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Letters To The Editor – Oct. 9, 2008

Parental Responsibility First Before Uniforms

Dear Editor:

School uniforms—an issue of many facets that bears much consideration before a decision. I think most of us are more concerned with health care and taxes, but as this is a focus I will offer some considerations for decision makers. As I wore a uniform in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years, I am certainly not opposed to uniforms, but neither am I strongly in favor of them. I appreciate a parent commenting on the cost of uniforms regarding the median income in WV.

I would go to the other side of that and express that there is too much pressure on students and therefore parents to wear the “right” clothes. When I was in elementary school I wanted shirts like the other guys and my Mother—bless her—got them for me. But I learned in high school and college that my respect and friendship was won by what I did and my character, not by what I wore. But the last dinosaur also died during those days. So uniforms do relieve the pressure to wear certain clothes. I would recommend exempting high school seniors from uniforms if we go this way as they deserve a few perks having reached that point in their education. They should be thinking about their future, not what they wear each day. Let’s try a new idea—send home a handbook with the dress code strictly spelled out and have parental responsibility take care of it. Too many parents in Water Valley and in the South in general regard school as simply another form of day care. Parental responsibility is the answer to this, not the Board. However, to be fair I do know that what a student wears leaving the house may not be what they wear once they get there. If school officials called parents each time a student was out of dress code, then they might finally get interested.

Uniforms on teachers and assistants is an interesting idea. However I am confident our teachers are fully capable of knowing what is appropriate to wear. If we mandate uniforms for teachers, I expect custodians, food service workers, bus drivers and administrative personnel to wear them also. You cannot have it both ways. I would further say that if our Principals cannot enforce dress code for their staff we need new Principals. And—oh by the way—I want to see uniforms on the Principals also if teachers have to wear them.

For the last eleven years I have worked at the Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps in Memphis. The students are age 16 to 24. Some of our vocational classes had uniforms as a matter of safety. However students still managed to give their little personal statements such as wearing their hard hats backwards. There are hard hats with brims in the back and bum caps but not in those vocations we taught. At least four times during my time there we put the students in academic uniforms. We did the tan shirts and pants and blue blouses and shirts. However, there were still fights, vulgar language, horseplay and poor performance in the classroom. Uniforms did nothing to improve behavior or academic achievement.


  /s/Harry E. Bethel


Junior High Activities Deserve Coverage

Dear Editor,

  I am writing to tell you about the Jr. High football teams and cheerleaders. First I will tell you about the cheerleaders, ladies first. These young girls have worked hard. When they went to Delta State to cheerleading camp they won first place in the competition. They do the same cheers and do all the same things, pyramids included. These young girls are in seventh and eighth grades. Look out Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

  The seventh grade football team hasn’t lost a game and they have played against a lot of players larger than they are. The eight grade and the ninth grades haven’t done as well. Last week I would have thought Oxford had sent their high school team to play eight and ninth graders. They sure grow big ball players.

  I would like you to give some space and pictures, big picture of cheerleaders would be good, football players to.

Thank you,

Margie Williamson    

P.S.: They play on Tuesday night beginning at 5 p.m. The next home game is Oct. 14 at  Clark Field.

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