Milwaukee Public Schools board votes to require uniforms for students

Posted at 8:56 PM, Feb 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 07:34:02-05

The dress code in Milwaukee Public Schools will soon be changing. The school board voted 8 to 1 Thursday night to require students to wear uniforms.

Right now, about one third of students at MPS wear uniforms. Schools will be able to opt out if 60 percent of families vote to do so.

Neeskara Elementary, on the city's west side, does not require its students to follow a dress code, but a lot of parents and grandparents there think students should all be wearing the same thing.

"I still think uniforms will be a good idea. It will take away from the distraction of who is wearing what," said Renee Rogers, who has two grandsons at MPS.

She thinks uniforms will cut back on bullying and can inspire school spirit.

51 out of 159 schools are already wearing uniforms, and if the policy is approved, all MPS schools would implement uniforms starting in the fall of 2017.

A lot of parents think uniforms will also stimulate learning.

"We're getting our kids into this thing of swag. What is swag?  You're not going to school for swag.  You're going to school to learn," Rogers said.

Alexis Anderson spent about $300 on her first grader’s school clothes this year. She thinks school uniforms will save her family a lot of money.

"He wants the Timberlands. He wants everything that costs. Uniforms would help. You can buy five pair of pants, probably navy blue shirts. Five pair of navy shirts and I think that will last half a school year," Anderson said.

If approved, each school would have the possibility of opting out of the uniforms, if 60 percent of families vote against it.

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