Birmingham City Schools ditching mandatory uniform policy in favor of dress code

    (Birmingham City Schools)<p>{/p}

    Parents get ready, one major school system is changing the rules. It's not the books or curriculum; it's the attire. Students at Birmingham City Schools will no longer be required to wear uniforms.

    After speaking with multiple parents about the changes, ABC 33/40's Amber Grigley learned that many are not against the changes made by the board. Their issue is why the decision was made so fast, weeks prior to the first day of school.

    "My first reaction was, 'What am I going to do with all of these school uniforms we purchased in June?'" said parent Teresa Thomas. "It just should've been [timed better.] Everyone already started getting their school clothes, and it's two and a half weeks before school starts." said Sayornaria Cunningham.

    There are few concerns about the board's decision to change their dress code policy weeks in advance.

    Birmingham superintendent, Dr. Lisa Herring tells ABC 33/40 the decision was made to give students more of a voice for choice.

    "It's very empowering for them to be able to feel as though they have individuality, but yet they can govern themselves in the way they in which we expect," said Dr. Herring.

    Whisenant says she's been pushing for no uniforms for almost 12 years. She says she felt like the uniform requirement was a failed experiment.

    "I didn't see that the safety improved with the students. I also didn't see that the academics improved by wearing uniforms. So, I've been very concerned about having that process removed," said Whisenant.

    "Children has been saying they don't want to wear uniforms to school anymore and now they get to be like the kids in Hoover and they finally get to express themselves when they go to school," said Justin Smith a rising senior at Wenonah High School.

    This upcoming academic year is considered a transition year for Birmingham City Schools, while they adopt their new dress code policy. Parents who already purchased uniforms can opt to have their children wear their uniforms.

    Click here for a full rundown of the board's Tuesday meeting.

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