Monday December 18th 2017

Issues Brief

Kentucky School Uniform
Survey Results
Issues Brief #2
February, 2000

The Issue:
Executive Summary, February 2000: Surveys were sent to 1451 schools in Kentucky. Those returned were filtered to remove responses from schools that were not included in the Kentucky Safe Schools Data project as well as those that were incomplete. This gave a response rate of 581 (41.8%) based on the 1389 schools included in the Kentucky Safe Schools Data Project. Some key findings follow.

Time Policy Had Been In Effect
  • 153 schools had dress code/uniform policies in effect 1-3 years.
  • 93 schools had dress code/uniform policies in effect for more than 10 years.
  • 64 schools had policies in effect less than one year; most were in elementary schools.
Policy Development
  • Elementary schools were most likely to use a group of administrators, teachers and parents to develop policies.
  • Middle and high schools were most likely to include students in the development of policies.
Rationale for Developing the Policy
  • Promotion of school safety and health was the most frequently cited rationale.
  • Establishment of order in appearance and behavior was the second most frequently cited rationale.
  • Promoting a learning environment was the third most frequently cited rationale.
  • Acceptance of Policy
  • The majority of schools indicated that the policy was accepted by both parents and students.
Dress code or uniform policies were submitted by 169 schools and formed the basis for an analysis of the level of restrictions in Kentucky dress codes or uniform policies. Four levels were identified on the basis of restrictiveness:
  • Standard Dress Code - a statement of basic guidelines for a selected number of appearance characteristics with no reference to color or length.
  • Moderately Restrictive Dress Code - a statement of basic guidelines for a selected number of appearance characteristics (more than a standard dress code) as well as a reference to length.
  • Restrictive Dress Code - a statement of basic guidelines for a selected number of appearance characteristics (more than a moderately restrictive dress code) as well as a reference to length and a reference to color.
  • Uniform policy - the most restrictive policy which prescribes appearance characteristics, length and color, as well as requiring the use of selected vendors or school approved colors and logos.
A moderately restrictive dress code was used by 63 (37.3%) of the schools who submitted dress code policies. Given the low number of policies submitted for evaluation, generalizations to all the schools in Kentucky is inadvisable.

Conclusion: This was the first survey of all Kentucky schools regarding the development and use of dress code or uniform policies. Similar to the Kentucky Safe Schools Data Project, it provides baseline data that may be of use in future analyses and program development.

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