Oh how I loathe khaki and dark blue

Getting everyone ready to go back to school is never easy on either the nerves or the wallet.

The prep required is made even more difficult by the wide variety of needs.  There’s two going to college in-town, one leaving for a semester in Paris in two weeks who doesn’t even have luggage yet and the youngest is a worrier who wants to have all the supplies on the first day of school and is resistant to the argument that we don’t have a list so how can we possibly go shopping?

What I hate most of all though is the damn uniforms for the youngest.

Who would want to wear khaki bottoms and a navy blue top 182 days of the year?

It’s a public school so it’s not like this was part of the package when we signed her up.  It’s the same K-8 school that Cassie went through back in the day.  I remember they tried to get the students to wear uniforms at one point but it didn’t stick.  For some reason this time it has.

Sofie came home upset from the first day of second grade because she was told that her cute little floral dress just wasn’t appropriate.  I wanted to rip someone’s head off for making her feel bad about what she’d worn but I gritted my teeth and went online to order the damn uniforms.

The administration contends that it puts the kids on a more equal footing and will reduce teasing and bullying.

No it doesn’t.  They’re kids.  It’s what they do.  If they can’t pick on each other for their clothes they’ll move on to sneakers or hair or the way they talk or act.  There is always something to make fun of if they want to.

They claim it’s cheaper.

I wish.  Instead of hitting up thrift stores and sales for Sofie’s wardrobe I now have to pony up genuine cashy money for a set of clothing that she’ll only wear to school instead of stuff that she can wear anywhere.  So I actually end up spending more money because you almost never find uniforms second-hand and she still needs enough street clothes to get her through life outside of school.  The only one benefiting financially is the uniform manufacturer.

I’m not even going to go into the environmental ramifications of having two sets of clothing for one child multiplied by however many uniform wearing students there are in the world.  Someone else can do the math.

Most importantly, there’s the soul crushing aspect of a uniform.  Who in our society wears a uniform?  Prisoners, the military and low wage workers among others.  I’ve been the latter and let me tell you there was nothing like ripping off that red shirt at the end of my shift and wadding it up into the bottom of my backpack where it could fester until it was time to leave myself at the door when I punched back in another day.

When you wear a uniform you’re no longer an individual.  You no longer have a unique identity or are allowed to express it through what you choose to put on your body.

Is this really what we want to be teaching children?  That they need to dress alike in order to remove potential sources of conflict?

How about teaching them to accept each other no matter how they dress.

That who you are is more important than what you wear.

Those seem like much better lessons.




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