Scranton Students React to New Uniform Policy

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Until now, students in the Scranton School District could ditch their uniforms once they got to high school, but now the school board has voted to require all students in the district to wear uniforms starting this fall.

West Scranton junior Edward Harty and his mom stopped by Starr Uniform in South Scranton. That's the place where they bought school uniforms for Edward before he hit high school, but they're preparing to buy shirts  again since the Scranton school board adopted a policy requiring uniforms for high school students.

"I'm a senior, next year's my last year, they should just give us a freebie," Harty said.

The details of the uniform policy haven't been ironed out yet, but at Starr Uniform employees are already preparing for an influx of older students.

"At least 50 percent of our business is Scranton School District," said owner Marsha Ufberg.

The uniforms for younger students include khaki or navy bottoms and blue, white, or red polo shirts. The Scranton School District's superintendent said the high school uniforms will likely look the same. They can be bought at the big box stores or at local places like Starr Uniform.

Scranton School District officials said any students who qualify for free or reduced lunch can also qualify for help buying the new uniforms next school year.

The school board approved the high school uniform policy Monday night. At previous meetings, members said they felt the existing high school dress code wasn't being followed or enforced.

Students Newswatch 16 spoke to agreed with that, but still said high schoolers should be excluded from uniforms and that the new policy won't change anything.

"They don't like it because they just want to wear what they want. Obviously the dress code is uncomfortable, but they do what they want and they're going to do the same thing next year anyways," said Scranton High School senior Deven Pagnotti.

The Scranton school board will put together a committee to decide exactly what high school students should wear as uniforms. The uniform policy takes effect at the start of next school year.