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

Worthy women

Five standout community leaders are honored for their relentless dedication and passion.

Video: Okie iconic

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

BTW Athletic Museum

La’Mar Burks’ passion captures Hornets’ excellence in school’s athletic collection.
Edit Module

Add your comment:

 

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

Join our email list

Edit ModuleShow Tags

August 2019

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Mabee Center will come alive in a colorful expression of dance, drum music, and song as members of tribal nations from around the country gather to honor, strengthen and share traditions with...

Cost: All Weekend Pass = $20 | All Day Pass = $12

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Join us for Victory Conference, hosted by Pastors Paul and Ashley Daugherty at Victory Church.  This year’s free conference is jam-packed with an amazing line up of speakers including...

Cost: Free

Where:
Victory Christian Church
7700 S. Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74136
View map »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Tee off at Cedar Ridge Golf Club to support Operation Aware’s 13th Annual Golf Tournament. Proceeds fund prevention education courses for schools in Tulsa Metro and beyond. Clean your clubs,...

Cost: 350

Where:
Cedar Ridge Country Club
10302 S. Garnett Rd.
Broken Arrow, OK  74011
View map »


Sponsor: Operation Aware of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-582-7884
Contact Name: Jennifer Barnett
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Join us on Wednesday, August 14 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm for our weekly Dog Days of Summer! This special event will feature Tyler Jones with Tulsa Caricatures - come get a caricature done with your...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Sweets & Cream
1114 S Yale Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74112
View map »


Sponsor: Sweets & Cream
Telephone: 918-633-3182
Contact Name: Lori Moore
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room returns for second season  Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room returns for its 2nd season in the Lynn Riggs Black Box Theatre at OKEQ with the hilarious...

Cost: $10 General Admission / $15 Bistro seating

Where:
Lynn Riggs Theatre at OKEQ
621 East 4th St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahomans for Equality
Telephone: 918-637-2866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Once again the skies over Muskogee will be glowing with an array of vibrant color as the Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning descends upon historic Hatbox Field August 16 and 17.  The...

Cost: $10 per car

Where:
Hatbox Field
4000 Border Street
Muskogee, OK  74403
View map »


Sponsor: Muskogee Parks & Recreation
Telephone: 918-504-3255
Contact Name: Carol Matza
Website »

More information

Happy Summer! $30 for members $35 for non-members you must RSVP online or on the phone before the event. Must RSVP before event, These have been very popular this Summer and space is limited....

Cost: 30

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


Sponsor: The Little Gym
Telephone: 918-492-2626
Contact Name: Scott Kindred
Website »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Gathering Place is grilling-up a new barbeque tradition in Tulsa! Riverside Ribfest is a day of grilling, chilling and challenging some of the top BBQ masters in the region! Think your secret rib...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place Great Lawn
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The Kiwanis Club of Tulsa is pleased to present Chili on the Green, the State of Oklahoma Chili Championship. All proceeds from this event go to Kiwanis Key Club Scholarships and Special Olympics...

Cost: Free Entry. Tasting kits are $10 for 1, $15 for 2 and $20 for 4.

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 W Brady
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Tulsa Foundation
Telephone: 918-849-0464
Contact Name: Brian Walker
Website »

More information

Chili On The Green is the State of Oklahoma Chili Championship sponsored by The Kiwanis Club of Tulsa and sanctioned by the International Chili Society. Chili cooks from across the country will be...

Cost: Admission is Free and Tasting Kits can be purchased: 1 for $10, 2 for $15 and 4

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 E MB Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma
Website »

More information

Oh, Tulsa is a Living Arts biennial that celebrates visual, performance, literary, sound, video, and installation art for the Tulsa community. Eligible work includes: Tulsa residents, artists who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Join the Oklahoma Aquarium for its first annual Salsa Festival! Take part in the hottest event of the summer by tasting a diverse selection of salsas from vendors and enjoying the diverse marine...

Cost: General Admission

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


Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz
Website »

More information

Come join us for delicious vegan pastries and beverages at Chimera Cafe, all while taking action #ForTheAnimals! RSVP here as well: https://tinyurl.com/thlchangemakers The Humane League exists...

Cost: Free

Where:
Chimera Cafe
212 North Main (Tulsa Arts District)
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: The Humane League
Contact Name: Dara Homer

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

Once again the skies over Muskogee will be glowing with an array of vibrant color as the Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning descends upon historic Hatbox Field August 16 and 17.  The...

Cost: $10 per car

Where:
Hatbox Field
4000 Border Street
Muskogee, OK  74403
View map »


Sponsor: Muskogee Parks & Recreation
Telephone: 918-504-3255
Contact Name: Carol Matza
Website »

More information

BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “The Wizard of Oz” (R.S.C.1987) By L. Frank Baum With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Background Music by...

Cost: $22-$25

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S Main St
Broken Arrow, OK  Broken Arrow
View map »


Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: 74012
Website »

More information

Offbeat: Crazy and Hilarious Stories from the People that Lived Them Presented by Story Club of Tulsa and Blue Whale Comedy Festival Ready for some wild and crazy stories told by the funniest...

Cost: https://www.storyclubtulsa.com/

Where:
Duet Jazz Club
108 N. DETROIT AVENUE
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Story Club of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

More information

Where:
Ninowski Rec Center
1367 E 71st St
Broken Arrow, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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

What's New


Meet and Greet with Mack Haltom

The new executive director of Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless

Comments

Renaldo Works trades in pigskin for petroleum

The former tailback for the University of Oklahoma Sooners now has a successful career at ConocoPhillips.

Comments

The Tulsan is Blue Dome's newest bar concept

The Tulsan beautifully maintains the building's “art space” feel with bright splashes of turquoise and a handmade wooden bar.

Comments

Mr. Ray and Me

A Tulsan learns an art form from the Polish tailor Sherman Ray.

Comments: 1

Deeper Foundations for 'Amazing Emeka'

Tulsa Youth Services counselor and professional speaker receives home through Habitat for Humanity

Comments