Cairo Gets Ready For New School Uniforms

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By Fanna Haile-Selassie
By Jared Roberts

CAIRO -- A new look is coming to Cairo public schools this fall. All students will be required to wear uniforms for the first time.

"The uniforms are going to consist of polo shirts. They have the options of three colors, the white, and this is royal blue, Das is wearing the black," explains Cairo High School Principal Zena Madison.
 
She says school officials have been fighting a losing battle on the dress code, and the change is an effort to teach kids how to dress more appropriately in a culture where sometimes the flashiest clothes can bring more popularity.
 
"With girls, you'd see a lot of cleavage or see-through shirts. The leggings came out, and sometimes you can see their underwear underneath them," she says.
 
The problem for boys are long shirts and saggy pants. Madison says she hopes a uniform look helps cut down on the bullying between those who can afford more fashionable items and those who can't
     
But changing their style is a tough sell for students.
 
"At first, I didn't like the uniforms, but now it makes things much cheaper," says Senior Daslin Johnson. "So instead of going out and buying clothes, I'll just wear my uniform."
 
Gabrielle Harris can attest to the low cost. His G and L Clothing store is the only shop in town selling the approved apparel. He says depending on the size a set of pants and a polo will cost between $21 and $26. And members of the community are even buying up uniforms to donate to the school.
 
"That's going to help out for some of the families that have four or five kids, especially when you starting talking about getting four uniforms," says Harris.
 
Madison says she's confident all the students will soon be proud of their new look.
 
Students will get one free uniform from the school district during registration on August 7th and 8th. Madison says they will also have a few uniforms set aside during the school year for those who need a loaner.
     
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