CARUTHERSVILLE, MO (KFVS) - School is just about a month away and students at one Region 8 school have a new look that not everyone is happy about.
Shopping for new clothes is a big part of getting ready for the new school year, but students at the Caruthersville School District have some specific shopping to do after the school board unanimously passed a new uniform code last month.
School officials say it's an effort to focus attention on schoolwork and foster school pride, but not everyone thinks it's a good idea.
Back to school shopping--pencils, glue, folders, and for Caruthersville students--new school uniforms.
Caruthersville Superintendent J.J. Bullington says in years past, teachers spent too much time dealing with saggy pants and low cut shirts. Some students agree.
"There's been a bunch of problems with it," said Caruthersville High School Senior Kasey Hudgens. "I'm glad they're fixing it but I just would like to wear what I want to wear."
"I think it's great because parents won't have to like they spend money, but it's easy cause the boys won't have saggy pants or anything and they'll have to tuck their shirt in so it won't be long," said Caruthersville 4th grader Christopher Smith.
So in an effort to encourage school image and a sense of school pride, the Caruthersville school board passed a uniform code.
Students must now wear red, white, or blue collared shirts with khaki, blue or black slacks, shorts, or skirts.
"The kids want to wear what they want to wear," said Angela Howell, mother of two children in the district. "I have one daughter that's really throwing a fit over it."
"I thinks it's a good idea," said Miranda Dodd, parent of two school children in the district. "It keeps all the fighting down. Everybody's in the same clothes, you know, nobody's talking about other people, how they dress."
"They have always been taught in school to express theirself and to have their own identity and I feel that they're not going to be able to have their own identity or express theirselves if they're dressed like everyone else in the school building," said Kawanna Slaughter, mother of five school children in the district.
As part of the new dress code, students will be required to carry clear or see through mesh backpacks.
School officials say it's all part of a proactive effort to prevent school violence or gang associations.
"I think the sagging jeans, the cargo pants, stuff like that should be a problem," said parent Charles Dale. "I don't think it should be in school. Anything can be hidden in the pocket when they come inside the school, but at the same time it really makes it hard for parents when they're having to fork over all the money for the shirts and the pants."
The change over to the uniforms will be gradual. Starting this fall, students have to adhere to a new dress code that's stricter than what they were able to wear before. Then in January, all students have to wear the new uniforms.