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[This document and the mind-set it represents is apparently part of an
insidious Republican disinformation plot to portrait the President as an
authoritarian pig. The Pres we know and love would never support such a
proposal... and if he did, we're confident Hillary would beat the living
crap out of him.
Instead of such a bizarre idea we urge adoption of our beloved Head
Librarian Ralf's plan that solves all the problems in an incredibly
simple and All American way by eliminating all dress codes and facist
uniform requirements: Ban all clothing - All students must be naked. --
The Library Staff]
February 23, 1996
THE WHITE HOUSE
Quality education is critical to America's future and the future of our
children and families. We cannot educate our children, however, in
schools where weapons, gang violence, and drugs threaten their safety.
We must do everything possible to ensure that schools provide a safe and
secure environment where the values of discipline, hard work and study,
responsibility, and respect can thrive and be passed on to our children.
Most schools are safe. But we must have zero tolerance for threats to
safety in our schools. It is time to make every school the safest place
in its community. Parents should be able to send their children to
learn free of fear. All of our schools should be permitted to focus on
their original purpose: education.
Many local school districts have made school uniforms an important part
of an overall program to improve school safety and discipline. Too
often, we learn that students resort to violence and theft simply to
obtain designer clothes or fancy sneakers. Too often, we learn that
clothing items worn at school, bearing special colors or insignias, are
used to identify gang membership or instill fear among students and
If student uniforms can help deter school violence, promote discipline,
and foster a better learning environment, then we should offer our
strong support to the schools and parents that try them. We should
applaud parents, teachers, and school leaders when they take courageous
action to make our schools safe and free of gangs, drugs, and violence.
The Long Beach, California, school district recently found that after
students started wearing uniforms, there was a substantial decrease in
student drug cases, sex offenses, assault and battery cases, and fights.
The learning environment improved as teachers could focus more on
education and less on discipline.
Many other schools -- in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dayton, Detroit, Los
Angeles, Miami, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Phoenix,
Seattle, and St. Louis -- have also adopted mandatory or voluntary
school uniform policies with promising results.
I thus asked you, in consultation with the Attorney General, to develop
information about how local school districts have made uniforms part of
their school safety and discipline programs. The Department of
Education, with input from the Department of Justice, has now developed
a new "Manual on School Uniforms," which sets forth the benefits of
school uniforms; provides a road map for establishing a school uniform
policy for schools interested in school uniforms; and describes various
model uniform programs from a number of school districts across the
Because maintaining safe and disciplined schools is an urgent priority
in every local community, I today direct you promptly to distribute the
Manual on School Uniforms to each of the Nation's 16,000 public school
districts. I also direct you to provide copies of the Manual to
appropriate organizations representing parents, teachers, and school
administrators, and to make it available to interested members of the
School uniform programs are just one of the many initiatives undertaken
by local school officials and parents to improve school safety and
discipline. Other steps -- such as truancy reduction programs, student-
athlete drug testing, drug and gang prevention initiatives, zero
tolerance for weapons, assisting teachers in addressing discipline
problems, conflict resolution programs, and character education
initiatives -- have also been used to improve the education of our
children. The Department of Education, in consultation with the
Department of Justice, should continue to develop guidance and
information about these and other initiatives so that local
organizations, families, and educators throughout the Nation have the
tools available to make our schools safe, drug-free, and crime-free.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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