Forrest City Expanding Uniform Policy

FORREST CITY, AR--The Forrest City School District this year tried out a school uniform policy involving all students in the kindergarten through sixth grade.

The program is showing positive results to the point where the district will include seventh and eighth graders beginning next year.

While some schools employ more uniformed officers to keep the peace, Forrest City is seeing results in uniforms on students.

"The number of office referrals has dropped dramatically along with fighting," said Superintendent Lee Vent.

In fact, at Lincoln Middle School, the number of office referrals has dropped in half. It's a major difference coming from a simple change.

"Basically you have three or four different colors to pick from in pants and shirts," said sixth grader Tevin Beanum.

"The colors are good and you don't have to decide what you are going to wear in the morning," said sixth grader Marina Swanson.

The only variations of the uniform are students are allowed to wear school shirts and that has boosted school spirit.

"Now you see more people sporting the Mustang merchandise like the shirts and the hoodies," said Beanum.

Opponents of the dress code say it hurts a student's individuality; however Swanson thinks the opposite is true.

"They say everyone looks the same, but really it makes the peoples personalities and face standout more that just what is on their clothes," said Swanson.

Beginning next year Forrest City High will be the only school in district without the uniforms, but Vent says those students shouldn't get too comfortable in their old clothes.

"As we continue to see positive results, we will continue to escalate it to higher levels," said Vent.

Parents are also a fan of the uniform policy because they say they are now spending less money for school clothes.