Five Dollar Fine For Being Out Of Uniform

Five Dollar Fine For Being Out Of Uniform

Genesis Tejada-Peralta


Fining students has become a major part of school districts; not just in Pennsylvania but all across the United States. In Texas state regulations allow individual districts to charge students up to $15 for a confiscated phone. Here in Philly, our individual district is allowed to fine students $5 for being out of uniform.

This rule, although unfair to students, is legal and it isn’t the only way that the school or the district can fine its students. Truancy is another way that our school district can penalize students. After 3 unexcused absences, the school district will send a letter to the students home. After the said absence, if the students continue to have unexcused absences they will be sent to court and could be fined up to $300.

At least with truancy students get three chances until they are actually fined, in FLC you get fined for the first (and every other) time you do not wear your uniform. Besides our school’s current students who are already aware of the fine, shouldn’t incoming students or parents who will most likely be the ones paying off these debts be notified of this rule?

On the FLC website, where the uniform policy is written, nowhere does it state that there is a $5 fine for students who are out of uniform. When asking 20 juniors and 20 seniors (who have been around since the fines started) how much they have had to pay off, their answers range anywhere from 50 to even 120 dollars.

This rule is especially unpleasant for those who have to pay off senior dues. Students who owe 100 or more dollars are almost paying the same amount as if they were paying their senior dues.

Besides this rule of fining students being unpleasant to those that have to worry about owing more money to the school it’s also inconvenient when the uniform changes one year to another; which also hurts people financially. Those who aren’t financially stable are the ones who are hurt the most when the uniform policy changes.

In 2014 we were allowed to wear black pants or jeans but now the only pants option we have are khakis. When I asked an FLC graduate she said that the FLC uniform policy had changed three times in the 4 years that she was here. What are those who aren’t financially stable supposed to do when they buy all of their jeans for the school year and then have nothing to wear the following year when the rule is changed back to khakis?

   The school is trying to use the $5 fine as an economic incentive to get students to come in uniform but they fail to realize that the amount of people or times that people are out of uniform has not gone down. Every school has it’s right to its own uniform policy but is hurting students and parents financially, really the right or effective way to enforce it?