Twenty-nine percent of schools in the Washoe County School District now have uniform policies, and with school starting on Monday, we asked about the district’s new uniform policy which was adopted on June 24th. The new policy allows parents to shop for uniform shirts and pants at any store, as long as the clothing meets the school's guidelines. "In the past the school uniforms contained the name of the school and some had a saying on them," said WCSD Area Superintendent Dr. Roger Gonzalez.
Roy Gomm Elementary school in Reno had to print new uniform shirts this year to remove the slogan, “Tomorrow’s Leaders” after a student’s parents sued the school district. "The decision came down through a court decision whereby those slogans would not be appropriate-- a lot of it had to do with freedom of speech-- so basically the uniform can identify the name of the school, have the mascot on it, or be plain," Gonzalez explained. According to Gonzalez, students at Roy Gomm will not be permitted to wear last year’s shirts with the slogan except on “free days” when uniforms are not required.
Gonzalez says the district formulated a new uniform policy to clarify the rules covering acceptable clothing and to set guidelines for adopting school uniform policies at district schools. "There wasn't an established policy or process to implement uniforms in school, so what this does is it allows for a process by which a school can work with their school community -- survey them and determine if that's what the school community wants to move forward with," Gonzalez said.
The new policy also allows parents to shop around if they prefer not to buy the logoed shirts-- which, at Roy Gomm, sell for $10 each.
Local stores like Target are stocking plain shirts in several colors to help parents comply with public school uniform policies. "They can choose to shop at any neighborhood stores or discount stores just as long as they purchase the correct colors that the school has designated for their uniform," Gonzalez said.
And if parents can't afford new uniforms? "If any families need assistance with purchasing uniforms they should get in touch with their school principal and we will work with that family to make sure we can help them," Gonzalez added.