music, Halloween festival. Be prepared for a kid-friendly spooky night filled with friendly ghost, tent-o-treating, a mini-spook glow hike, and tons of great live...

Cost: Free Entry, $55 Camping Permit, $70 Early Entry Camping Permit

Where:
Turkey Mountain
6850 S. Elwood Ave
Tulsa, OK  74132
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Riverparks Authority
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

Once a year, the Oklahoma Aquarium opens its doors to trick-or-treaters of all ages to enjoy a safe, fun, indoor alternative to traditional Halloween activities. HallowMarine 2018 will feature our...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Drive
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Aquarium
Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz Medrano
Website »

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
View map »


Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
Website »

More information

The Fear Factory is Tulsa's newest haunted attraction.

Cost: $20

Where:
Tulsa, OK  74115


Sponsor: 75 Productions
Telephone: 918-947-9544
Website »

More information

TU Theatre presents Man of La Mancha on October 18-20 and October 25-27 at 8pm. October 21 at 2pm,

Cost: 10.00

Where:
Kendall Hall
3102 E 4th Place
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

TULtalk


QUIZ: Which Oktoberfest Beer Are You?

Take our quiz to discover which of the many seasonal brews on tap at Oktoberfest, Oct. 18-21, best captures your personality!

Comments

Episode 6: Vanessa Hall-Harper, District 1 City Councilor

City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper gives us a debrief of why civilian oversight might be the next step to mend relations between community and police.

Comments

From the editor: Only in downtown

I’ve had so many “only in downtown Tulsa” moments.

Comments

An Insider's Guide To Downtown Tulsa

Experience downtown with these tips and tricks for navigating the districts — where to eat, get a drink, and find entertainment.

Comments

Charitable Events: October 2018

Our social calendar is jam-packed for the month of October! Which of these worthy causes will you support?

Comments