Outfitting the School

MHS committee approves interim uniforms.

Last week, the School Community Council (SCC) at Molokai High School approved a makeshift uniform plan that will help ease students into the idea of coordinated garb.

Beginning next school year, the SCC is requiring students to wear a shirt that bears an MHS logo of some sort, with the intentions of developing a more permanent uniform policy in the near future.

The tops will be limited to athletic jerseys, promotional shirts given out by the school, or any T-shirt that says ‘MHS’ on it, according to the committee.

As for those who don’t currently own an MHS shirt, the SCC will be looking for funds to help provide students with at least one free shirt before the next school year.

“With uniform policies, parents are responsible to that cost,” said MHS Acting Principal Denise Kelly. “But we’re looking for funds to purchase one or two shirts to help offset those costs.”

Game Plan
Kelly acknowledged not only the school’s responsibility to provide for its new uniform policy, but how to implement it successfully.

“There’s a concern, administratively, how to enforce [the policy],” she said. “If we rush into it and it’s not done right, then it’s not going to stick.”

The SCC unanimously voted in favor of the interim uniforms on April 7, which will last for the first semester of the 2010/11 school year before transitioning into permanent uniforms. During this time, the committee will develop policies to include waivers and an opt-out clause, along with designing the new uniform.

Rodney Nelson, MHS math teacher and SCC member, said the council hopes the new uniform policy – passed in the March meeting – will instill a positive learning environment and have a high educational impact.

A new uniform committee, comprised of students, parents and faculty, met for the first time a few weeks ago to discuss design options. Nelson, who is chair of the committee, said some ideas deliberated by students were different colored T-shirts for each grade, collared shirts with an MHS logo, casual Fridays, and a student design contest.

Opposing Views

But while the uniform agenda moves ahead in full force, opposition still remains widespread, even among some parents.

Dart Bicoy, parent and SCC member, expressed concern for the new uniform system, claiming it hinders student decision and their ability to exercise individual choices.

“I want to see what kids are wearing, what they’re choosing,” he explained. “I want to know what kind of choices they are making while I still have influence on them before they head off to college.”

Opt-out Fridays was one option entertained to bridge the gap, allowing students to wear a crew-neck T-shirt every Friday with ‘MHS’ printed on it – but is still yet to be determined.

Although the committee is far from approving any type of uniform or design, students and parents are welcomed and encouraged to join in on uniform committee meetings to voice concerns and pitch ideas. The high school will be holding an open forum meeting on April 14 at 5:30 p.m., in the library.

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