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Uniforms at Skyline High School?

By ivega
Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 at 8:46 pm in freedom of speech, high schools, Isabel Rodriguez-Vega, school reform.

irodriguez2.jpgThere has been a rumor spreading around Skyline High School recently. The administration is thinking about enforcing a uniform policy next year, and both students and teachers are doubtful.

I first heard about it through a student in leadership (student council) but didn’t take it seriously until I found out about a staff meeting held to discuss the idea. I don’t have many details about the proposed uniform policy, but I have heard from some teachers that Ms. Green (Skyline’s principal) is not encouraging staff to think about how on earth it would work, but rather if they think it would be a good idea.

Personally, I don’t think uniforms would be all that bad. I would no longer have to think about what to wear in the morning, and as long as they were not too hideous I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Some argue it reduces conflict within the school, makes students more focused, or gives the school a more organized, disciplined appearance.

But in reality, does a simple change of clothes really have this much of an effect? Can it solve all the problems at Skyline? This seems to be the reasoning behind implementing a uniform policy.

When I first heard about the uniform policy I was very surprised because uniforms is the last thing I would expect the administration to be thinking about. There are so many other things to be worrying about at Skyline right now; uniforms just seems like an absurd idea.

It would take a lot of effort and hard work to get uniforms at Skyline, especially with the almost certain protest of students. Is it really worth all the trouble?

It may be an attempt to solve any problems the school has been facing, but, uniforms or no uniforms, there will still be drugs, violence, and poor test scores. You encounter these things at any high school, and uniforms only seem to mask problems rather than fix them. Instead of lingering on whether or not we should be wearing uniforms, when the current dress code works perfectly fine, maybe the administration should be focusing on more important issues.

I’m sure parents, teachers, and students all have very different opinions about uniforms. I would like to know what everybody thinks about it, so please, feel free to comment!

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  • Ahsha

    In my opinion, Skyline High School shouldn’t even be thinking about a policy for uniforms at this high school. It is not going to solve any problems for all the violence and racism that happens at skyline. The policy won’t improve the test scores and it will just be another thing the administration and students have to worry about.
    Personally, I believe the clothes that you wear express you individuality, showing people your interests. I believe uniforms aren’t a good idea and should be thought of upon another time and school for the reasons stated.

  • symone

    The Skyline High School uniform policy is unneeded. I think that us student should come to school as we please. Everybody have their own appeal and if we all have to look alot then nobody can say that im different. We are mature enough to get up in the mornin and dress our self. I dont need the school board to tell me what to wear every day. As long nobody is comiing up to Skyline wearing something un lady like or in man like then there should be an uniform policy
    -symone sykes

  • http://yahoo.com juan domiges

    Uniforms at Skyline High School?

    I believe that uniform at skyline will be a big change but it is a great thing that student and stuff would have uniforms. Uniforms will make the school look better. I think that just a wearing uniforms will not change the problems that skyline student have with each other. I do not like the way that skyline do not tell the students what is happen about the uniforms. I know that there come student that just know that the uniform. Most of my classmates have never hired about the uniform policy. As student we have the right to hire or know your options about the uniform.

  • a parent

    I see a lot of opinions expressed above, but those are irrelevant, at best, to the real issue: Will uniforms increase the performance at Skyline High?

    You don’t get an answer to this question by polling kids. Rather, you look at the immense body of social science research done on this issue. And the answer is, unequivocally, YES. It’s too bad if school administrators let students feelings about “self-expression” defeat empirical reality here. Just add it to the list of reasons that are weighing against me sending my kids to Skyline.

  • jkenny

    Well Isabel, fifty-three comments is a record! Incredible.
    I would like to add my own two cents about the uniform issue (I won’t even try to respond to the multitude of comments).

    You stated that “Ms. Green (Skyline’s principal) is not encouraging staff to think about how on earth it would work, but rather if they think it would be a good idea.” Doesn’t that seem silly. I think the majority of students, and probably many teachers know that it won’t work, so why even bother determining if it’s a good idea or not?

    On the one hand I feel like uniforms might be a good idea. It would sure be nice to wake up and not worry about what to put on. But on the other hand I like being able to express myself through what I wear, and I know that is incredibly important to a lot of students.

    But lets be realistic, maybe Ms. Green and the teachers will determine that it is a good idea to implement a uniform policy, but that does not defeat the fact that it will just not work, for many reasons.

    First, the cost of uniforms. It would cost the school a lot of money to pay for uniforms for over 2,000 students, and to make up that cost the students would have to pay. We already pay for our own P.E. and dance uniforms and I highly doubt the students will be willing to pay let’s say, around $60.00 for new uniforms. It just won’t happen unless it is free for the student, which i would consider a waste of money when we have outdated textbooks and computers.

    Second, how would they punish us for not wearing them? It could never be guarenteed that every student would wear the uniforms, and what would they do, give us detention? Saturday school? How could they possibly do that for all of the students who chose not wear them? And would the teachers be forced to turn in students that weren’t wearing the uniform? These are some questions that I hope the administration has thought of.

    It is my belief that we will not have uniforms at Skyline next year, it would be another mess at the beginning of the year…all over again. And this administration doesn’t need any more messes under their belts.

  • Javier W. Panzar

    Upon further study i agree with parents…I really believe that it would be in the best interest of the school to adopt uniforms. Let me say that i also believe in good old fashion plain speeking.I think what makes America tick is large almost foolish goals that we cannot rationally attain; landing on the moon, fighting the war on drugs, defeating terrorism, educating our youth, hell even freedom. None of these things are rational but we TRY ANYWAY and sometimes we even succeed. Though it should be noted that if we even landed on the moon it was because of NAZI scientists. Further more i think that uniforms are just another one of theses things that we should have blind optimism towards. Even if it doesn’t succeed at solving anything it WILL LOOK LIKE IT HAS! And lets be honest people whats better than superficial change. Lets come out and just say that we are trying to gentrify our schools and society. Lets just admit that our systems are designed to limit the success of urban youth, hold on let me be more honest BLACK youth. And uniforms would do wonders for that. I think that its horrible that skyline is losing all the smart ,white, kids to schools like O’Dowd. It should be Skyline’s NUMBER ONE priority to create the illusion of progress to get those nice kiddos to come on over and raise our test scores. God forbid that we even try to solve ,you know some real problems.

  • Jasmine Balderas

    I agree with the fact that if we do get uniforms at Skyline, it’s not going to change test scores or the violence that goes on. All the uniforms owuld accomplish is changing the appearance of the school, but the main issue that goes on in many high schools is just violence that goes on with the students, and uniforms aren’t going to change that. The only thing that I would probably like about the uniforms would be that I would not have to go through the trouble of what to wear in the morning. But overall, I dont believe that getting uniforms are worth anything.

  • Roger

    I also believe that the uniform policy is not that great of an idea, there is way more important issues to try to improve than to make a uniform policy. And anyways there is going to be a lot of revolting against the uniform policy if there is going to be one. I just believe there is going to be complete madness of people not wanting to wear the uniforms and also there will be surely complaints of how it would look.

  • Liliana

    I want to be able to quickly address this after reading the comments left about uniforms.

    We, the students, are now in high school. We know better. We know what is professional and what is not. So DO NOT punish us by enforcing this uniform policy and saying that we need to know how to dress when we go into the working world. There are many of us who already know, because some of us have jobs. We are high schoolers. We span from the ages of 14-18 and we are mature enough to know how to dress. It’s not like we come to school in our bras and panties.

    As for the “social science research,” there are just as many “researches” proving that uniforms aren’t good for students. But if you only look at those in favor of this policy, you will be blind sighted. As for these “researches,” there is only so much trust you can put into them. It’s not like they took a school that isn’t doing so well, and put everyone in uniforms, and then BAM! the students are not only proficient, but advanced in their academics. Anyways, what works for one group of people may not work for another. Like a fellow student has said before, we are defiant, and we have had walk outs before, and if we have a reason for it, we could have them again.

    Please be mindful of where you’re putting this money. California is in a lot of debt, and there’s only so much money provided to the schools. You DO NOT want to do something you may regret later on.

    Even though we are mainly students who are the ones saying no to this policy, we are the ones who will be wearing them. And it must be fair to us.

  • Lily

    As Liliana stated above, we, the students of Skyline High School, will be the ones wearing the uniforms, we are the ones who will be affected the most by this policy, we may be “kids” but we are the students of this school and we have feelings -which are important to us and which we would like to express just as any mature adult would- intelligence, and power.

    Of course Skyline has problems, as does any other school, but are uniforms really the answer to them? One question may be “Will uniforms increase the performance at Skyline High?” But the question I would like answered is “HOW will uniforms increase the perfomance at Skyline High?”

  • Torrien S.

    I would prefer not to wear uniforms as I do not like to wear the same clothes everday. If a uniform policy was in effect there would be no clowning of others clothes and there would be no stealing of clothes. So, it depends, what the purpose of the uniform policy is and what the adminsitration is trying to solve by issuing a uniform policy.

  • lala

    should skyline have uniforms?? hmmm… yea i think we should but it has to be cute!! because having uniforms makes this nice school look even better.it aslso helps students from skyline stay out of trouble. example if its an early day students couldnt sneak into othter schools cause teachers will know.. ok bye

  • David Lara

    Well i feel as if we are ok with what we wear right now because uniforms are somewhat oldschool and more for private school and were not that. However, they would be cool to wear some but just not everyday say for example Monday Wednesday and Thursday. We should jus agree on the Polo with the Mascot and a leather jacket i would wear there but if it was to be something else then no. Assign it atleast in 2010 when i have already graduated. I think this would make the population of Skyline fall and many students would be transfering or not wanting to come to this school

  • Lily Chu

    Most students prefer to go to a public school where they do not have to wear school uniforms. How you present yourself physically on the outside mainly shows what kind of person you are and it basically represents you. My analysis for enforcing students from wearing uniforms is because school uniforms are a bad idea. The following reasons are, schools could loose enrollment, there are a lot of families that are financially unstable that would not be able to afford them, and they make the school look boring and depressing.
    There are a lot of bad things that can come from them. People just think about reasons that may be good and they don’t really make much sense. School uniforms are pointless because they take away from people’s individuality, everybody needs their own. Imagine, just for a seconds a school with uniforms. When you picture this what do you see? You see a complete similarity between students. They are all wearing the exact same clothes, right? Now here is another question, is every kid the same? No. Maybe in twenty years theses uniforms would have had effect on the violence issue, but not now. The way a person dresses is a part of them and everyone should have the right to express their selves in a way that they choose to. School uniforms will do nothing but cut down on a student’s individuality. Uniforms are not the way to cut down on school violence, the only thing that will cut down on school violence is if parents would pay attention to their children and keep their children out of trouble and give them consequences when they disobey.
    Liberty is the right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one’s own choosing. Liberty is what makes up American and out way of life.
    They get in the way for us to express our freedom. It does not let us wear what we want to wear, and also takes away our right to individuality. What people wear is very important because that shows everyone else who we are. It is pretty useless to get clothes for school only, which is the same thing everyday. Doesn’t that make things look boring? Why can’t we wear what we feel, why can’t we be colorful. If the image of the surrounding is boring, it will make school that much boring. And it will be more boring for those who already dislike school, so why make it a place where they don’t want to be even more? Freedom of liberty, it is said everywhere as Americans, why else would it be printed on money, if it’s not important? I thought this is how America is suppose to be, to have our rights.

  • John

    How about this for a uniform/dress code: Students not wearing clothes or wearing pant crotches that touch the floor will be shown the door OR…ALL STUDENTS be required to join the ROTC and wear their uniforms seven days a week OR…a graduation ceremony that STARTS on the first day of 9th grade and ENDS on the last day of 12th grade requiring that caps and gowns would be worn at ALL TIMES!

  • Mariela Uribe

    I don’t believe that requiring skyline students to wear uniforms at Skyline high school will solve the issues at Skyline. I agree that uniforms maybe affordable, and will reduce dress code violations or reduce the demand to have the designer clothes. But it wont reduce that tension outside of school where skyline students interact. I believe that the reason that the uniform idea came up is to solve issues such as violence at school, segregation amongst students, bullying, and the remainder of the issues at Skyline. In reality uniforms will not solve any of that. Uniforms will only make it appear that that Skyline students are all in the same boat, but we are not. Unfortunately, some students are bullied, suffer poverty,segregate themselves, abuse their bodies by intaking substances, or are plain ignorant and don’t live in reality. Making students wear the same thing as another student everyday will not solve any of the issues at skyline. Uniforms will only hide the problems of Skyline, because administration as well as the district and some parents may believe that requiring students to wear uniforms was the magical solution to issues that are sometimes beyond the students themselves. If finding a solution to issues at Skyline High was in fact the case, then administration should create programs to find the root of the problem, educate students, and deal with the problems rather, rather than enforce uniforms.

  • Timmy

    My response is in particular aimed at #54, “a parent says.” The unstated premises of this argument seem to be “Kids can be controlled,” and “Uniforms will control kids.” The solution, then, follows that we need uniforms to control kids.

    The fallacy involved here is another assumption: Controlled kids will learn better.

    However,according to Alfred North Whitehead in his essay The Rythmic Claims of Freedom and Discipline, it is the romance, freedom and discovery of knowledge that forms the basis of wisdom. Discipline is, in his mind, also important, but, he says, “The craving for expansion, for activity, inherent in youth is disgusted by a dry imposition of disciplined knowledge. The discipline, when it comes, should satisfy a natural craving for the wisdom which adds value to bare experience.” He rightly asserts, too, that the romance of learning reaches apogee after age 14 or so when discipline should BEGIN. In science study it BEGINS later. What does all this mean?

    Well, though the pundits, and the Phd.-chasers, would have us follow their studies, I would vote for wisdom, the kind Whitehead obviously acheived through long time thought and observation (rather than through comparing small control groups to small experimental groups). It is the romance of learning – not the dry testing of knowledge, not the lock-step (or goose step) one-look-fits-all approach -that our middle and high schoolers need fed. The so called “empirical” evidence, based on very small, rarified samplings, simply feeds the ADULT need for conformity and, above all else, control. Already in America they have stolen youth from youth in over-reaction to something that makes them uncomfortable. “Suit them up, drill them, and test them until they learn,” is what they say. I say, listen to them. Amongst the words gone awry there is wisdom.

  • Major Jones!

    The thought of uniforms is like scratching a chalk board, to me at least. The majority of people disagree with the idea of uniforms. Wearing uniforms is like having a brand on you, your owned by someone. Especially at a public school, it shouldn’t be required. Now if we were all at a private school then i can understand that but were all at a public school so theres a reason to not wear uniforms.
    Wearing the clothes we like is a way of expressing ourselves and who we are. But in a way uniforms could possibly be a good idea for SOME people because they wouldnt have to worry about nobody looking more flashy or fly than others. Everyone would look the same and thats the way some people prefer. To me personally, uniforms are corny and a waste of time, money, and effort. Thats just my opinion, disagree or agree if you like.

  • John

    As a student at Skyline High School, I personally believe that a school uniform policy is an excellent idea, and will immensely improve the quality of our education once it goes into effect. An epic policy such as this would definitely be the morale boost we need at Skyline to turn our school into one of the best high schools in not only Oakland, or the United States, but the world. We will inspire public schools worldwide to adopt our exceptional policy, and in turn, make the world a much better place. It will solve every problem at Skyline with one swift blow, just like all of Ms. Green’s other brilliant ideas. Her “Tardy Policy” has significantly discouraged truancy, and few, if any, students at Skyline are outside of class during the school day. Her “Together We Can” framed pictures, which only used up hundreds of dollars of the school’s budget, has inspired all Skyline students, regardless of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation, to unite with one another to form a more perfect learning environment. These policies, along with others, have significantly improved test scores, student learning, fostered a positive learning environment, and made Skyline a much better place to be. Since the beginning of her glorious reign as Principal of Skyline High School last year, Ms. Green has greatly improved the quality of our education through her marvelous reform policies, and I believe that she truly deserved to be honored as a great leader in the Skyline community last year at the Black Student Union assembly. Furthermore, I wholeheartedly agree with “A Parent”‘s view on this subject matter, as “A Parent” is clearly an expert on school uniforms. Like him/her, I believe that parents and “so-called researchers” know everything that is best for high school students, and that “kids” have no opinion that is of any value.

    Seriously, though, enforcing a school uniform policy will not solve any problems at all. Putting on a uniform will not address any of the problems that plague our campus, and will only spark protests from students. As many student have already pointed out, wearing a uniform will not automatically turn anyone into a A student with above-average SAT scores. It will not make anyone more intelligent or better behaved. As one can see from the wide variety of opinions expressed above, many Skyline students are strongly opposed to this policy. Since the majority of these students are some of the best at Skyline, imagine the response that it would provoke from other Skyline students. I think that Major Jones put it best when he said that the thought of uniforms is like scratching a chalk board. The enforcement of this policy would be similar to Great Britain’s Quartering Act. Though the colonists did not object to housing British troops, they were furious upon learning that it was mandatory. Similarly, Skyline students will be outraged with having this important right taken away, the right to express themselves.

    In response to Steve Kemp’s comments earlier, I am pretty sure that going to school is not the same thing as going to a job interview. I am confident that all of us already know that dressing professionally will be very helpful when trying to get a job. We do not need a uniform policy to enlighten us about this profound knowledge. I agree that school is not a freak or circus show, but it really diminishes the credibility of your arguments when you resort to blatant stereotypes. In fact, most of us at Skyline dress quite normally, and unlike what you believe, are far from your visions of teenagers rebelling against society, wearing nose rings, tattoos, baseball cap, green hair and pants hanging below the waist.

    To “A Parent”: What makes you so credible to believe that what you think is simply the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Also, what makes you believe that our opinions are irrelevant without even reading them? By dismissing our opinions by saying “You don’t get an answer to this question by polling kids,” do you believe that you can add to your argument? In my opinion, you should expand your views to look at the whole picture. As students, we should have the right to have our opinions taken seriously when the issue directly affects us. If you had taken our comments seriously, you would have noticed that many of the comments were, indeed, relevant to the question: will uniforms increase the performance at Skyline High? Many insightful comments, especially from individuals such as Javier W. Panzar, Nicky Vadpey, and Kevin Yeung, were quite relevant to this question, if you had taken the time to consider them. In addition, as Liliana pointed out above, many social science researchers believe that uniforms do “not” increase the performance of students. Social scientists have wide and varying opinions on this issue, without a clear and definite consensus, so it would be wrong to claim that the “answer is Unequivocally, YES.”

    Above, Jennifer Tu commented that “Ms. Green once said to the leadership class that if the uniform policy does get approved that she will try get every students one free set.” SO, if this policy gets enacted, does this mean that we would have to wear the same clothes every day? This is poor hygiene, and is just unacceptable. Anyways, we all have clothes that we can wear, so there is no point in this uniform policy. All of us will act the same no matter what we wear, and despite what Skyline’s administration might believe, will have no influence whatsoever on our actions. Uniforms will not change anyone’s personality, and besides, clothes are great forms of expression. Students at Skyline have a wide variety different styles and tastes, further contributing to the diversity of our school, and it would be wrong to force everyone to walk around the school looking like mindless and conformist robots.

    Our nation, the United States of America, was one of the first countries in the world to distribute so many freedoms and rights to our people. Our Founding Fathers, when writing the Constitution, intended to give us the rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. They took this one step further in the First Amendment of the Constitution, giving us the rights to freely express ourselves. Instead of suppressing these rights, we should celebrate and embrace them. Here’s a quick summary of the uniform policy in two words: “Quelle stupidité.”

  • Della Singleton

    To John (#69):
    I agree!

    ~Della

  • John

    John (#69), Regarding that first paragraph. I’m proud to share your name!

  • Rachel

    Dear concerned skyline community,
    I full heartedly believe that a dress code cannot define what a person does. Dressing up a student a different way will not insure that that student will go to class or get better grades. On the contrary it only insures that that student’s individuality is stripped from them. If you, as a school system, believe that dressing up the students at Skyline high will then make them perform better you are then flipping a well known phrase “do not judge a book by it’s cover.” You are putting a cover on us and expecting that that will be enough to solve all our problems. You’re making a judgement that is undeiably false. To do this you are also being hypocritical to the very foundation of what we have been taught as students. I feel like instead of pouring our money into unneeded, unwanted uniforms we could use the money for school materials.

  • http://yahoo.com rashad jones

    hello i dont go to skyline high school but i live in orlando florida and were doing reseach on enfocments of uniforms at high schools in the USA. I saw what u have posted and i must say that i am in total agreents with your statement i mean it makes sense and some of the problems at your school are also happening here at mine so get back to me when every u can i’d be horoned to descues this more with you … bye lol

  • John Doe

    There is no way the school can enforce students to wear uniform yet along get them to wear them. Its near impossible to tell teenagers what to wear. To be honest, its Oakland and do you really think that they will actually listen to the admins and wear uniforms? I think not. It should be a students option to let them wear what ever they want. Most students all ready have uniform..its called T-Shirt and jeans. If the admins can’t face the fact that its NEVER going to work, go on and do something that will actually help the school other than tell what the students should be wearing and not wearing. By the way, if we can’t even get some students to wear PE uniforms for just an hour of class, how would admins get the WHOLE school to wear them for the WHOLE school day? Its impossible and if it does, I’ll bow down to Ms.Green and be her slave. But 99.9% chance that it won’t work, so don’t it bother trying.

    I’m a senior at Skyline and this is the first time I heard about this. If Ms.Green continues being principal at Skyline, uniforms wouldn’t be the problem anymore. Hiring more teachers will be the problem and Skyline will be more chaotic than it is this year. So to Ms.Green, HAVE FUN AND GOOD LUCK…because you will need it.

  • THESSALONIA MITCHELL

    I THINK THAT UNIFORMS FOR NEXT YEAR IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS HAPPEND FOR SKYLINE!!! AS A STUDENT ATTENDING SKYLINE HIGH SCHOOL, IM USED TO WEARING UNIFORM. LAST YEAR WAS MY FIRST YEAR NOT WEARING UNIFORM…. AND FOR THE DISTRICT RE-PUBLISHING UNIFORMS IS A BLESSING!!!

    THANK YOU

  • ange

    well i as a Skyline Student LOVE the new uniform enforcement and think that it will make a difference in Skyline.

  • http://Www.myspace.com/lsking08 Lauren King

    I am a alumi of Skyline CO/02 and I think that enforcing a uniform policy wouldn’t work. I don’t necessarily think it won’t bring a change but I don’t think it will work. Mainly for the fact that you’ve had students who’s been there for 3 years and won’t want to switch to uniforms the’re senior year. High school is when student get to express there creativity and personality and is the beginning of a life with more responsibility. Taking away there freedom of expression through dress won’t help in any way. This will only change the schools visible apperance by making it look like a private Catholic school like Bishop O’Dowe, St. Elizabeth’s, St. Josephs etc. It’s time to stop making window treatment changes in our public school and go deeper and look a the curriculum and so called teachers.

  • Linda

    I’m a Skyline student and I’m embracing the uniform idea. This policy would reduce the time my brother takes to get ready and as well as clearing up my mind in the morning for more important things instead of trying to decide what outfit to wear. I have friends that get up at 6am and have to spend an hour picking an outfit out. I even have friends that spend hours at night before they go to bed, planning outfits.

    Personally, I find anything clean and throw it on. But I’m sure 99.99% of the Skyline community are the complete opposite of me. I just hope they don’t make us wear the polos that the teachers have to wear on certain days.

    However, I do believe Skyline should focus on the drugs, violence, and academics of our school before they work on the appearance of our school.

  • http://? Reilly.

    i don’t agree with anyonee.
    i do not think school uniforms is a good idea.
    i don’t think taking away someoes individuality is smart.
    don’t you think that kids will still judge each other, despite the circumstances.
    i mean, there is always a way.
    they probably judge how freakin’ white their white shirt or something. :p
    thats all.
    but remember, just think about loosing kids originality!

  • Ricky

    I believe that we should wear uniforms just because of the fact that it would help families save money and it would also reduce the amount of gang related colors on campus. Also it will reduce the amount of bullying twords other students that may not have the best of clothed.

  • Steve

    I actually believe this would be a good idea just for the fact that it can help save alot of money especially now in these times. Most students don’t want to just wear any regular clothes. They want to wear clothes that most other students won’t have and maybe even get singled out for that reason.

  • Mom LoL

    As a mom I say that if schools want to enforce the idea of students wearing uniforms I agree. As Steve said yes that would be a good idea now with these bad times. I personally struggle to keep my house payments up to date because both of my bosses have cut down my work hours and the idea of uniforms would help my save money because I don’t have to buy so much clothes for school.