Smartly dressed

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



(page 2 of 2)

Eisenhower International School student Madeline Keffer makes the most of the uniform policy with her accessories. C&J School Uniform Co. also hems pants and skirts to school-appropriate lengths so they can be adjusted later.

“Customers can bring them back in two or three months so we can let down the hem an inch,” she says. “It’s enough to get them to the next growth spurt.”

Edwards also has seen more family harmony as the uniform policy has spread throughout TPS. She has heard feedback from families shopping in her store that mornings are a lot smoother because it’s easier to get kids dressed, especially girls.

“It cuts down on the confusion in the house and the ugliness at the breakfast table,” she says. “Families can discuss what they’ll do at night rather than argue in the morning.”

For some families, uniforms represent a fashion issue or barrier to personal expression. For other families, the hurdle is financial. In TPS, 87 percent of students are in the free or reduced-cost lunch program.

Foreseeing potential objections to cost, TPS considered clothing assistance in its uniform policy, stating, “No student will be denied an education due to a bona fide financial inability to obtain clothing that complies with the school dress code.”

The district and individual schools have several options for getting students the khakis, polos and other assorted items they need at a reduced or no cost.

At Will Rogers College High School and Junior High, parents and students are building a uniform closet filled with new or gently worn separates. Principal Stacey Vernon says the items come from the PTA, staff or parents. School counselors or social workers also get uniforms from other resources.

It helps that most students at Rogers have worn uniforms in earlier grades, so the new policy presented virtually no learning curve. Some Rogers students even spoke at the school board meeting in spring 2012 in favor of the uniform policy.

And many have found ways to personalize their looks. Students, for example, have leeway with the color and style of lanyards that hold their student IDs.

“We allow some flexibility with socks and belts, if they’re not distracting,” Vernon says. “Some students have hair that’s a different color every week — blue, red, purple (something not allowed in younger grades). That’s one way of expressing themselves.”

The students at Rogers also can request additions to the approved uniform list, such as blazers with the 1939 school crest.

“They’re for high schoolers only,” Vernon says. “Some students wear them every day; others for college visits.”

The policy has other pluses.

“As an administrator, it’s easy for me to glance down the hall to see if someone isn’t a student and doesn’t belong there,” she says.

For her students, wearing uniforms takes the pressure off and removes the anxiety that can result in keeping up with the Joneses.

“Several students own just two pairs of pants, but no one has to know that,” Vernon adds.

Terri Hozhabri is the executive director of Project Elf, an organization she founded with Laurie Tilley that helps students with the basics they need for school — including uniforms.

“We keep an inventory of kids’, juniors’ and men’s and women’s sizes, mostly new, usually on sale or donated,” she says.

In addition to supplying uniforms, the organization also provides winter coats, hats, gloves and shoes.

Project Elf doesn’t work directly with families, but through school counselors or social workers.

“There are some heart-wrenching stories of parents being out of work or in need,” Hozhabri says. “We have students in every school. With uniforms, though, no one knows who’s living in a shelter or who’s living in a home. That’s made it easier on the kids.”

The TPS website provides no shortage of items on the what-not-to-wear list (cue the cheers from parents, school officials, and Stacy and Clinton of the TLC hit TV show by the same name). Gone are exposed bra straps, plunging necklines, off-the-shoulder tops or bare backs. Spaghetti straps are history; tank tops must have shoulder straps that are a minimum of two fingers wide (two adult fingers).

No more tattoos showing, no T-shirts with crude, vulgar, profane or gang-related symbols, mottoes, words or acronyms, according to policy. Excessively large or baggy pants are but a distant memory.

Expectations for the allowed pieces are especially aspirational. Shirts or blouses must be appropriately buttoned. Sleeveless garments can’t expose undergarments or “be otherwise immodest” (there’s a word not heard in many rap songs). Also, “garments must be of appropriate length, cut and/or fit to meet these requirements while sitting and/or bending.” Really, no butt cracks?

And, in case there was any doubt, suspender straps must be attached and worn on shoulders, zippers on pants and shirts must be zipped (thank you), and belts must be fastened.

Pants and shorts are worn at the waist, which means no boxers or briefs can be visible. Pant legs can’t puddle on the ground below the heel of the shoe. No bike shorts, no swimwear, no sleepwear. Forget dog collars, tongue rings or studs. Pierced jewelry is for ears only. Bye-bye house slippers, shower slippers, curlers and bandanas. Sunglasses are no-nos in the classroom. Don’t even think about chains that connect one part of the body to another (was anyone thinking about that?) because it’s strictly taboo.

What about every kid’s favorite staple, the hoodie? The answer varies by school. But as rules are made, rules can change. As Heidi Klum tells her designers, “in fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.”

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June 2018

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Cost: $12

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Cost: Free

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108 Contemporary
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Cost: $12

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415 Couch Dr.
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View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
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Cost: Free with admission

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Cost: Free

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108 Contemporary
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Telephone: 191-889-56302

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Cost: Free

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Kirk of the Hills
4102 E 61st St
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Pathways Adult Learning Center
Telephone: 918-859-0060
Contact Name: Katie Groke
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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a...

Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405-236-3100
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Remembering Our Fallen is a photographic war memorial that honors our country’s military Fallen from The War on Terror. Because 9/11 was such a defining moment, this memorial includes our...

Cost: Free

Where:
Muskogee War Memorial Park
3500 Batfish Rd
Muskogee, OK  74403
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Sponsor: Muskogee War Memorial Park
Telephone: 918-682-6294
Contact Name: Brent Trout
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The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
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 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
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Legion LIVE! 2018 is a day-long event filled with live music on two stages, broadcast live to troops around the world! FREE and open to the public, the event raises much-needed funds for the...

Cost: FREE

Where:
American Legion Post 1
1120 E 8th Street
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: American Legion Post 1
Telephone: 918-809-3745
Contact Name: Kasey Rideout

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This annual FREE new home showcase is presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa and sponsored by Samsung Electronics.  This year’s event will feature more than 150...

Cost: FREE

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Samsung
Contact Name: Nathan Carter

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Crossing borders are central Consuelo J. Underwood’s artistic practice. In this exhibition inspired by land, politics, and spirit, Underwood speaks to her individual understanding of borders...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E Mathew B. Brady St, Tulsa, OK 74103
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: 191-889-56302

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Break the rules of conventional museums at the third annual Please Touch the Art exhibit. Mark your calendars for the opening reception Friday, June 1 from 5 - 9 p.m., in conjunction with the Tulsa...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton

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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
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Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
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Come join us for a fun tropical evening of dinner, live music, dancing, silent & live auctions, games and more!  All proceeds benefit Kelly B Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-Muscular...

Cost: $50.00 per person

Where:
Muskogee Civic Center
425 Boston Street
Muskogee, OK  74401
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Sponsor: Kelly B Todd Cerebral and Neuro-Muscular Center
Telephone: 918-683-4621
Contact Name: Sharon Riggs
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Come join us for a fun tropical evening of dinner, live music, dancing, silent & live auctions, games and more!  All proceeds benefit Kelly B Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-Muscular...

Cost: $50.00 per person

Where:
Muskogee Civic Center
425 Boston Street
Muskogee, OK  74401
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Sponsor: Kelly B Todd Cerebral and Neuro-Muscular Center
Telephone: 918-683-4621
Contact Name: Sharon Riggs
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Opera in the Ozarks, the nationally acclaimed summer music festival and training program for top emerging opera professionals, celebrates its 2018 Season from June 22 to July 20 with nearly...

Cost: $25

Where:
Inspiration Point
16311 Hwy. 62 West
Eureka Springs, AR  72632
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Still I Rise is a dramatic dance-theatre presentation incorporating all elements of Bharatanatyam, some elements of yoga, theatre, spoken word and music. The performance exemplifies the example of...

Cost: $15

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: South Asian Performing Arts Foundation
Telephone: (918) 625 6037
Contact Name: Mohan Kelkar
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Shades of White is a play written by Ilan Kozlowski and directed by Rebecca Ungerman.  For mature audiences.

Cost: $18-$20

Where:
John H. Williams Theatre, Tulsa PAC
110 E. Second St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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TULtalk


How to have a Parisian good time — in Tulsa!

You know what they say, Tulsa is the Paris of Oklahoma...

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“Sovereignty” comes to Tulsa for a reading

Monday, June 18, see a staged reading of the buzzed-about new play by Oklahoma native Mary Kathryn Nagle.

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QUIZ: Which Tulsa Mural Fits Your Personality?

Tulsa has a plethora of colorful, vibrant murals! But which one should be the backdrop for your next selfie?

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Video: BA Ninja Warrior

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The Fabulous Mid-Life Crisis

The popular cover band is scheduled to bring the good times (and huge crowds) to Summer's Fifth Night in Utica Square on June 7.

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