Todd DeMitchell has published a new book that explores the issue of public school uniform requirements. The Challenges of Mandating School Uniforms in the Public Schools: Free Speech, Research, and Policy was co-written with Richard Fossey, Paul Burdin Endowed Professor of Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and published by Rowman & Littlefield.
DeMitchell, the John & H. Irene Peters Endowed Professor of Education at UNH, spent eighteen years in the public schools serving as a teacher, principal, director of personnel and labor relations, and superintendent. He now studies and teaches school law and labor relations at UNH. DeMitchell and Fossey are also the co-authors of a companion book, Student Dress Codes and the First Amendment: Legal Challenges and Policy Issues, published last year by Rowman & Littlefield.
“School uniform polices, often associated with private schools, are increasingly being adopted in public schools; but not without controversy. The often asserted reasons for mandating uniforms include improved student behavior, better attendance, less competition over clothing, and improved student learning because students would not be distracted by who was wearing what and could focus on their studies. Wishful thinking or empirically tested hypotheses? However, opponents assert that a mandated uniform seeks to homogenize the students, violates their free speech rights, and does not solve the problems the policy is intended to remedy. The Challenges of Mandating School Uniforms in the Public Schools: Free Speech, Research, and Policy explores the policy rationale, the constitutional rights of students, and the research on the impact of school uniforms.” –Rowman & Littlefield