Edmonds mulls allowing schools to adopt student uniforms

EDMONDS, Wash. -- The Edmonds School Board was meeting Tuesday evening to consider a proposed uniform policy, in which each school would get to choose for itself whether their students would be required to wear uniforms to school.

Some families say uniforms save money and reduce stress.

"I think at school, really the focus needs to be on academics, not on who has the best shoes and who has the cutest hair bows and the sparkliest shirts," said parent Kelly Guillaume.

Each of the district's 34 schools would have the power choose for itself after a lot of input from families.

"It could be a couple parents in one school community lobby for it and the vast majority don't and it won't happen at that school community," said D.J. Jakala with the Edmonds School District.

Doctors say there's evidence uniforms can have another beneficial effect: reducing tensions, especially in the face of possible gang affiliation.

"We do know that in many schools where there are children that wear uniforms, there's less violence," said Dr. Cora Collette Breuner with Children's Hospital. "The teachers report less discipline problems."

But some parents say a uniform policy makes for cookie-cutter kids.

"I let them choose their clothes, so how am I going to tell them, you know what, the school decided you can't wear your clothes, you have to wear this uniform?" wondered Carlos Camacho.

Under the proposed policy, even if a school does decide to adopt uniforms, there is a form a parent can fill out that would exempt their child.

If the measure is passed, it would begin for the fall 2013 school year.