Mount Vernon students to be required to wear uniforms at school

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MOUNT VERNON -

All Mount Vernon students will soon be required to wear uniforms to school.

The new uniform program started with a pilot program at a few schools, but it's now expanding to all city schools in Mount Vernon.

Officials say the pilot program was successful because more students showed up to school on time. They also believe the uniforms create a sense of community at the schools.

Although some studies show school uniforms help deter crime and reduce bullying, some parents are concerned about their children's right to express their individuality.

Other parents argue that uniforms help create a sense of community.

"I relate it to team sports where, you know, the New York Knicks may wear team uniforms because they are chasing that championship," says parent Erik Van Gunten.

Students from pre-K through eighth grade will be required to wear khaki bottoms and burgundy collar shirts districtwide in September.

Parents say they welcome the new requirement because it saves money in the long run and because it puts children on the same playing field, regardless of their family's income.

Even though it will be a districtwide program, kids who do not show up wearing uniforms will not be punished. School officials say they are looking for ways to reward kids who do.

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