Grandfield students may soon wear uniforms

Grandfield_Grandfield students could soon be getting a makeover.  Superintendent Ed Turlington says that uniforms would help curb misbehavior, plus cut down the influence of gangs in the area.  He says students wearing uniforms had good results at a college prep school where he once worked.  However, some students have their concerns about such attire.  

Some students tell 7News they are concerned about having to pay for the uniforms, and not using their clothing to be able to express themselves.  Turlington says that even though the unifrom idea may be unpopular, he believes the concept should be adopted.

Student Shelby Witt has had experience with school uniforms, and says it wasn't pleasant.  "None of the kids really like them," she said.  "Half of them didn't wear them the way they were supposed to."  But, Turlington says it isn't only about popularity - he says it could be a safety issue.  "We've had some pseudo-gang members here, and we've had some assaults," he said.

Turlington says the assaults might not have happened if Grandfield students had had a dress code.  The requirement also could give the faculty a break if teachers weren't constantly monitoring the students' attire.  He says he knows exactly how he would enforce the new rules.  "Go home.  Come back when you're properly dressed," he said.

The superintendent sent out a survey to parents to learn what their feelings were about requiring uniforms.  He says the response was split.  He also says he knows it's important to take the students' opinion into account.  "We'd like to consider how the students feel, but we have a task of getting them ready for adulthood," he said.

Turlington says the response he has received since floating the idea has been wide-ranging.  "We've had a spectrum of everything from 'It's a violation of students' rights,' to 'They need it because they're a bunch of little thugs.'"  However, Shelby says she has different concerns.  She says a majority of students at Grandfield may not be able to afford the new dress code.  "My biggest concern is half our students can't afford basketball shoes," she said.

Turlington says that if a student cannot afford the new dress code, the school will work with them and their families.  The next school board meeting is February 2, where the proposal could be approved.  If approved, Grandfield would be the only public school district in southwest Oklahoma requiring uniforms.

Count on 7News to keep you updated.