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.



They're in school to learn - not for a style show. What's wrong with tucking your shirt in? It looks neat. No matter how old you are or whether or not you're in school or military.

It's better than looking like a slob.

If it helps the grades , fine, if it doesn't oh well, but I bet the other kids don't try to steal someone's else's designer shirt much anymore.

As far as sagging pants, down to their butt to show off the nasty underwear fad , that's more prison thug means the boy is "available".


"It's better than looking like a slob."? No offense to anyone, but the kids that are overweight don't look "neat" with their shirts tucked in. It makes their weight more visible and known. How do you think they feel? I'll tell you, INSECURE, UNCOMFORTABLE, and that's just two. Uniforms are good for special occasion, not everyday school life.


I can agree not tucking in their shirts would possibly allow heavier kids to not feel so exposed. I myself am not really thin and I would feel uncomfortable with my shirt tucked in. But I don't think heavy kids are a reason to do away with uniforms all together.


Those same heavier kids are also wearing saggy pants.


BW1's picture


Oh, and we MUST move heaven and earth to make sure no special snowflake's precious feelings are hurt.

This is what happens when schools sacrifice everything on the altar of self esteem.


Okay, I'll beat a dead horse here. Nobody is asking to do away with the uniform policy here. Simply broaden the options they have in uniforms. As for the wrinkled clothes in the picture, they went directly from school to the interview. These two young men have no issue with wearing a collared shirt and nice slacks to school. They are simply stating that they would like the ability to wear a pair of black or grey trousers or a grey or green collared shirt for example. I would also challenge Sandusky City Schools to make the uniform policy apply to ALL persons in the school building. Students, faculty and administration. Finally, I would like to ask the Register to use a little more thought in the writing of their headlines. "Rebels" was a very poor choice. There is no rebellion involved here, simply some young adults asking for a little more freedom of choice.


I agree and we as students would be thankful for any type of good change to the uniform code. What these guys are doing is a good way to express our freedom. I support them not only as a classmate, but as a young mind trying to help future classes of SCS. I agree with their proposal, and I think others should examine our side of the story from a different perspective.

BW1's picture

"They are simply stating that they would like the ability to wear a pair of black or grey trousers or a grey or green collared shirt for example."

WHY? Oh, yeah, to "express their style." RIGHT.

They could at least have come up with a less frivolous reason, like the black pants wouldn't stain so easily. But, no, they went straight for the most frivolous, immature reason. What does that tell us?


I keep reading these comments about how it keeps the boys from having sagging pants and the girls from wearing tight pants or low cut shirts. Have any of you driven by the high school when the kids are going in? I've seen more underwear and boobs then I care to think about. And as for it being an equalizer for name brands thats crap. Kids see the logos on shirts or pants. And they still see the kinds of shoes that are being worn. The "study" done was from two years ago and very little actual feedback to make it truly accurate.


Kids are going to whine no matter how lenient you make the dress code. It's not that serious kids! Wear the clothes and shut up because you're not there to look good.


Just because we all look similar does not mean we look good. I understand the whole "school colors" thing, but when we all look the same, it gets boring. And you wonder why some kids fall asleep in class. We're not there to look good, I agree. But I mean, who wants to wear the same colors of clothes EVERY day?


Kids fall asleep in class because the uniforms are boring?

Oh Dear Lord...I fear for the future!


The uniforms aren't "boring", everyone wearing the same colors is boring.

BW1's picture

KMF didn't say looking similar made you look good - maybe if you devoted as much energy to reading comprehension as you do to rabble rousing over trifles like the color of your shirt, you'd realize that.

It gets boring? REALLY? That's your next compelling point? YOU'RE NOT THERE TO BE AMUSED OR ENTERTAINED. Keep digging, kids.


im sorry to say but when i was in school we wanted the uniforms...glad they did shows how sandusky schools have united...if you expand from our school colors then it will defeat the whole uniforms...why wear things that are not a true blue streak color?...bluestreaks are white and blue...some added in the red but its not the true colors...i could see maybe a casual day on friday but dont change the unifomr colors


Obviously Costello628 is a student willing to stick up for his beliefs, Good for you kid. It may not always be popular, But in life things that matter most are things you have believed in and argued your best to achieve. I understand why the parents and older folks see things the way we do, We cannot understand the new things like our parents didnt understand the things we did as kids. A bit of advice if i may, If you believe in it go for it. Pick your battles because being a non-conformist is a hard thing to achieve these days, A worthy endeavour though because as you go through life it is better to be a stand up individual than someone who caves at the slightest adversity.
I think you and those guys are doing something awesome, Keep it up!


*Her beliefs btw, but thank you for the support. I've learned in life to not let others' opinions change your mind about something you truly believe in. And that's what you've gotta do. Stand your ground.

BW1's picture

That's great if they're meaningful beliefs. If you think shirt color is that meaningful, then school isn't doing you much good.


I graduated from SHS a few years ago, but did experience the uniforms for a couple years.

From a first-hand experience, the uniforms honestly did little. It was still apparent who was rich and who was poor. Kids talk. Kids gossip. It didn't matter what they wore, kids were going to make fun of kids. Kids could wear a polo with a certain logo, or a North Face, or have the new Jordans or Vera Bradley bag to convey that they were "richer and better than everyone else".
My entire senior year, I got away with not tucking my polo in. So many kids get away with hoodies, cleavage, sagging, no belts, not tucked in, huge logos, fleece coats, you name it. Not all the teachers enforce it to the same degree, so it became worthless. Students knew which teachers would send them to the office and which ones couldn't care less how they looked.
Many students work after school and on the weekends, giving them hardly any time to not be in a uniform. The clothes I got for Christmas my senior year were not worn until college because there was simply no use for them between school and working on the weekends.
The uniforms can be very uncomfortable. I was tall, skinny, and gawky, and felt very self-conscious about having shirt tucked in for all to see my waist. I was often called "anorexic" because I was so thin - it's hard to hide from those kind of comments when wearing a sweater is not an option. Also, the students who are very large become self-conscious when their bellies are on display, sometimes causing trouble to tuck their shirts in.
The polos became very worn out quickly. Wearing the same couple of polos every day really showed after a few months, and my mother hated replacing them because I had a closet of "normal" clothes that were in mint condition, unable to be used. I could also no longer use my cousin's handmedowns because none of them were uniforms, causing my mom to spend even more to replace uniforms that became ripped, torn, dirty, stained, or worn-out. It is definitely apparent when a student wears a polo two, three days in a row, as well as khakis - sweat stains, pen and pencil marks, wrinkles, etc - they all were pretty smelly and unsightly.
I am in college now and am interning as a teacher. Guess what? I don't wear a uniform on my internship. Sure, I have to dress "business casual", but the variety that emcompasses is expansive and wonderful. I also work part time at a retail store - no uniform either! So long as my body is covered from shoulder to knee, I'm fine.
When I was in school, I had a few good friends at Norwalk St. Paul. I was amazed when I found out their dress code - dress pants, polo, or button up. Any color! Blame it on being a Catholic school if you wish, but there was never a "gang" problem. There are not "gang" problems with "gangs" wearing certain colors at my college campus, located in a large metropolitan community. If anything, these uniforms cause more disciplinary problems, especially with the discrepancy in enforcement.
Let the kids have some leeway. Who are you all to bash them for wanting some creativity? Many of you, like me, do not have to wear the same thing every day at our jobs. While we may have "paid our dues", let's not belittle our future generation. If the school administration really wants to hit on the "uniforms are worn all your life" point, then they should wear the same uniform as the students every day - few teachers did during my time. This is a bit hypocritical, wouldn't you say? This is a public school, and while education is a privilege, it should not come with such restrictions. I, for one, do not feel it is "unfair" that the kids may get a reprieve while I had to wear uniforms. I am happy for them, and you all should be too. These are bright young kids taking a stand for something many in the school believe in - you can't blame them. While they rally for what they want, you all are sitting behind your computer screens admonishing "whiny brats" - who is the whiny one?
Keep up the good work, kids. Always be fearless to stand up for what you believe in, whether you attain it or not.


Maybe their "creativity" could be shown in their written papers, help in the community, or at home?

Students=children Do not even put them in the same sentence with uniforms. Your argument is weak at best, ridiculous at worst.


Excuse me? You are as rude and ignorant as they come.

Many of theses students have been working since they were 14, like I did. They aren't out riding bikes or playing with Barbies, like children do. they are working, saving money for cars, college, etc. They are taking on adult responsibilities, so think about that next time a "child" makes your sandwich at a restaurant, or a "child" rings you up at the grocery store. Oh, they should be out on the playground, right? How ignorant.
These "children", students, are treated like adults in the high school. They are held accountable like adults when they miss school or don't do assignments, they aren't just let off the hook like a child. Have you taken A.P. courses? Many are just as hard as college classes I've taken. Definitely not child's work.
My boss has to wear the same uniform (dress casual) as I do, even though he has a Ph. D., is in his 60s, and makes thousands more than me. Why? Because it would be ridiculous to request his employees do something that he can't do. It's called being fair, something learned before kindergarten.
I'll leave you with one last thought. How about we gather up all these 17, 18, 19 year old "children" that are serving our country and remind them that they are not adults, they are children, and get them out of the military so they can go home and play with their toy trucks and baby dolls.
Give me a break. Show some respect for these kids' effort, even if you don't agree with their stance, especially if it doesn't affect you either way. How disrespectful - and "weak and ridiculous".


Just an fyi...both these young men are talented musicians, get good grades, and in honors classes. High school students are not children. They are young adults who very soon will be taking their place next to some of the rest of us as productive members of society.


As to the point of faculty and administration wearing the same uniform as the students, its called leadership by example. I have seen a number of teachers entering the building in clothes that would get a student sent home.

BW1's picture

Great point; wrong response - the solution is not to relax the student dress code, but to tighten up the teacher dress code.


I'm not so keen on uniforms either, but wearing them keeps students from making fun of others because of what they are wearing. And I think that's great because in my opinion it's just plain childish to judge people by what they wear. Hopefully students will understand that uniforms are one of the ways to teach them to act like true adults and not judge others for petty reasons such as clothes they choose to wear.

Mama of 4

the way how do you know their creativity is not shown in those ways to you personally know these boys? Teachers and faculty wearing the same uniform as they does pose a very good point so are we teaching them as a do as I say not as I do basis now. How are we going to tell them to do 1 thing and then exempt and teachers and students from it just because they are adults it doesn't meanthey should be exrmpt from the rules and means they should act as role models.

BW1's picture

"how do you know their creativity is not shown in those ways"

Because that would require a level of logic, discernment, and judgment that would preclude choosing shirt color as a cause célèbre.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

It is nice seeing these two guys start up and explore a topic that's relevant to them and their friends. At the end of the discussion, it is this kind of action that gets people to share their thoughts and ideas and is a great learning experience. Being in a unique position to hear first hand accounts of these kinds of topics it is nice to see it get outside community involvement here.

The suggestion of a fundraiser to get to wear jeans for a day is nice and supportive. With the Commercial Arts program there can even be special shirts made to keep school support and involvement in-house. Approved stickers, or even a kind of "school-casual Friday" could be a way to get the best of both worlds. Themed days such as neck/bow-tie or even a "mustache day" are all optional participatory suspensions of the dress code that act as a release valve on the feelings of confinement uniforms provide while still being fun or school-involved.

BW1's picture

Their conclusion as to its relevance is stunting their intellectual growth. Talk about valuing form over substance.


William & Demaje, good luck to you. Make the system work.