Sandusky students fight school uniform rules

These teenagers are organized rebels with a cause.
Melissa Topey
Dec 19, 2012

Sandusky High students William Gilbert, 16, a junior, and DeMaje Jones, 15, a sophomore, are organizing a petition drive to change the school's uniform code. They want it relaxed, even if it's just allowing kids to wear more colors, rather than just navy or white shirts, Jones said.

"Why can't we express our style?" he said.

Click HERE to read about a study done on the affects of the uniform policy.

For more on the teen's effort's to change the uniform policy, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Register.



We are "used to it". It doesn't mean we like it, or have the money to buy special clothes like uniforms. And since everyone has to wear uniform, it's not always easy finding them because they'e all sold out.


Everyone usually spends money on new clothes as they grow anyway. Back to school shopping in the fall?

As for the selling out at stores, if it hasn't already, the re-sale of uniform clothing items should be promoted.


Yeah, we spend money on new clothes, but the truth is, uniforms actually cost MORE than the clothes I ever got. I only got one uniform this year because 1) they were expensive and 2) they were almost sold out.


You can find cheap khakis & polos all over the place. I buy them for my kids.

BW1's picture

WalMart and Meijer have khakis and solid color polos each for around 12 dollars.

BW1's picture

Contrary to the view of most kids today, there is no manifest right to like everything that's required of you. Quit whining and put that energy into getting a good education. That, combined with the maturity to not whine about inconsequential things like uniforms, will help you land a job as an adult that doesn't require yet another uniform.


Oh believe me I did for 7yrs in SCS and I never complained once, it wasn't a big deal because in a job force youll have to wear uniforms, if you don't like it, well you can lose your job just like working for Kamans Art Shoppe at CP, if you don't like wearing that uniform that you get then Jamie or Lauren will fire you *taking to william*


Honestly I don't know who you are but I didn't get fired. I quit because Kamans doesn't know how to treat its employees and work with school schedules.


Free expression, you oldsters knew a better time.


Make every child a little robot. Tell them what to think say and do.
This country and world is in a heap of trouble and it's the suits doin the cheatin, lyin, and stealing.

Read "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America". Search and find the free downloadable pdf version.

BW1's picture

The fashion industry does more to make them robots. When kids talk about expressing their style, what they really mean (without realizing it) is to express the style that some magazine/celebrity/band/clique dictated.


So what? It's still expressing the colors you like, the type of clothes you like.

BW1's picture

No, it's not - it's the color some marketing hack concocted a manipulative campaign to get you to like, or that your favorite pop culture flavor of the month celebrity wore, or some such lemming response.

Or, perhaps not in your case, but in far too many others, it's the color the leader of the gang chose. Are you then being restricted because of what others have done? Sure, because the minute you get to choose a shirt color and the gangbanger doesn't, he's going to bring the ACLU down on the school. That's the way the world works. Get used to it. I have the car and the skill to safely drive 90 mph on the freeway, but the limits are set partially because of some 90 year old in a poorly maintained jalopy.

The school, in an effort to maintain order and do its job within the budget the taxpayers allow, has implemented a uniform policy. It's a small price to pay for a free education. It's not like they told you what you could think, read, say, post on the internet, who your friends could be, or some other MEANINGFUL type of oppression, all of which public schools in this country have done elsewhere, so stop acting like you've been tossed in the gulag. Save your righteous indignation for a REAL injustice, and your mental energy for your studies. I bet I could spend one day in your school and find a dozen more worthy issues while you're whining about something as trivial as the color of your shirt. If the color of your shirt is really that important to you, then you have bigger problems of a personal nature.


I'm going to take a stab at this and tell you why uniforms won't be relaxed. Gangs. Once you start laxing the uniform code, "thugs" will start "repping". I'm using quotation marks because "thugs" from Sandusky are not "thugs". Ever been to Gary, Indiana? You don't mess with those guys.

To the high school students reading this and arguing the dress code. I support you in your cause. The members of the community that cannot act with morals have ruined this for you. Please tell them to straighten up, stop with the criminal activities, and live in harmony...Good luck with your quest.

Isnt that Special's picture
Isnt that Special

Well now isn't that special William and DeMaje, you want to express yourselves. Are you kidding me? Most kids clothing styles are a cookie cut-out from a other persons imagination. When you buy your clothes at Old Navy or Abercrombie, Aeropostale, Nike, Addidas any brand for that matter.....any of these stores that carry major brand names...YOU ARE NOT EXPRESSING YOUR SELF..YOU ARE EXPRESSING SOMEONE ELSES IDEA. And they are laughing all the way to the bank. School uniforms are the best thing Sandusky did. I go down through Hayes ave every so often in the know what? I cant tell who is poor and who is rich!!! They look professional and equals. That way one kid who doesn't have means to afford high priced clothes never gets singled out. Sandusky School System don't change it back!!! You will regret it. And for the kids who want to "express" themselves express by being unique in your grades and do well in life.


I am not saying that your opinion is wrong,but students still don't follow the uniform policy.I go to the Sandusky High so I see it everyday.Hoodies,Different color polos,the so called yoga pants.Some students still get singled out for their clothes.It's not that common but I've seen it.Students will still make fun of someone's shoes or their pants if they're too high etc.


If your going down Hayes Ave., then they are all poor.


I really don't know if it helps with grades, but they look sharp walking down the street before and after school. I have been to other towns and watched their students. Midriffs showing, shorts baggy and down to their ankles, etc. I think the students in Sandusky look like they want to learn, not just socialize.


We may "look" like we want to learn, but like half the school only comes because they have to. Sometimes "looking your best" doesn't coincide with "doing your best".


I am the parent of one of the two young men, and know the other one well. They are both intelligent, get good grades and are involved in a number of extra curricular activities. What they are asking for isn't to do away with the current uniform policy, simply to allow more options in the color department. Still wear polo shirts or button up dress shirts and dress pants. I personally think the uniforms are a great idea, but would have no problem if they broadened the color options. These two young men will have my full support in this.


I definitely support what these kids are asking for. My son is in Kindergarten and could really care less what he wears to school just as long as he's at school, that's all that matters to him. I do think that a few extra color options wouldn't hurt. What's wrong with even adding black or gray? I know that the school's colors are blue and white and it's great to support your school but does it really matter that much? I didn't have to wear uniforms in school and I can't really see where it would have made that much difference in my education but that was 10 yrs ago. One flaw I do see in the uniform policy is their shoes. If anyone wants to argue that the uniform keeps the kids from immediately noticing the difference between the "rich" kids and the "poor" kids then they need to all wear a standard uniform shoe. My son didn't have the luxury, not that he cared, of starting his first day of Kindergarten with a brand new pair of shoes. We settled, instead for a "new to him" pair of hand-me-down shoes that looked practically new. Which made me feel a little better than sending him with old torn up ones. How many kids started the year off with old shoes or hand-me-down shoes that didn't even look new? How many of these poor kids only have one or two pairs of pants and one or two shirts to wear to school? Eventually after wearing those uniforms day after day they are not going to look so nice. The kids who parents have money are going to buy new uniforms in the middle of the year while poor kids are going to suffer it out the whole year. My son fortunately received several hand-me-down pants and shirts and we can deal with it if a few of them become no longer appropriate for him to wear to school. The kids, also aren't made to buy the exact same brand of shirts and pants. "Expensive" stores as well as the "cheap" stores, sell the types of shirts and pants that the kids are required to wear and you know that their brands are pasted on them somewhere where the kids will see and notice. I think all this cancels out the "Poor vs. Rich" argument. The only thing that I see that Sandusky's uniforms have going for them is that they keep the kids more uniformly and properly dressed so that teenage boys aren't staring at girls who forgot to put on some clothes before they went to school and so that boys are not going to school with their pants halfway on and what ever other clothing problems they think is fashionable. If anyone wants to argue the "gang" arguement, gangs find ways to "represent" while wearing strict prison uniforms. With all that said I think it would be fine if the school gave these kids a few more options as long as they were dressed within certain guidelines. (Ex. a plain single colored polo shirt and dress pants) The kids should be wearing uniforms to help them learn about "dressing for success" and not to be punished for some of the students lack of a school appropriate style. The kids know who is poor and who is rich and who's in a so called "gang" or who the popular kids are, the color of their uniform shirts and pants aren't going to change that.


Well said.


Really..Do kids actually have the nerve to call classmates "poor" when 85% of SCS students are on free/reduced lunches ? wow


Rebels my eye, they just want to cause an issue where there doesn't need to be one. The schools tried it other ways and learned the best way is the way it is set now. This would just be a stepping stone for more "uniform" changes and lesser stringent rules and back to the way things were.


Hey, someone's gotta stand up for such a large group of people. Not all change is good, but not all change is bad either.


what these two young men are trying to change the policy on is not to totally get rid of the uniforms they want a certain dress code but to have it more relaxed in a way that they are still able to feel as though they arent made to look, act and all in all be the same. the point they are making is what everyday life in america is all about and what human nature wants us to be, different. being that i am part of the armed forces (the u.s. marine corps to be exact) i find that dressing your best and being in a uniform of some sort allows you to put your best foot forward in any situation but even still there are ways for us individuals in the military to "show our own style" with in certain regulations which is all these two teenage high school boys are trying to do. also adding to this i went to not only a elementary school but also a middle school and high school that over my time of being there changed to a uniform policy all of which was received by parents a first a good thing but eventually found out to be much more of a hassle to deal with than they had previously thought. Again the argument that they help relieve tension based on financial bias, or they help boost grades by keeping the students focused on school rather than clothes, or that it reduces gang related activity may sound nice and in a perfect world where everybody was the same it may work but based on my experience it does none of these things and actually causes more problems. One major problem parents find right off the bat is that the uniforms the school demands are pricey due to the fact that in most american homes now a days have multiple children in school more than likely going to the same school so paying for 3 to 6 brand new sets of clothes for 2+ children usually costs a pretty penny and on top of that if the perscribed type of clothing brand to be bought is running low or out the price the parents pay for their child to go to the school for a year to four years goes up even more dramatically and if the parents goes for a close alternative and the school repremands the child for the clothing the parent(s) will have to yet again have to spend more money on these clothes. another problem i frequently saw was that the students all together would disregard the policy still come to school in their own personal clothing or "rep" their "gang" (which is seen very often in intercity baltimore schools quite often) reguardless of how often they were brought to the office and punished for doing so. most new uniform policies are very strict and dont allow much wiggle room but what these two teenagers are trying to do is make some wiggle room to relieve some of the tension that the strictness causes but still keeping the school in a some what professional sort of uniform code. thank you for listening.


Thank you very much this is exactly what we are trying to do and the message we are trying to send.


As a former student of SHS and Now having my own children in the Sandusky school system, I truly believe that the school uniform policy was a GREAT thing. The issues with allowing other colors being added into the policy is the issues with Gang colors. When I was in High School it was all about who was wearing what and what color they were "Repping". As a parent who purchase's school uniforms the prices doesn't bother me one bit. Could it be possible that the school could add some other colors yes, but i also see that there isn't a major reason for change. I would suggest going with the flow, rather then pressing the school board to flex and have them telling you what kind of shoes you have to wear,since they have every right to.


I attend school with these young men and they are good students.They aren't disrespectful and just simply asking to change something.When you disagree with something don't you have the right to atleast make a (positive)difference.It may seem trivial to adults,but it may matter to these students.They aren't asking to take away the uniform policy,but let students have a little freedom.Some students don't follow the uniform policy anyway.Everyday I see people with uniform violations and sometimes they don't get caught.


Hey uniforms help keep distracting clothes and lack there of, from interfereing w/ work. Expensive fashions have no place in school in Sandusky. Most kids are on free breakfast and lunch programs in Sandusky, where will money come from for expensive shoes, and clothes? Unless Gov. assistance is doleing out more than I thought.Self esteem is what you ahould be ralleying for ,for every student, helping stop bullying and put downs.