I'm on the Bullard School Site Council this year. Two years ago, I served as Council President, and this is my third year on the Council. One of the main responsibilities of the SSC is to rule on matters of dress code.
I'm just a teacher, but I decided to cast my lot with this group and its fortunes after participating in a SSC-sponsored 'fact-finding tour' of Long Beach Unified, which drew national attention back in the mid-1990's by adopting a uniform policy for K-8, as well as converting one of their high schools (Wilson Classical High School) to uniforms. Here's a video that shows some of the things we saw and heard on that tour:
Both the district (and the Long Beach Police Department) have been extraordinarily successful at reducing crime and violence both at their school sites and within the general community.
The thought was, could adopting a school uniform policy to supplement the site's existing dress code be part of a comprehensive set of reforms, one which could address our growing safety concerns, and (along the way) promote improved attendance, school pride and academic achievment?
Our principal (Brian Beck), who did not participate in the original fact-finding effort, certainly thinks so.
The FUSD Board will discuss possible changes to board policy affecting this effort on January 26th, and then (based on that discussion) will rule on board policy on February 9th, and presumably that same evening will either give a 'thumbs up' or a 'thumbs down' on the adoption of uniforms.
I hold no illusions. Requiring uniforms in and of itself will not improve school performance across the board. I am convinced, however, that it could give BHS an edge in 'branding' itself within our community and serve as a focal point for change, as it did in Long Beach. It is a symbol that could become a sign. I am committed to making sure every Bullard student and parent knows about it, understands their options and considers what might possible if a community finds a common vision for excellence.
We shall see.