Tulsa's Jackson Elementary students sport new uniforms

Monday, December 5th 2005, 10:28 am
By: News On 6

It's a first for Tulsa Public Schools; some elementary kids are putting on a whole new attitude, with brightly colored school uniforms. The "Universal Uniforms" program kicked off Monday at Jackson Elementary School.

The policy is designed to make the switch easier on parents, by giving out the clothes for free.

News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin says you can't help but notice a little extra swagger in the steps of students at Jackson Elementary.

5th grader D'Angelo Brewer: "I'm very excited." Eagle pride is in the air and on the front of the students new T-shirt uniforms. It's all part of the school's plan to improve the kids' self-image and leave them free to focus on learning.

Principal Debra Wiggins-Halley: "It just minimizes a lot of concern for many of them if they're clothed in designer wear, or if their clothes are really in ill repair and they just need something better to wear. It puts everybody on the same playing field."

The shirts come in blue and 'bold gold' and are worn over the students' clothes from home. So far, reviews are positive.

5th grader Tyeshawana McMack: "I was excited, I thought they were perfect and I like the way the colors are."

D’Angelo Brewer: “It's good cause people like if their parents don't have a lot of money and all, and they wear shirts, and people say oh, your shirt is ugly and mine is good, so if we wear uniforms then nobody has to argue cause we're all the same."

A bit of a twist on the uniform policy, the school handles laundering the shirts, and will hand clean ones out to students every day. Debra Wiggins-Halley: "The families don't have to worry about purchasing a shirt, we'll keep and maintain them at school, it takes a lot of the worry out of it."

And helps put an end to feeling like what you have to offer on the outside is all that matters. "We do see a difference in their behavior. They're more well behaved, they like the way they look because it's a uniform, and really I think everyone feels better when they're in uniform."

Donations from a Tulsa church and bond money provided 400 T-shirts and a new washer and dryer for the school.