Dress code won’t solve security issues
To the editor:
Over the past few years, there has been controversy regarding the possibility of Pinkerton Academy implementing a “unified dress code.” A parent meeting took place on Sept. 27 to inform Pinkerton attending communities about the possibility of this dress code change. The proposed “unified dress code” would be a series of polos, button-up shirts, khakis, “skorts” and appropriate shorts of varying color. Students would then pick their outfits from the supplied options.
Recent security concerns in light of the increased number of school shootings around the nation have been one reason for these discussions. By having students wear a “unified dress code,” the school’s administration and security believes that students would have a harder time concealing a weapon.
Although one could argue that this might be the case, there are no studies or substantial evidence that suggest this to be true. Research has been done concerning the effects of uniforms on school safety, but it focuses on hindering gang-related violence, theft, and bullying due to eliminating socio-economic gaps and gang-designated clothing.
Also, there are insubstantial claims that a school uniform could theoretically allow the school and police to identify non-students and threatening individuals. All of these statements, however, are simply biased observations. No viable research exists that show uniforms increase safety in schools from an active shooter.
Instead of spending time and resources on debating the possibility of school uniforms, Pinkerton could proceed with other safety precautions. The school could undergo a third-person security audit, which, as of January 2013, has not been completed on campus. The state of New Jersey’s Department of Education now has a School Security Drill Law that requires schools to conduct lockdown, evacuation and active shooter drills. The state then reviews the schools on their efficiency in each drill.