Do You Like Your School’s Dress Code?
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Do You Like Your School’s Dress Code?

Students in Atlanta’s Jewish elementary schools have strong opinions about what they wear to class.

Chana Shapiro is an educator, writer, editor and illustrator whose work has appeared in journals, newspapers and magazines. She is a regular contributor to the AJT.

We asked students in Atlanta’s Jewish elementary schools about clothing, logos, personal touches, and what they’d change. Here’s what they say about life in uniform:

Avraham Tzvi Antopolsky
9 Years Old
Chaya Mushka Elementary School

Avraham Antopolsky believes school uniforms help kids concentrate on schoolwork.

I think a uniform’s a wonderful thing. Uniforms make sure that students do not have crazy things on their shirts and don’t wear random clothes to school. Some people might think that uniforms are the right thing to wear when we go on field trips, but that’s not their main purpose. If you think about it, we don’t go on that many field trips, but we wear our uniforms to identify ourselves every day. Uniforms also make a kiddush Hashem (Jewish students, who make a good impression, honor G-d).

Ilana Tanenbaum
10 Years Old
Torah Day School
I think that we should have to be modest at school, like covering our elbows and knees. I don’t like that my friends and I all look alike and that we can’t express our own style. I think we should be able to wear what we want as long as it’s modest. I can express myself a bit by wearing fun earrings to school, and I am very happy that the girls can wear any dress code-colored skirts that don’t have to be made of stiff material like the boys’ pants.

Eli Tanenbaum
12 Years Old
Torah Day School
I think there are pros and cons to everything. A pro to uniform clothing is that it’s easy to just put on basically the same outfit every day without putting thought into it. You don’t have to worry about buying the cool brands and latest things. The cons for me are that we have to wear uniform pants that just aren’t that comfortable, and on super-hot days, I wish I could wear shorts!

Sisters Lauren and Sadie Robinson approve of the special Shabbat dress code.

Lauren Robinson
8 Years Old
The Davis Academy
I like wearing uniforms. It makes it easy to wake up and get dressed every morning before school. I also like that my friends also wear uniforms and we get to choose which colors we want. We wear white tops and navy bottoms for Shabbat. I like that we all wear the same color one day, and it makes it feel special to celebrate Shabbat together. Most days we get to pick which color top and what color skirt or pants we wear. I usually like red top and navy skirt. But my friends choose other colors, too.

Sadie Robinson
5 Years Old
The Davis Academy
I don’t like wearing only dress code clothes. I wish I could wear fancy dresses every day, but I am happy there is a uniform dress I can wear. We wear white on top and navy on bottom every Friday. It’s OK; it’s fun to match all my friends and my sister, too. I almost always wear a dress for my uniform, but my friends like the shirt and skirt or sometimes pants when it’s cold outside. Or shorts too. My shoes sometimes show my personality. If I would change anything, maybe wearing a dress on Friday.

Izzy Steinberg expresses her individuality while adhering to the dress code

Izzy Steinberg
11 Years Old
Atlanta Jewish Academy

A dress code doesn’t bother me. Also, the limited amount of colors and items makes it easier to pick out an outfit. On Fridays, I take advantage of wearing specially-allowed clothes, JagSwag, and my favorite hoodies. I am disappointed that when I get a new shirt I want to show my friends, I can’t wear it to school. I stick with collars during school hours. It’s chill.

I believe AJA wants us to wear uniforms so that we feel like a unified community. Also, when we are less focused on what we’re wearing, we focus more on school work and friendships. Otherwise, people may tend to show off fancier items and make other kids feel bad.

I express my style through jewelry, shoes, socks, and hairstyles and through pins and keychains on my backpack. I carry my backpack through the hallways, like on a runway. No paparazzi, please!

It would be great to wear anything we want on our birthdays. My dream birthday outfit, surprisingly, doesn’t include a collared shirt and the color khaki. No offense.

Alexis Bank
8 Years Old
The Epstein School
I don’t mind the dress code. It’s easier for me because sometimes I have a hard time making a choice of what to wear. The worst thing about having a dress code is that it isn’t pink. I would change the dress code color and bring back the option of ruffles on some of the shirts. I miss the pretty ruffles; I mean, if I can’t have pink, at least it was fun and pretty with ruffles. I can still put fun accessories in my hair. Also, I can wear fun shoes that are rainbow, pink, sparkly, you know, pretty and girly. I also like my pink and sparkly backpack.

Micah Bank
11 Years Old
The Epstein School
The school dress code isn’t my favorite. The clothes aren’t comfortable and I have to wear the same thing every day. Best thing about having a dress code is being able to choose my kippah and shoes. If I could change the dress code, I’d have no tucking in, no belt, comfortable shorts/shirt.

I don’t think it’s important to wear our school logo, because we don’t go on field trips, so it doesn’t matter. I can’t really express my individuality like the girls can because I can only choose my shoes and kippah.

Sisters Alexis and Ryleigh Reese Bank long for more pink, while brother Micah wants more comfort.

Ryleigh Reese Bank
5 Years Old
The Epstein School
I am looking forward to wearing a uniform so I can match my brother and sister. I want to wear the same color that Alexis wears. Maybe Mommy will do matching hair for us, too! I want to wear my light-up sneakers, even if Alexis doesn’t, because I don’t think she has the same shoes any more, but I wish she did. I will miss being able to wear all of my pretty dresses to school. I would like the uniforms to be pink dresses that are really soft like the one Mommy got me from our friend, Eldar. What’s a school logo? Can it be pink?

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