Fashion, stylin’ and ‘bling’ are out
this season at Fees Middle School in south
Tempe. So is individuality. Uniformity and
conformity are in.
Starting this school year, Fees students may
only wear solid red, white or light blue
collared shirts with solid khaki, navy or
black shorts, skirts or pants.
School officials claim the
new ‘uniform’ dress code that requires
sixth, seventh and eighth graders to dress
virtually alike and wear ID tags while on
campus has resulted in major behavior
changes this school year.
So far, six problems occurred on campus
resulting in one out-of-school suspension
and five in-school interventions, school
officials reported. During the same period a
year ago, there were 20 incidents that
resulted in five suspensions and 15
Principal Reynaldo Cruz says the uniform
dress code is “off to a phenomenal start.”
“One of the greatest things I have seen is
the pride that students are showing in
themselves. When I mention to students that
they look nice, they stand taller and smile,
because they believe that they look good,”
Teachers, meanwhile, say students are more
focused on their studies without the
“distraction” of different clothing.
“The students look like they’re ready for
business. They look professional, and their
behavior in and out of the classroom shows
that,” teacher Martha Jacobo said.
Many teachers and the principal are also
following the new dress code.
Not all about the new dress
code is smooth sailing and cherubic smiles,
A teacher told one student
that his two-tone belt – navy blue with a
khaki stripe – violated the dress code.
Also, there have been some questions whether
the Lance Armstrong “Livestrong” wristbands
and their many imitators violate the dress
The Fees PTSA has formed a
scholarship fund to help students whose
families cannot afford the new uniforms.
So far, school officials have
distributed about $300 worth of clothing
that meets the school’s uniform policy,
according to Monica Allread, public
information coordinator for Tempe School
District No. 3.
Fees PTSA accepts donations
for the uniform ‘scholarships.’ Checks can
be made out to Fees PTSA and either be
dropped off in the school office or mailed
to Fees PTSA, Fees Middle School, 1600 E.
Watson Drive, Tempe, AZ 85283.