Uniforms a Go-Go

Molokai High School students will forgo trendy Roxy and Quicksilver shirts for newly-minted uniforms starting Sept. 1.

But the rule change doesn’t mean students will be left without a choice. They will get to choose from four colors and three designs – an embroidered or printed MHS logo – and will receive one free shirt from the school.

Michelle Tancayo, MHS parent and head of the uniform committee for the MHS School Community Council (SCC), said the school received $4,000 from the Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center and the Friends of MHIS to fund the free shirts.

A Professional Look
The uniform committee decided before last school year let out that they would design on polo or collared shirts instead of crew neck T-shirts.

 “It was a suggestion by staff and faculty to raise the bar with the students, for them to learn to dress more professionally,” Tancayo said at the meeting.

The polo shirts will be leaf green, dark green, Oxford gray and black, and cost between $11-16 depending on the shirt. Uniform policy will be enforced starting Sept. 1, and the last day to order shirts in order to be compliant is Aug. 23.

New on the uniform scene is Principal Stan Hao, who said he respected what the school had already decided and that uniforms enhance the learning environment.

“For me, there are three [benefits]: it identifies who our students are; it [helps] get to the business of education by causing less [sic] distractions; and it creates unification amongst the campus,” he said.

Tancayo said she was appalled by the lack of enforcement in the past few years. She introduced the idea of school uniforms two years ago, and ran for the SCC board again this year to “come full circle.”

“The students need to dress appropriately, so the overexposure coming from girls is not a distraction,” she said. The new dress standard also requires that bottoms be no more than three above the knee.

Fighting Conformity
Several students have submitted waivers, citing financial difficulties and even their constitutional rights. A few waivers stated that school clothes had already been bought, and a uniform would be another burden. However, the school offers financial assistance to buy two more shirts per student, and some members of the board said financial assistance should be saved for those with lower incomes.

“The thing is, if you have money for your school clothes, you can pay the $30 for the shirts,” said Eesha Dudoit-Alapai, the board’s student representative.

Tancayo added that the school is still accepting donations for the uniform fund, and interested persons can contact Friends of MHIS or the student activities coordinator.

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