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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco Seven Springs Middle prepares to require uniforms



Students at Seven Springs Middle School in Trinity could find themselves wearing uniforms next fall. They'd be the first in Pasco County to face such a restrictive dress code.

Their parents and administrators have been discussing the idea of mandatory uniforms for a few months now, according to PTSO minutes. The January minutes indicate that the move is close to certain, with a town hall meeting planned for March and uniform preorders to take place in April.

This isn't a total surprise.

Principal Chris Dunning told the Tampa Bay Times in September that he was exploring this option, after coming under fire for having students wear "out of dress code" t-shirts when they came to school dressed inappropriately in his judgment. Superintendent Kurt Browning said Seven Springs and other schools had to stop using these "shame shirts," as some called them, because they did not reflect the "culture of caring" he sought to promote.

But now the conversation has reached a point at Seven Springs that it has caught more parents' attention. And at least one is not pleased.

Mary Black, whose son attends Seven Springs, last week sent Browning a 5-page letter criticizing the school's handling of its plans to move to uniforms, and the idea of uniforms itself. "Truthfully," Black wrote, "I believe that the only thing wearing uniforms solves at a public school is dress code violations, misdirected responsibility and parental apathy."

District spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said the district has no overarching policy governing student uniforms. She expected Pasco would likely follow Hillsborough County's rules stating that parents may opt out of uniforms by signing a waiver.

[Last modified: Friday, February 28, 2014 3:33pm]


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