Monday night the Lawton Public Schools Board of Education finally made a long awaited decision on the highly debated uniform dress code question for all of the schools in the district; well, in a manner they did.

The board met Monday night and issued its decision to extend the modified dress code currently being used at elementary schools in the district to one more middle school beginning this fall.

Tom Deighan, Lawton Public Schools Superintendent, had previously recommended changing the student discipline policy to require all students in the district from K through 12th to adhere to the modified dress code, which currently consists of solid-colored polo shirts and khaki or twill pants, shorts or skirts.

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The popularity of uniform dress codes is growing across the nation and research has shown it decreases student misconduct and even absenteeism. And while uniforms will initially increase costs, overall it is a more affordable answer to standard school clothes. According to Thomas, the current dress code allows too much diversity and calls for "judgement calls" by students, parents, teachers and administrators.

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Central Middle School Principal Blake Thomas decided the change would be implemented at his school, saying that it would be beneficial at his site, presenting the board with information, and signing on to the dress code during Monday's meeting.

After conducting research and surveying the CMS staff and parents,Thomas said they surveys showed that 51% of parents and 88% of the school's staff were in favor or at least "somewhat" in favor of a standard policy. Thomas added that the overwhelming opinion of his staff was that a modified dress would benefit their working environment.

The new code at Central Middle School will go into effect to start the 2016-2017 school year.

source: the Lawton Constitution, KSWO News