Nacogdoches ISD looking at standardized dress for middle school students

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The idea of standardized dress in Nacogdoches schools has had its ups and downs. At first the idea was turned down. This school year it was adopted for elementary age children only. Now the district is presenting the idea for middle school children.

Each Friday, Nettie Marshall Academy of Dual Language students receive a break from the newly introduced standardized dress rules. School pep shirts and jeans are allowed.

Even so, some children still choose their standard polo shirts, khaki or blue pants, shorts or skirts. Principal Bradley Durham finds families are learning standardized dress is easy every school day.

"It was a very smooth transition for our elementary schools at the beginning of the school year," Durham said.

Now let's move up to middle school, where shopping for school clothes is a happening. No standardized dress around here.

Could the pre-teens days of wearing logo shirts and designer jeans be numbered? Standardized dress rules are lurking in the hallways.

"It's not a done deal at this point," Tammy Pankratz, the principal of Mike Moses Middle School, said. "It's just an investigation process. We're doing a survey with the parents to see if we need to pursue it or not."

But it's no secret the majority of educators would like to eventually see standardized dress on every campus.

"When you dress better and there is standardized dress along with that there's a more professional atmosphere," Pankratz said. "The whole demeanor of your campus can change."

Pankratz said standardized dress creates a level playing field for students.

"I think that right there says enough for it," Pankratz said.

Critics say standardized dress stunts the growth of individuality. Another complaint is local stores don't stock enough selections for everyone.

"So that's something we're going to have to address, should it pass and should we go forth with it," Pankratz said.

The verdict is still out.  It's anticipated if standardized dress is adopted at the middle school level, the transition will be easier. Elementary students moving up are already used to the idea.

An information meeting about standardized dress will be held Tuesday at six o'clock at McMichael Middle School. Parents and the community members are welcomed.

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