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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More information

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View map »


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Website »

More information

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Cost: 0.00

Where:
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View map »


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More information

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View map »


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Website »

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View map »


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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 at the gate or $7 in advance for adults. Children 12 and under are FREE.

Where:
River West Festival Park
2100 S. Jackson Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74107
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Sponsor: Resolute PR
Telephone: 903-292-7885
Contact Name: Zachary Johnston
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Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
Endangered Ark Foundation
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
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Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
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The Karbach Games and Competitions Arena becomes our own center of the universe Saturday at 2:00 PM for true fans of German bier. Why? Because it is ground zero for the Linde Oktoberfest Bavarian...

Cost: $40

Where:
River West Festival Park
2100 South Jackson Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74107
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Sponsor: River Parks
Contact Name: Ryan Howell

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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
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
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Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
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Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
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Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
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Folk Salad Radio Show celebrates its 20th anniversary with a potluck meal followed by a concert featuring Grammy-nominated singer songwriter John Fullbright and several other Tulsa musicians on...

Cost: $35

Where:
The Stone Church
4225 W. Fifth St.
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: Folk Salad Radio Show
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Join us for Nimrod Write Night, the opening event of our Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers weekend, on Friday, October 18th, at the Tulsa Historical Society, 6:30 p.m. Write Night is...

Cost: free

Where:
Tulsa Historical Society
2445 S. Peoria Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
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Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
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Telephone: 918-813-6514
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Flashes of vivid colors, laughter, dancers whirling around keeping pace with the energetic music, more laughter……this is what you will experience at Guthrie Green this Saturday,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: SAPAF
Telephone: 918-665-6419
Contact Name: Mohan Kelkar
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Tulsa in Harmony is a congregation of community choirs, lending their voices in one accord. They sing of their hopes and their faith and aspirations of a more unified community and a more unified...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
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