BOE puts uniform issue to bed

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REGION 16 — Region 16 students won’t be wearing uniforms to school any time soon.

The Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, took no action in regards to a school uniform policy last week after the results of a survey showed a majority of students and members of the public were strongly opposed to the idea. By taking no action, the board put the uniform issue to rest.

The board began exploring the issue in June after state representatives Theresa Conroy (D-105) and Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) suggested the region implement a school uniform program in a letter to school board Chair Donna Cullen and Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin.

Conroy and Zupkus wrote they support a uniform program that “is flexible and offers parents and students the ability to have options.”

Though several board members voiced opposition to school uniforms, the board decided to conduct a survey on the dress code and a uniform policy to get the opinion of students and the public.

Yamin presented the results of the survey to the board last week.

Nearly 600 students at Long River Middle School and Woodland Regional High School responded to the survey.

About 88 percent of students who responded said they didn’t want to see a uniform policy. About 71 percent of the students agreed that the current policy maintains the “highest standard of neatness and proper dress,” while about 84 percent of the students said that don’t want a more restrictive dress code.

More than 900 members of the public, the vast majority being parents, responded to the survey, as well. The majority was opposed to uniforms, though the percentage wasn’t as high as it was among students.

Roughly 68 percent of the people who responded said they didn’t want a uniform policy in the region. About 75 percent felt the current dress code maintains the “highest standard of neatness and proper dress,” while about 70 percent said that don’t want a more restrictive dress code.