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Saddle Brook's Transition to School Uniforms Going Smoothly

Saddle Brook School District's first year requiring its students to wear uniforms has gone off without a hitch, according to administrators.

Saddle Brook School District's transition to a uniform dress code this year for safety and security reasons is eliciting upbeat early reports from district administrators.

“Everyone is very, very encouraged and very happy about the way the uniforms have been working out," superintendent Kathryn Fedina said Friday. "I have not heard about one issue. I really have not."

The new dress code policy -- approved by an 8-1 board of education vote last November - regulates the type and color of clothing students must wear down to their socks and accessories.

Administrators said student compliance with the new clothing restrictions has been excellent.

“The first day of school — the middle and the high school — not one kid didn’t show up without a uniform on," high/middle school principal James Sarto said. "They looked wonderful.”

Rather than curtailing individuality and prompting students to rebel, as some detractors had argued would occur, Sarto said the uniforms have actually been welcomed by students who would rather not compete with one another over fashion.

"We found the kids who are the fashion plate kind of kids, they’re going, ‘Thank god just get us a uniform,'” he said.

Fedina said some students even consider the uniforms fashionable.

"I did ask one high school kid, 'So, how do you like your uniform?'" she said. "He said, 'Oh, this is spiffy.' I think everybody’s kind of settled into it."

The move to uniforms has also had some tangential benefits, Sarto said

Classrooms and hallways are calmer, security drills run more smoothly and even tardiness is down now that students are no longer spending extra time each morning selecting outfits.

"[The uniforms] are creating a different atmosphere," Fedina said. "Not that it wasn’t a good atmosphere before, but it just seems a little bit different.  And I think everyone really likes it."

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GARY KLAHR September 27, 2012 at 03:59 AM
This uniform is based on the FALSE PREMISE that m,ost kids use schools as a "fashion show." Some do, BUT MOST DO NOT. I am a national leader in the fight against mandatory school unis. The pro-uni people sell MANY MYTHS, including that most kids choose fancy clothes in the morning, that most kids use clothes to defy discipline, and most kids want to wear indecent oir inappropriate clothes. In fact, 80+ pct of kids just want to wear cheap T-shirts and properly-fitted jeans-both of which are BANNED by most uni codes in favor of collared polo tops and khaki bottoms. BOTH are FULLY-APPROPRIATE for public schools. See the PARENTS' anti-uni website-www.aprod.org
L Shaba Girgis September 27, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I beg to differ! I have seen young girls in the elementary school and middle school wear very short shorts and partially showing their butt cheeks. Also, many of these kids wear designer clothing that I wouldn't be able to afford in my lifetime. I would welcome a uniform in Fair Lawn too!
Peggy September 27, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I agree with L Shaba Girgis about welcoming uniforms in Fair Lawn. I wore uniforms to school when I was young and loved it. My own daughter has told me that she would love to have uniforms.
Russell Hauptman September 27, 2012 at 02:06 PM
As a former Trench Coat wearing, heavy metal listening, mildly under-achieving student of the 90's who went on to do reasonably well in his life I have to say that I have become a huge supporter of school uniforms. I much preferred days when we did presentations and had to dress in business casual. Maybe it's because I'm older now but when I drive by the high school and see what kids are wearing my mind boggles. I don't remember girls showing "whale-tail" when I was in high school. (you can google that term if you like)
Sheena September 27, 2012 at 02:45 PM
I also agree. My daughter spends 20 mins every morning asking me, "Mom... what should I wear,,,,!!" And then Is elect something and she spends another 20 mins choosing jewelry and headbands etc. It takes this long even if we try and do it the night before. I'd love to have school uniforms in our town.. so much easier to deal with!
PRO UNIS September 27, 2012 at 03:04 PM
i graduated FLHS about 10 years ago and i wish they had uniforms. would have been nice not having to worry about picking out "cool" clothes to wear everyday. i can honestly say i was distracted many times in class staring at girls in revealing clothing. girls showing to much skin or students wearing offensive shirts wouldnt be an issue. think it could also give the students a sense of community with all student wearing the same clothes, kind of like a uniform in sports when you put it on you feel like youre part of a team. dances and events where students can wear what they want would feel more special as well. i worked part time and summer jobs in high school and wasted a lot of that money on clothing or sneakers to try and fit in or look cool. plus how many times do you look back at old school pictures and say "i cant believe i wore that or actually thought that was cool"
Claudia September 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM
School uniforms are a benefit all around. "Parents against uniforms" are misguided. If you want our children to be unique, express themselves and be seen as individuals encourage the children to do so academically. Things like better grades, community service and their personalities are what make children individuals, not cheap brands or higher end brands. Clothes may make an impression but in learning it shouldn't be a factor. Children have enough on their plates now and eliminating the hassle some experience with picking their clothes would only help them and alleviate some stress on us parents. I personally wore uniforms all through High School and don't regret a moment of it. We all looked the same but we each stood out as individuals. None of us had any issues. We had days where we could 'dress down' and that was welcomed. In the real world few careers allow casual attire. Certain professions have a professional look. Preparing children for that kind of success is what we parents should be doing. But until uniforms codes are implemented state wide to each their own MAKE UNIFORM CODES STATEWIDE PLEASE!!
Cameron September 30, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Hey while we're at it why not take away ALL freedom of choice in the USA... This is the first step, right? Sure, let's burn books that create discussion or contrary opinions, then we can all have regulations telling us what color to paint our homes, how many children we can have and a host of tons of other restrictions we all get to go by... YES, I'm all for it, bring on communism!! (For you people that are too dense to realize it, this is all said in sarcasm)... What's next huh??... You open a door and you are opening a flood gate of censorship... You'd think we'd learn... Founding fathers are spinning in their graves...
tom fredricks October 01, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Excuse me.....But, if I remember right...one thing the schools are supposed to do are prepare the kids for when they are adults. Most employees these days have either dress codes or uniforms. Requiring uniforms now...is just another step if the education process.

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