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C.A.P.R. Clifton Asserting Parental Rights
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Why are Uniforms in public schools controversial? Most private schools have uniforms. Many countries around the globe have traditions of special clothing for school hours. Why shouldn't we expect our children to dress in synchronous clothing while receiving a public education?
Here are some answers:
1) Parents should have the right to dress their children as they decide.
   Uniform regulations strip Parents of important rights over their children.
2) There is no Educational Benefit to Public School Uniforms.
3) Uniforms used to signify privledge. Now they indicate a failing school system.
   Distressed schools can cause signficant drops in property values.
4) In America, we have no tradition of Uniforms for Public School.
   This is an idea pushed by large multi-national corporations.
5) This may cost Clifton families hundreds of dollars a year for special clothing.
   This is a form of taxation on Clifton families with school-age children.
6) We have no opposition to a reasonable Dress Code, and believe this would be a
   responsible part of an educational environment. Why doesn't the Clifton BOE enforce their High School Dress Code first?
7) There are security issues with Uniform dress. Children will be identified to potential predators, advertizing their age and status.
   If all the children are dressed alike, the anticipated Camera System for the Clifton High School will be of limited use.
   (How can you describe an assailant if everyone is wearing the exact same clothes?)
8) Many special needs children are adversely affected by Uniform dress.
   For some students, this policy can create serious issues.
9) New Jersey State Law is clear- Boards of Education for NJ School Districts have
   the authority to vote to impose Uniforms and strip parental rights.
   Why is the Clifton Board Of Education planning to do this in our Suburban Schools?
 
Are these arguments REAL? You decide; our evidence is below.
 

We, the Parents and Taxpayers of C.A.P.R., invite everyone to read these documents. The links below are in support of our position that mandatory Uniforms are an inappropriate use of Board of Education energies and a distraction to the real problems that confront the Clifton school district.

   The upcoming Board of Education vote could use their legal authority to deny parents the right to choose how their children are dressed in Clifton schools. †This would be a significant change for Clifton children and their families, which many residents will find difficult to accept. The effect and ramifications of the Board of Education's decision should be clearly understood.

 
Clifton High School DRESS CODE 2012

http://clifton.k12.nj.us/pdf/handbooks/11-12_CHS_Handbook.pdf
This is the online CHS Handbook 2011-2012. See the section on the current Clifton High School Dress Code. Note that this Dress Code has been extensively reviewed by parents and educators. As we understand it, this Dress Code has been in effect for several years. However, it is also our understanding that there is no consistent enforcement of this Dress Code in Clifton High School. C.A.P.R. believes that this is a problem that would be more appropriate to address. Enforcement of a Dress Code is reportedly trivial compared to the issues confronting the implementation of a program of mandatory Uniforms, yet should have equivalent benefits.

 
PROPERTY VALUES & Public School Uniforms

Article on the Law and School Uniforms, and assumed effect on Property Values
http://schooluniforms.com/laandruonscu.html

Discussion of true cost of School Uniforms, including concerns about Real Estate values
http://home.comcast.net/~hardingpj3/uniforms/uniformscosttotaxpayers.html

Bloomfield Connecticut had some very upset residents when their BOE proposed Uniforms.
One of them wrote a serious editorial about their concerns.
http://blogs.courant.com/itowns_hfd/2008/07/should-bloomfield-kids-wear-un.html

LINKS to Other Websites

LISTEN to what has been happening to parents across the US:

HEAR THE FACTS!
Download and listen to a Standard MP3 file ("Podcast", 23mb)
from an Internet Radio Show "Point Negative's" interview with attorney Gary Klahr
on the Mandatory School Uniform and Standardized Dress policies flooding our nation's schools.

School Uniforms are a National Issue:
http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/nj-public-school-uniforms-policy-part-of-a-national-trend

Nutley New Jersey rejects School Uniforms for Nutley students:
http://www.nutleynavigator.com/profiles/blogs/school-uniforms-in-spotlight

Bridgewater New Jersey has set aside their proposed Uniform program:
http://bridgewater.patch.com/articles/board-to-hold-dress-code-talk-in-september
 

Reviewing School Uniforms- FamilyEducation.com article
http://school.familyeducation.com/educational-philosophy/individuality/38675.html
Written by Carleton Kendrick Ed.M., LCSW, this represents the current FamilyEducation.com editorial position on mandatory School Uniforms for this major educational resource website.

 

School Uniforms The Raging Debate by Darlene Williams
http://www.gate.net/~rwms/UniformDWilliams.html
This brief paper does an effective job of both presenting the human costs of a program of mandatory public school uniforms, and pro and con issues that make these programs controversial.

 

US Dept of Manual on School Uniforms
http://www2.ed.gov/updates/uniforms.html
Note that the US Department of Education has been a proponent of uniform programs for troubled urban school districts. This excerpt from their Manual on School Uniforms includes significant cautions for any district contemplating such a program, cautions which we believe have not been heeded by the Clifton Board of Education. We also believe this document points out the complete inappropriateness of such a program to a suburban school district such as Clifton.

 

Texas Schools with their own Police
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/09/texas-police-schools
Issues of school discipline and enforcement of rules, including mandatory Uniform regulations, can add greatly to a hostile environment between students and faculty. As might be expected, some states (Texas, in this case) has taken this to an extreme, criminalizing student misbehavior into a travesty of a caring academic environment. A cautionary tale.

 

CPSV Fact Sheet-6-Student Uniforms
http://k12engagement.unl.edu/CPSVFactSheet6StudentUniforms.pdf
The Consortium to Prevent School Violence has made part of their mission the preparation of Fact Sheets on different aspects of the problem of School Violence. Fact Sheet 6 is on Uniforms. Please read their Research Summary section for the true virtue of School Uniforms in regard to problems of school violence.

 

TeachersCount.org Article on School Uniforms
http://www.teacherscount.org/issues/uniforms/index.shtml
This copy from TeachersCount.org includes links to major resources on this issue. This article attempts to present a "neutral" view, although many of the resources have conclusions that mandatory School Uniforms do not by themselves improve the educational environment.

 
RESEARCH PAPERS

School Uniform Policies in Public Schools
"The school uniform movement continues to grow despite research indicating that it doesnít do what itís supposed to do."
PDF- Uniform Policies in Public Schools
This is an important article, published in 2006 in Principal Magazine, with statistical data that illustrates issues with current mandatory Uniform policies. Written by researcher Dr. David Brunsma, this article explains to school administrators in clear language with scientific backing the nature of the polices that may be proposed for their schools.

 

Brunsma Interview Teacher Magazine- "Clothes Minded"
PDF- clothesminded.pdf
This interview sums up many years of sociological research into School Uniforms by a leading academic researcher. With clear language, Dr. Brunsma expresses the concerns his research has discovered, and his continued opposition to school uniforms as an educational policy.

 

Examining the Effects of Students Uniforms on Attendance
http://faculty.unlv.edu/sloe/Courses/EPY%20702/Class%20Exercises/Lecture%201%20Materials/Articles/Brunsma%20et%20al.%20(1998).pdf
This is the seminal report on School Uniforms that was to provide the hard core social research to support Uniform programs after the reported success of the Long Beach school district. The result discovered by this research found the opposite- that Uniform programs had a minimal effect on school performance.
This paper was later turned into a book:
The School Uniform Movement and What It Tells Us About American Education: A Symbolic Crusade
David Brunsma. Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2004.
http://www.amazon.com/School-Uniform-Movement-American-Education/dp/157886125X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335242863&sr=1-1

 
Another important reference book by Dr. Brunsma:

Uniforms in Public Schools: A Decade of Research and Debate
David Brunsma (ed.), Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2005
http://www.amazon.com/Uniforms-Public-Schools-Decade-Research/dp/1578863074

 

Dress For Success survey of School Uniforms
http://www.uh.edu/econpapers/RePEc/hou/wpaper/2009-03.pdf
This is another sociological examination of the effects of mandatory Uniforms on our schools. Written by Elisabetta Gentile and Scott A. Imberman of the University of Houston in a study of urban districts in the Southwest, this paper is often cited in support of uniform programs as it one of few academic papers that does not show a negative effect. The summation of the results of this paper includes this statement: ",,,found that uniforms had little impact on student outcomes in elementary grades but provided modest improvements in language scores and attendance rates in middle and high school grades. These effects appear to be concentrated in female students."† The effects reported were extremely slight, in the tenth (.01) percentile or below.† In our opinion, any positive result noted by this paper should be in the range of statistical error.† We also contend that the detrimental effects of a uniform program do not appear to merit such meager results.

 

Order in the Classroom-Violence, Discipline
http://www.ets.org/Media/Research/pdf/PICORDER.pdf
This is a major report on Classroom Violence from the Educational Testing Service of Princeton NJ. This is the same organization that creates and administers the PSAT, SAT, and GRE tests, among others.† Page 18 (Pg 19 in the PDF) of this report clearly states that mandatory Uniform programs by themselves are not a significant factor in reducing school violence or resolving social issues in our schools.

 
NEW JERSEY STATE LAW and Uniforms

To search the New Jersey State Law Statute database:
Go to
http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us
On the left side, under "Laws and Constitution", click on "Statues"

In the Search box on the bottom left, enter the statute number designation in quotes, IE: "18A:11-8"
When you see the search results, click on the Statue Name to see the full text of the statute.
The below four statutes, taken together, may be all the applicable NJ State Law
regarding School Uniforms and Standard Dress.

School Board Powers: General mandatory powers and duties 18A:11-1
http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=542544&Depth=4&TD=WRAP&advquery=%2218A%3a11-1%22&headingswithhits=on&infobase=statutes.nfo&rank=&record={7E5F}&softpage=Doc_Frame_Pg42&wordsaroundhits=2&x=55&y=9&zz=
 
School Dress Codes authorizing Uniforms: Findings, declarations relative to school dress codes 18A:11-7
http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=542546&Depth=4&TD=WRAP&advquery=%2218A%3a11-7%22&headingswithhits=on&infobase=statutes.nfo&rank=&record={7E7D}&softpage=Doc_Frame_Pg42&wordsaroundhits=2&x=43&y=7&zz=
 
Uniform Law: Findings, Adoption of dress code policy for schools permitted 18A:11-8
http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=542542&Depth=4&TD=WRAP&advquery=%2218A%3a11-8%22&headingswithhits=on&infobase=statutes.nfo&rank=&record={7E7F}&softpage=Doc_Frame_Pg42&wordsaroundhits=2&x=44&y=13&zz=
 
Gang Apparel Restrictions: 18A:11-9
http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=40831427&Depth=4&TD=WRAP&advquery=%2218A%3a11-9%22&headingswithhits=on&infobase=statutes.nfo&rank=&record={7E81}&softpage=Doc_Frame_Pg42&wordsaroundhits=2&x=45&y=9&zz=

The Pleasantville Decision
WARNING: The State of NJ does not guarantee protection of your rights once a Mandatory School Uniform or Standardized Dress Policy is in place.
If this policy is adopted, NJ State law does not mandate an Opt Out Policy for parents who want to opt out due to
Religious, Philosophical, or Other reasons.
NJ Law says that schools MAY adopt one. Even if one is provided, it can be declined.
Eventually your request can end up in court, where it can be denied.

Recently, three judges upheld strict uniform enforcement in Pleasantville NJ.
The parents request to opt their child out of the program was denied.
Do you believe that our government has a right to regulate religious clothes and head-coverings?
Note this article includes a quote from one victorious New Jersey school's attorney:
"There was no basis in religion because we had already explored the fact
that if the religious attire was within the color scheme,
they are allowed to do so..."
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/03/court_upholds_south_jersey_sch.html
Read the actual NJ appeals court ruling from March 5, 2009 for yourself.
http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2009/03/a4975-06.pdf

The impact of the Pleasantville Decision was discussed in this article:
http://www.njsba.org/sb_notes/20090311/court.html

The Pleasantville Decision is also mentioned here:
http://archive.firstamendmentcenter.org/speech/studentexpression/topic.aspx?topic=clothing_dress_codes_uniforms


Bayone's School Uniform program remains controversial. Bayonne won a court decision when they implemented Uniforms in 2007:
http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/2411765/article-School-uniforms-are-legal-State-backs-Bayonne-and-denies-parent-appeal

Cedar Grove considered uniforms. After severe community opposition,
they have shelved the plan. Their lawyer's report in 2010
to the Cedar Grove Board of Education was discussed here:
http://www.northjersey.com/news/105410568_Lawyer_tells_district_uniform_policy_is_legal.html?page=all

Bradley Beach considered uniforms. They researched the issue, issued a questionaire, and had a well attended public forum. Then they voted them down, 8 to 1.
(PAYWALL) Board votes down mandatory school uniform policy for BBES

A 2010 article on New Jersey State Law and School Uniforms:
http://www.northjersey.com/news/104921339_Policy_could_face_legal_challenges.html?page=all


Right now we have the right to opt our children from all sorts of programs, from health and family life to the internet.
Why should this be any different?

Keep the government out of your closet.
Don't give up your parental rights.

The only acceptable Uniform/Standardized Dress Policy is a VOLUNTARY one.

Download and Print our PDF Flyer
Please distribute this flyer to other concerned parents.


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