Saturday, October 05, 2013

The Roy Gomm School Uniform Lawsuit

will head to court on Monday. I hope the parents prevail because it IS a violation of the First Amendment:

Just before the uniform policy started in the fall of 2011, Mary Frudden, a Reno-based attorney, filed a federal lawsuit saying the policy violated her children’s civil rights. The children did not wear the school uniforms for two weeks during the start of the 2011-12 school year or the 2012-13 school year.

Pilling said she followed the district’s disciplinary policy on uniforms and asked the Frudden children to change and began a series of punishments including shortened recess time and detention. The students wore uniforms to school when Pilling threatened suspension.

The case is garnering some national First Amendment interest.

There isn't any evidence at all school uniforms in public schools do anything to help discipline. Just because private schools often have them doesn't mean public schools should.

After all, you have that pesky First Amendment to worry about, and public schools receive taxpayer money. Clothing has been long regarded as a form of expression, of free speech. Of course it isn't absolute. Schools can regulate for safety reasons and for reasons having to do with distractions. Mandatory school uniforms, however, are forbidden.

It's like WCSD didn't run these willy-nilly principal ideas by outside attorneys to see if school uniforms are legal. They aren't in public schools. It's a no-brainer here. Furthermore, the district didn't even have a policy about uniforms; the principals did whatever the heck they wanted, and quite honestly, the reason they put those uniforms in there in the first place is so administrators wouldn't have to worry about enforcing dress codes, especially in middle and high schools. This wasn't because it was cheaper for students, or better for discipline, or anything other than administrator convenience.

I hope the Fruddens prevail.

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