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Demand high for free dress code clothing at Cape Junior High

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Families look through what is left of the clothing available during a Cape Girardeau School District dress code distribution event Tuesday, July 31 at Cape Girardeau Junior High School. The district held a clothing drive from July 23rd to July 27th to provide clothes that meet the district's new dress code to families that need them.
(Adam Vogler) [Order this photo]
A line of parents and students hoping to take home free clothing items that will comply with the Cape Girardeau School District's new dress code wound out from the gym through the lobby and into the parking lot of Cape Girardeau Central Junior High School on Tuesday morning.

The district held a clothing drive last week and is in the second day of a distribution event today.

By 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, district staff had already distributed the majority of the 650 tops and 400 bottoms brought in for the event by the initial drive. Parents or other family members seeking items were allowed to select a maximum of three tops and two bottoms per student.

With supplies dwindling quickly, the district decided it would continue to ask for donations Tuesday and had staff use funds donated by the United Way to bring in more items bought new at a discount from local retailers, said Deena Ring, the district's special services coordinator.

The new dress code requirements take effect on the first day of classes, Aug. 16.

Some parents, like Vicky Dowdy, didn't find any items during Tuesday's distribution because the sizes her fourth- and fifth-grade daughters needed were gone by the time she arrived. Dowdy said she was starting from scratch looking for items to fit the dress code because she has homeschooled her daughters up until this year.

"I was hoping today was going to help, but it didn't really turn out that way," she said.

Dowdy has been trying to shop sales at major retailers and buy secondhand items to stock up her daughters' school wardrobes. On top of that she's having to buy supplies for the first time that match the lists distributed by their schools, so all new clothes for them is an extra burden, she said.

"It's definitely an adjustment for all of us. Thank God for Goodwill," she said.

Others, like Shawon Egson, who came to the distribution for items for her three daughters, ages 14, 12 and 10, said she is spending less on clothes for school this year and for her, stricter requirements equal less hassle.

"I don't have to worry about buying this and buying that and trying to come up with getting them everything they want that is always different," she said.

Egson said she was able to find jeans for all three girls and that she was glad the district was holding the event.

"I think it is nice what they are doing," she said. "This is going to help a lot of people."

Ring said the event so far had been a "learning experience" for the district and work is continuing to help families who may not have received the items they need. Parent liaisons and social workers took the names and contact information of families who are still seeking assistance, and Ring said staff would be attempting to distribute additional items to those families before school starts.

Although many items went out the door quickly Tuesday, donations were still being collected throughout the day to allow the event to be held this afternoon as originally scheduled. Organizers weren't initially sure if the event could run two days based on the size of Tuesday morning's crowd. Ring said the district will continue to accept donations of new or gently used items that adhere to the code's requirements at the district's central offices at 301 N. Clark Ave. in Cape Girardeau.

The distribution event is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the junior high field house.

Ring said 220 families received items or were placed on a "needs list" by district staff during Tuesday's distribution. Staff did not review families' income levels to determine need but did check parent identification to be sure all students receiving items would be attending Cape Girardeau public schools, Ring said. Other than those measures, families were on the honor system, Ring said.

Any clothing leftover today will go to families on the needs list or be divided among the district's buildings to stock clothes closets.

A full description of the new dress code's requirements is online at http://www.capetigers.com.

High school students will be expected to wear clothes that adhere to the code during orientation next week so that school staff can advise students and parents of any issues.

The orientation schedule for next week is:

* Seniors, 8 to 11 a.m. Monday

* Juniors, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday

* Sophomores, 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesday

* Freshmen, 8 a.m. Aug. 8

For more on orientation, call the high school at 335-8228.



Pertinent address:

301 Clark Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO

205 Caruthers Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO

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How sad...Maybe the "rich" people that made this policy now see how it effects those with little means. Very sad..

-- Posted by bulletman on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 11:26 AM

Its not sad bulletman. that is the same defeated attitude thats put people in sorry situations. What eveer happend to being an adult and working for what you want and need. Thats whats wrong with society now. People have forgotten how to do so. Whats sad is I myself donated clothing for this drive , and my wife had donated her time to help with it, and the best thing you could come up with is how sad it is that "rich" people made some new rules. How dumb.....

-- Posted by gunn1217 on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 11:39 AM

What is special services coordinator?

Who comes up with these titles and positions.

That is why tax rates are so high.

A lot of people are facing really bad times and to have a uniform policy now is wrong.

Actually it was wrong from the beginning this The U.S.A. not China.

-- Posted by 314djhh on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 11:44 AM

gunn1217,in case you haven't heard there are a lot of unemployed people,you have a lot of people that wants a job and can't find one.

And most jobs around here only pays minimum wage at best.

Why did you donate in the first place seems like you didn't want to.

-- Posted by 314djhh on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 11:50 AM

I just hate it when someone resorts to name calling when confronted with an opinion that differs from theirs. Regardless, the new policy is hurting those who already have appropriate clothing , but wrong colors etc., etc. The district is certainly responsible for helping those individuals. Also, the t-shirt policy is lame and I expect it will be amended, it is too self serving for the district to allow only shirts associated with CHS.

-- Posted by bball15 on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 11:55 AM

gunn1217---I also donated MANY items...The problem with your scenario is that this isn't a "NEEDED" expense...It is an expense "imposed" on people of very little means...VERY SAD!! I'm not knocking anyone who donated time or clothing but the "NEED" to have them donated is "WRONG".

-- Posted by bulletman on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 11:55 AM

314djhh and bullet man....I don't see anything sad about this. You liberals see the worst in everything. I see this as a great thing that some people had more of something and they voluntarily gave it away to help others. This is what being a Christian nation and society is all about. The only way you would have been happy with this is if the government would have came in and raided the dressers of the rich, confiscated their clothes, and redistribtued it to the poor with their hands out. I agree with gunn1217....appreciate the story and find the positive in it....quuit trying to blame people that have worked hard for things they have!

-- Posted by howardroark on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 11:58 AM

I am a parent of 3 who will be starting school with new uniforms this year. Normally I shop thrift stores and clearance sales to supply my children with the needed back to school clothes. I have to say that this uniform policy is a blessing in disguise. At first I was against it, until I started doing the shopping. I can still get all of their jeans at thrift stores, but now I don't have to worry about finding those name brand shirts that they all want. Wal-Mart, Old Navy and many other stores have put these solid colored polo shirts on sale for $5. I Spent $100 on shirts and got plenty, and all of them new. I have spent much less than in previous years and I am buying new instead of used. I just have to say that I think the school board is doing the right thing, it may be a little tough this year but next year should be a breeze.

-- Posted by suzieqmichelle on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 12:06 PM

What were the parents going to cloth their kids in had there not been a new dresscode imposed? Wouldn't they have bought their kids clothes for school anyway?

-- Posted by TommyStix on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 12:08 PM

Any-time someone feels the need to ASK for help, it is sad. Those who don't "get" that are sad too.

bulletman, IF you donated, why do you feel the need to brag about it and belittle those who hold differing opinions? Sort of defeats the point of altruism, doesn't it?

314djhh, Instead of ranting ignorantly, how about informing yourself?


-- Posted by whom on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 12:10 PM

Our school system is broken. One does not have to do much research to understand this. Dress codes will do very little or nothing to solve the problem. As for liberals VS conservatives, the liberals want to keep the poor man poor and the conservatives want to keep the rich man rich. They have both failed us all miserably as has Government involvement in education. JMO

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 12:12 PM

Target has uniform shirts on sale this week for $5.00. Instead of going to Burger King to eat, buy your kid(s) a few shirts.

-- Posted by SCnative on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 12:12 PM

While I'm opposed to uniform policies for other reasons the cost of the school uniforms are not a serious issue.

The additional upfront costs during the switch to uniforms are minor compared to all the savings during future years. Particularly after the first couple years the local supply of hand-me-downs will be stocked and our local thrift stores will be overflowing with decent quality kids uniforms providing massive savings to poorer families that don't have relatives or friends to inherit clothing from. Even if a parent irrationally insists on buying all new clothing kids polo shirts can be had for $3-$4 and kids khakis for $5-$10 by shopping smartly(so $40-$70 to clad a kid in a weeks worth of outfits for the school year).

-- Posted by Nil on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 12:24 PM

I don't understand this at all. Do these parents not normally have to clothe their children? I raised 4 and know for a fact that every new schoold year I had to buy them new clothes. Kids do grow you know....So many people act like they only had to buy clothes this year because of a dress code..how stupid.

-- Posted by ugguggugg on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 12:33 PM

Man--I've never been called a liberal before..I'm probably as right wing as they come. That's why I don't like the "government" telling me what to do. I am more than capable of dressing my children without anyone "dictating" what they should wear. I get criticized for "bragging" when all I did was respond to gunn1217 about all the "time" and "items" they had donated.

-- Posted by bulletman on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 12:51 PM

Many, if not most, jobs, whether government or private sector, blue or white collar, have a dress code. School prepares our children for future job markets where they will most likely have a dress code. Many are feeling sorry for low income families who are having to buy acceptable clothes yet the dress code is cheaper and will help those many many parents that were buying the expensive trendy clothes not to feel pressured. Their kids will now be in style with all the other kids.

-- Posted by Ibelieve on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 12:59 PM

Does anyone remember when people had to work for what they got and were extremely greatful for everything, especially hand outs? What have we come to? I'll tell you what we have come to, EXPECTING to get handouts and violations of human rights. Really?

-- Posted by Sem0gal on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 1:13 PM

Ibelieve---With all due respect. There will be just as many polos, american eagle, hollister, etc at school this year. They will just be solid colors but will still have the brands. This policy does nothing to get away from that "status" situation. I made it just fine in life "without" the govenment "telling" me what I had to wear to school. I think I see why we are losing our freedoms every day.

-- Posted by bulletman on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 1:37 PM

ugguggugg, you nailed it. And this year, because of the clothing type and "specials", should cost parents less than before (if they want it to).

-- Posted by Username1 on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 1:46 PM

All I have to say is it was not put to a parent vote so don't ask us who had no choice to donate to it. The school board and teachers that wanted it should get the check book out and start providing the clothing they want the kids to wear. As for me I'm buying my child name brand clothing to wear just to spite the dress code. You may dictate what they can wear but be rest asured all my kids clothes will have a 1 inch name brand logo on it. You didn't stop a thing. All you did was put a strain on people who wouldn't have had to buy new clothes for their kids this fall. Way to go Cape Schools! I'm so glad I only have a little longer to have a child in this crappy school.

-- Posted by mercantile66 on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 1:52 PM

bulletman, by what you said, looks like parents still have a "choice" of how to spend their money. Buy expensive solid colors or more sensibly priced ones that do the job. Their choice.

-- Posted by Username1 on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 1:59 PM

See mercantile66 gets it. In spite of the crappy teachers and crappy schools, she/he still gets to spend as much money as she/he has. She/he wins!!!

-- Posted by Username1 on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 2:04 PM

ugguggugg and username1, Stop judging and try to put yourself in these folks shoes. Do you think it was easy for them to ask for help?

You two do not understand what it is like to be forced to live within the means of need rather than want. As many families took the time to share in the public forums-they can not afford to buy clothes just because it is the first of the school year or a new dress code has been put in place. They buy them, often at thift shops and garage sales when they need to buy them.

-- Posted by Doctor Zhiv on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 2:16 PM

username---Good Lord...The subject is should parents who can't afford this be "forced" to go a out and spend money on a "mandated" policy...The choice I "don't" have is to "not" buy new clothes because we are "forced" to buy them.

-- Posted by bulletman on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 2:18 PM

Free handouts.....sure everyone is going to show up! That's what most people want in life is a free ride!

-- Posted by SCnative on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 2:35 PM

I got a kick out of watching the parents pick out the free clothes while their kids were texting on their IPhones.

-- Posted by PatK on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 3:05 PM

gomez12, I was a single mom with 3 teenagers and you know what, I did to support my kids...I worked 2 jobs. You don't have to tell me how to live within my means, when you don't have enough you find other ways. My children also had to get part time jobs to have a car, insurance etc and you know what, one is a doctor and another is a director of a hospital, all 4 are very sucessful.They wore many garage sale clothes.

-- Posted by ugguggugg on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 3:10 PM

Cracks me up to read people complain about "free handouts" yet gladly send their children to the "free" public school.

-- Posted by SWBG on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 3:38 PM

CGPS, Bravo for holding the clothing drive! It appears there was great need.

Hopefully those belittling families who reached out for help are not CGPS employees.

PatK, You are so clever, do you know who paid for the phone? It could have been a gift from a grandparent, absentee parent etc. Shame on you for judging those reaching out for help. Let me guess, you call yourself a Christain too.

-- Posted by huntress2 on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 4:34 PM

ugguggugg and username1, Stop judging and try to put yourself in these folks shoes. Do you think it was easy for them to ask for help?

You two do not understand what it is like to be forced to live within the means of need rather than want. As many families took the time to share in the public forums-they can not afford to buy clothes just because it is the first of the school year or a new dress code has been put in place. They buy them, often at thift shops and garage sales when they need to buy them.

-- Posted by gomez12 on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 2:16 PM

But gomez12, I do understand what it is like to be forced to live within the means of need (so stop judging me!). And as I said earlier, this new dress code should make it easier for someone to live within means (If they want to).

-- Posted by Username1 on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 4:51 PM

username---Good Lord...The subject is should parents who can't afford this be "forced" to go a out and spend money on a "mandated" policy...The choice I "don't" have is to "not" buy new clothes because we are "forced" to buy them.

-- Posted by bulletman on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 2:18 PM

Good Lord bulletman, you're the one who wrote earlier of "losing freedoms", not of affordability. If it's about "freedoms", parents still have a choice to home school, if they don't like the mandates of the elected school board. I think the new dress code makes it less expensive - not more and they still have choices. BTW - School clothes don't HAVE to be "new".

-- Posted by Username1 on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 5:12 PM

Old Navy, J.C. Penny, Justice, etc. NEED to sell something besides $5 polos and $10 jeans, cause see, there's this thing called "payroll". Way to go Cape, you really screwed things up for clothing retailers around here AND making all the kids dress like DORKS!

-- Posted by CapeRN on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 6:11 PM

Hue, no one is ranting ignorantly but your self,you know when someone asks a question it means that they are trying to learn.

-- Posted by 314djhh on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 6:59 PM

And one more thing what kind of clothes does China make their kids wear to school.(uniforms)

-- Posted by 314djhh on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 7:02 PM

Hmmm, suggest that hardly anything beats 'free', surprised that the upcoming sales tax holiday this weekend hasn't been publicized more.

From http://dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholi... - By state law, the sales tax holiday begins on the first Friday in August and continues through the following Sunday. In 2012, the three-day holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 5. Certain back-to-school purchases, such as clothing, school supplies, computers, and other items as defined by the statute, are exempt from sales tax for this time period only.

For enquiring minds wishing to understand what-all is defined in the statute - RSMo 144-049 http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/c100-199...

While Cape city has once again decided not to participate, keeping its 2.75% rate in effect - Jackson, Cape county, and the Town Plaza CID are still all-in - meaning a minimum savings of 4.225% everywhere in Missouri, 5.225% in Cape county, 6.225% in the Town Plaza CID, and 6.975% in Jackson - on qualified purchases.

The published sales tax holiday sales tax table - http://dor.mo.gov/pdf/rates/2012/sth12.p...

-- Posted by fxpwt on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 8:14 PM

We have done this for 5 years where we live and if you all really call this a dress code? "Jeans"! Face it this really is no dress code, they are just cleaning up the ragged look that has been adopted these days. They get to wear the same thing they already wore to school just organized. Try khaki pants and only two color of shirts. It saved us money, picking cloths was easy and they lasted, thank you Dickeys!

What I would like to see is some of the cash strapped parents with kids wearing $200 shoes with the free cloths (no money for cloths).

If you want to see real restrictions on what they can wear I will post the local one from here and imagine you needing to comply with this.

-- Posted by iwillnotmoveback? on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 8:22 PM

people that are against will soon change there minds when the 'what to wear' hassle is realized to be a thing of the past...

-- Posted by peter_grant on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 9:13 PM

I just read the dress code on the school website. I think a bunch of posters on this blog haven't. I was in school in the 60's, yes, a while ago. But, with the exception of shorts, it's pretty much like it was when I was in school. I promise you, jeans are more expensive than decent khakis; collared shirts are not expensive, either. Whenever we have jeans day where I work, everybody feels like they don't have to work. Very casual clothes (not cloths!)begat casual work ethics. I've seen it over and over. We have a lot of people upset because their kids can't go to school looking like thugs and hobos. And that's a crying shame.

-- Posted by JungleJim on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 9:26 PM

Honestly all of this is taking away from the purpose of the help. Why does it matter who is making comments in here? Are district employees not allowed to have an opinion? I don't think anyone was purposely belittling anyone....I think there is just a lot of frustration. I can't imagine that anyone would refuse help to those who need it....but for people to complain about the dress code when the school is trying to help is just ungreatful and immature. And those opposed to it need to understand that the students are there to learn PERIOD. An the great thing about this country is that if you don't like the situation you are in (like a district with a dress code) you can choose to homeschool, or change schools....teach the children that life is about dealing with things that may not always make us happy but WE have the power to make the best of the situation....and deal with the changes not be disrespectful to those in authority and gripe when those same people try to help you.

-- Posted by mom1234 on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 10:03 PM

Sounds like the individual who does not know what a Special Services Coordinator is/does should familiarize him/herself with the school district that is criticized. Dress code - I have never seen such a liberal dress code. There should be no issue in finding the appropriate clothing, provided parents aren't waiting until the last minute, which they are obviously are. And to many of those complaining - there are other schools in the district you could utilize.

-- Posted by jbpv on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 9:12 AM

Hey mom1234---Can I have my tax money back if I homeschool my kids???

-- Posted by bulletman on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 10:29 AM

What insanity......Here's how this goes....Get over it. You go to apply for a job, you dress appropriately. You work for someone, the dictate your dress code WHILE AT WORK. It's the same for at school. DRESS APPROPRITATELY for the situation. Grow up, get over it. It's not a dem or repub matter. It's a matter of common sense in teaching children (wow isn't that what school is about?) what is and isn't appropriate clothing and behavior for the situation. Grow up.....give up the koochie cutters and tube tops, pull up your big boy britches and wear a belt.......You will eventually be living in the real world, not the padded life mom and pop provide.

-- Posted by Mudflopper on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 10:35 AM

314djhh what's wrong with a minimum paying job. I think it's better than letting the government support you. Helps build strong moral values.

-- Posted by retired1 on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 11:26 AM

The real sad commentary is the parents and teachers have failed to teach the children how to even properly dress themselves. Since they could not do it, they are now mandated to. The liberal mindsets should be elated the government authority stepped in to tell them what to do. I thought they believed that was acceptable. Welcome to tyranny.

-- Posted by jadip4me on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 11:37 AM

My son grew taller and gained some weight so none of his school clothes from last year fit. This happened to my two older children almost every summer as well. We went through his closet a couple of weeks ago, took the items that don't fit to goodwill like we always do and went shopping. . . like we always do. I spent about the same amount I spent last year. The only difference is he probably would have picked out cargo shorts or a shirt with stripes on it instead of plain polos but this dress code really made very little difference to our normal back-to-school shopping trip. I had to buy clothes no matter what. All of the items in the dress code are readily available at stores in the area ranging from Wal-Mart to the Buckle. We happened to buy ours at American Eagle which is pretty mid-priced but the clothes are available in all price ranges and almost everywhere.

-- Posted by tigerfanforever on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 4:02 PM

Mudflopper,what happened to the last dress code policy why wasn't it enforced?

Also the kids don't work for the teachers.

So to suggest these kids are going to some office or factory is sad.

The teachers need to lead by EXAMPLE.

Meaning if the kids have to wear uniforms so should the teachers and all administrative faculty.

Unless they think the dress code being forced on the students is to strict for the school faculty to accept

retired 1,have you ever recently worked for minimum wage.

There is more than likely no way as high as things are anyone can make with out asking for some sort of help while working for minimum wage.

And there is nothing wrong with working for minimum wage.

I also think it is wrong for people to try stepping all over these people.

I do not care what anybody says,there are a lot of people out there that are bad from this economy.

I am not a liberal or conservative or anything else.

I am for The People.

All of them.

-- Posted by 314djhh on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 4:33 PM

I have the same question as 314djhh. Are the district employees required to dress in dress code approved clothing? If not they should be. Who do they think they are? If the kids have to then so should district employees. They wanted the dress code so they need to lead by example. They want everyone to look the same so they need to conform as well.

-- Posted by mercantile66 on Thu, Aug 2, 2012, at 10:59 AM

mercantile66 you're an idiot. This uniform thing has nothing to do with what the employees were wearing - it had to do with the trashy clothes the kids were wearing - you know, the ones the parents allowed their children to wear. You want to go after someone? Go after the parents who let their kids dress like thugs and streetwalkers! This uniform thing would not have even been an issue if not for them!!

-- Posted by momspoppies on Sun, Aug 5, 2012, at 9:18 AM

The teacers will be adhering to a separate dress code, which is as it should be. We do not need teachers and students dressing alike, that does not even happen at parochial schools! Also, students can legally be required to dress uniformly, that is not the case with teachers. Court case after court case in several states have stood firmly in the corner of the teachers. Sorry but the argument that if the kids have to, the adults have to is Lame. As stated earlier, none of this would have come about at all if parents would have made their children abide by the code which was already in place.

-- Posted by bball15 on Sun, Aug 5, 2012, at 7:27 PM

momspoppies your the idot! I think teachers should lead by example! I'm assuming you think it's ok for teachers to go to school dressed unprofessional. They had a dress code that they couldn't enforce to begin with so what makes this different. Wow some people in this town are extremely STUPID!

-- Posted by mercantile66 on Tue, Aug 7, 2012, at 2:41 PM

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