Erma B. Reese Elementary School will keep its uniform policy for the next three years.
The Lodi Unified School District Board of Education voted 2 - 5 not to rescind the policy during Tuesday night’s meeting, with Board President Gary Knackstedt and Board Vice President Joe Nava casting the only two votes in favor of rescinding.
Scott McGregor, assistant superintendent of elementary education, said the board’s policy requires any school with a uniform policy to evaluate said policy once a year for the first three years, and once every three years after that.
McGregor did not have an exact number of how many other LUSD schools have uniform policies, although he said it was “not very many.”
“I know Vinewood (Elementary School) used to,” McGregor said.
During each evaluation, at least two-thirds of parents must vote in favor of keeping the policy or else the school board must consider whether or not to rescind it.
“Only 60 percent of the parent vote wanted the policy to continue,” McGregor said.
Although 72 percent of Reese Elementary’s staff voted to keep the policy in place, the board was still required to consider rescinding it due to the board’s own rules.
“Just because you consider it, doesn’t mean you have to approve it,” said board member George Neely, who voted not to rescind the uniform policy.
Gary Odell, Reese’s principal, said that while he has only been at the school for eight years, the uniform policy has been in place for “much longer than that.”
As the uniform policy allows students to sign waivers to not wear uniforms, Odell said it would not make much of a difference whether or not the policy stayed in place.
“It’s not going to change what’s happening, because most of them waiver out in the intermediate grades,” Odell said.
Although most of the students from kindergarten through second grade wear uniforms, Odell said “a vast majority” of students from third through sixth grade sign the waivers.
It was that same waiver clause that prompted Knackstedt to vote in favor of rescinding the uniform policy.
“With the waivers, I think it’s silly to keep this in place,” Knackstedt said.
Amanda Mayer, the mother of a Reese Elementary student, voiced her support for the policy in a comment on the News-Sentinel’s Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.
“My son goes to Reese and I think they are great!! I hope they don’t take it away,” Mayer wrote. “Choosing an outfit in the a.m. isn’t a fight because my son knows that he has to wear a uniform. Plus, there isn’t any judgment on clothing since they all wear pretty much the same thing.”
Marisa Crawford, another Reese parent, also expressed support for the policy in a comment on the News-Sentinel’s Facebook page.
“My boys go there and I love uniforms!!!!” Crawford wrote. “(I) have two older kids too, and they wore the uniforms as well!”