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Uniforms proposed for South Columbus Elementary students

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - Student dress code could be changing at South Columbus Elementary School. The Muscogee County School board discussed a proposal for student uniforms at Monday night's work session. Principal Patrice McFadden says uniforms will increase a sense of community and create a more productive learning environment.

"I just see so many students that are focused on something other than learning, on how they look," said Principal Patrice McFadden.

It's one of the reasons the principal is asking the board to approve uniforms at South Columbus Elementary School for the upcoming school year. McFadden says uniform clothing should help the 416 students focus on education and learning.

"They would have structure. They would have a sense of pride and they will know that school is important and the focus should be education not what they wear," said McFadden.

The principal surveyed 253 parents of Pre-K through 4th grade students at the elementary school. The results show 84% of parents were in favor of uniforms while only 16% opposed it. She also talked to her 54 staff members. 99% of them wanted to see students in uniforms. McFadden says the parents who were drawn to the idea say it's cost effective.

"You try to buy something designer, that could cost parents a whole lot of money," said McFadden.

McFadden says the red, white or blue collared shirts along with khaki or navy pants, jumpers, shorts, or skorts would only cost about $50 to outfit a child. If approved it would be one of several changes to the elementary school this fall. They will house 7 Pre-K classes as a part of the Superintendent's Early Success Center Plan. They will also implement a new program called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports or PBIS. It's designed to reduce disciplinary incidents.

"I think that having the uniforms is a step towards positive behavior," said McFadden.

The Principal also surveyed her staff about faculty uniforms. Only 7% were in favor of those uniforms. Most staff members did agree with the idea of optional faculty uniforms. The Muscogee County School board is expected to vote on the issue on May 19th.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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