From Uniforms to Devastation

I like to dress up.

I work at Channel 13, and to be honest, if you’re not on camera you could really get away with wearing anything – as long as no inappropriate body parts are hanging out.

However, I always lived by the motto “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”.

So, I wear dresses and fun jewelry and beautiful high heels. I love clothes and I believe what you wear says a lot about you.

I think that’s one of the reasons I was so crushed 2 years ago when my son started elementary school and they said the kids must be in uniforms.

I was so sad.

I had this vision of he and I going shopping and buying a whole new wardrobe of fun “back to school” clothes. I dreamed of he and I prancing through the mall, hand in hand, weighed down by shopping bags filled with fun t-shirts and wildly colored shorts and interesting socks and shoes…

But those dreams were dashed by the school’s lame “uniform” dress code. It consisted of solid colored polo shirts and khaki or blue shorts. Not even jeans!!! NOT EVEN JEANS!!!

So instead, Cameron and I sludged our way into Target and loaded up with 7 polo shirts and 5 pairs of boring shorts.

The total cost came to about $80.

My baby's 1st day of kindergarten - with UNIFORMS!
My baby’s 1st day of kindergarten – with UNIFORMS!

This sucked. I remembered back to when I was in school – one of the best parts about it was picking out what I was going to wear the next day – and seeing my friends in all their new outfits!

Okay. Time for me to eat crow.

Fast forward about 2 months into the school year… And I was a believer! In 60 days, I had become one of the biggest proponents of uniforms! Oh My Gosh, how easy it was every night to lay out his clothes!! Everything always matched! If he ended up ruining a shirt at school I could easily drop 5 bucks on a new polo at Target and be done with it.

Uniforms are the best thing EVER! Whoever came up with the idea of school uniforms should be given a Nobel Mom Prize or something!

But over the summer, something tragic happened…

We moved… Into a school zone… that does NOT, WEAR, UNIFORMS!!

I am devastated. Crying. Shaking. Inconsolable.

I mean.. WHY!??!?!??!

Why would a school do such an awful thing to us parents?

So now, I have to wait until the stupid tax free holiday (which is August 1, 2, 3) and then fight with 20 million other parents with their screaming children to find clothes that will fit, match and be suitable for my 7 year old son. AND along with that comes the battle to talk Cameron out of a dozen Star Wars t-shirts.


And then, every night, I’m going to have to lay out clothes AND make sure they match and are comfortable for him to wear the next day.

AND.. I guarantee these t-shirts will not be $5 like the beautiful polos that Target sold. So, when my son inevitably spills his juice box all the way down the front of his outfit – I’m going to have to go spend $30 on new clothes.

To be honest, I cannot think of ONE single benefit to not putting these children in uniforms. A couple years ago when I was on my anti-uniform high horse, I used to say stuff like, “uniforms won’t let my beautiful son’s personality shine through”.

Let me tell you… That’s crap.

My son is fantastic… And his awesomeness would come through despite being in sensible, cheap, uniformed clothing.

Yes. He's awesome!
Yes. He’s awesome!

And, I didn’t really want to delve into this… But I’m gonna.

There’s so much bullying going on these days… Why do we need to give kids more ammunition to be mean to each other?

My son loves Star Wars. I’m not kidding when I say he will beg me to buy him nothing but Star Wars t-shirts. It would break my heart if someone at school called him a “dork” or bullied him for something he’s so passionate about.

I can only remember being bullied at school once and it was because of something I was wearing. I was 11 and it was on the school bus. It’s been 24 years and I can still remember that. That’s what a big deal it was to me.

So the moral of this story is – It’s time for Mama Bear to get involved. Looks like I’m going to have to join PTA and make it my mission to start a uniform dress code.

It may take a couple months.. But I’ll make believers out of every single parent at my son’s new school.

Laura likes to run. She uses it as an excuse to escape her 12, 7 and 5-year-old kids. Cameron, Audrey, and Lexi are amazing but exhausting. Fortunately, Laura’s partner in crime, Craig is pretty amazing himself. They’ve been married too many years to count and moved to Riverview when it was still cows in pastures. Laura worked for 18 years in television news, most recently as Executive Producer of Fox 13’s Good Day Tampa Bay, before taking the leap to the Hillsborough County School District where she works in Communications. Laura’s pet peeves include the use of “lol” and people who wear Crocs.


  1. You may want to tweak your use of the word bullying. We, as a culture, are quick to use this word outside of its intended meaning. It doesn’t fit your recollection here. I think most children get teased one time or another but bullying is far more serious than being picked on once.

    The more you know! :o)

    Definition: Bullying may be defined as the activity of REPEATED, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.[10]

  2. Another great blog!!! Uniforms are the best!! You need to get it in place before Audrey starts. The girls are the worst and soooooo picky about what they wear! So much easier in the mornings! No temper tantrums! I know u know what I mean! So get on it girl!!!

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