Wednesday, April 4, 2007

School Uniforms: A Lawsuit Waiting to Happen?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2007 at 7:21 PM

The ACLU of Tennessee* this afternoon sent a lengthy letter to members of the Metro Nashville Board of Education identifying legal risks associated with the proposed Standard School Attire policy. The school board is expected to decide next Tuesday whether to adopt the policy, which would require uniforms in all grades at all Nashville public schools. The ACLU's letter spells out various ways that application of the proposed policy could invite legal challenges because of infringements of student rights to free speech, equal protection, due process and privacy.

A spokesperson for a parents group opposed to the proposal says the new legal analysis shows that the school board is considering a measure that is deficient in both concept and execution. "We already knew that this proposal was based on a biased study process that drew flawed conclusions contrary to research evidence on school uniforms," said Ashley Crownover of Metro Parents Against Standard School Attire. "Now experts are asserting that the board is on the verge of adopting a policy that is legally very troubling, and potentially costly for the taxpayers of Nashville."

(*Disclosure: I sit on its board.)

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