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    Dress code at 2 Miami high schools: uniforms

    Miami Senior and Miami Springs are the first public high schools in the state to require uniforms.

    ©Associated Press
    September 2, 2002

    MIAMI -- Two local high schools have ordered their students to replace their designer dresses and pro football jerseys with polo shirts and khaki pants, becoming the first Florida public high schools to adopt mandatory uniforms.

    Miami Senior High and Miami Springs High, which opened for fall classes last week, adopted the uniform policies after parental votes last spring. The policies require students to wear school-approved polo shirts and khakis, with few exceptions.

    All of Miami-Dade County's 199 public elementary schools, along with 39 of its 53 public middle schools have uniforms, said Cheryl Golden, who handles uniform codes for the county school district. It is the nation's fourth-largest, with more than 370,000 students.

    "I think it's starting to become part of the culture in this county. It's already in elementary and middle schools. It's catching on," said Douglas Rodriguez, Miami Springs High's principal.

    Students at both schools will have until late this month to get their uniforms. Miami Springs requires a white polo shirt and khakis. Miami Senior's policy is more flexible, offering a choice between a polo shirt in one of the school's three colors along with khakis or blue jeans. Students can also wear school club shirts the day of events. For example, athletes can wear their jerseys on game days.

    Parents can get waivers for their children but they usually must have religious reasons.

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