P.E. uniforms a home run

Girls walk into the P.E. room, scantily dressed in tank tops and shorts. Boys follow close behind wearing their pants well below their waists. By the looks of them, few would have guessed that these boys and girls were going to a P.E. class and not attending a dance. After years of running around to cover up their inappropriately dressed students, Tamalpais High School’s P.E. department introduced required uniforms last fall. One year after the uniform introduction, student feedback is surprisingly positive.

While there are still some complaints about the new P.E. uniforms—as one sophomore put it, “they are ugly and uncomfortable”—students have found many positive attributes to their new exercise garb. A number of underclassmen like the uniforms because they make P.E. class more serious compared to the middle school physical education class they previously experienced.

Freshman John Bell said, “Uniforms aren’t that bad.”

Other students, such as sophomore Laney Eddington, like that “you don’t have to worry about looking good or ruining your own clothes.” She also added, “It’s just P.E., you don’t have to look stylish, and it’s an easy way to get credit for the day.”

The uniform requirement began last year because people dressed inappropriately, explained Tam P.E. teacher Lorna Sturgeon. “The P.E. teachers love [having uniforms],” she said. The introduction of uniforms has also helped families who may be struggling to purchase extra clothing appropriate for a physical education class. “We have a certain amount [of uniforms set aside for families with financial difficulty,” Sturgeon explained.

What originally began as a solution addressing inappropriate clothing choices has actually brought about more positive change than expected.

Overall, the required uniforms may be a good change for Tam since students are willing to give up style for so many other new benefits.

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