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Rezension: Focused on increasing academic achievement in our schools, administrators and policy makers often look to requiring school uniforms as one strategy for decreasing the distractions that interrupt learning in our schools. Any school community considering requiring students to wear uniforms must put Todd DeMitchell and Richard Fossey's new book, The Challenges of Mandating School Uniforms in the Public Schools: Free Speech, Research, and Policy high on their required reading list. DeMitchell and Fossey unravel the complexity of the policy issue confronting schools, parents, and students regarding what students may wear to school. In addition to a valuable review of the early research on the efficacy of school uniforms as a reform strategy, DeMitchell and Fossey provide an in-depth analysis of the evolving legal principles that must be considered in implementing school uniforms in our public schools. -- Christine Rath, superintendent of schools, Concord, New Hampshire Professors Fossey and DeMitchell have written another classic book, one that belongs on the desks of every school administrator, lawyer, and scholar. Although school uniform mandates have become common, it is likely that few school officials have considered the many legal issues that may arise from the tension between students' constitutional rights to express themselves and school officials' legitimate interests in promoting school safety and order. Professors Fossey and DeMitchell have provided a scholarly and practical book for helping school officials to strike a lawful and appropriate balance in their school and community. -- John Dayton, J.D., Ed. D., Professor of Education Law & Adjunct Professor of Higher Education Law, University of Georgia, and Editor-in-Chief of the Education Law & Policy Review Student attire is much more than simply what students' wear. Drs. DeMitchell and Fossey have captured the essence of this legal controversy-student freedom of expression must be balanced with schools' interest in maintaining an environment where students' can learn. This book provides a comprehensive and insightful commentary about this fascinating legal and policy issue. I look forward to incorporating this well-researched and engaging book in my school law courses for pre-service teachers, administrators and education lawyers. -- Janet R. Decker, J.D., Ph.D., Asst. Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, Indiana University Professors DeMitchell and Fossey's multi-faceted new book on school uniforms and dress codes is a welcome addition to the literature on a subject which has not received consistent treatment by courts and scholars. The authors provide a comprehensive overview of the case law pertaining to school uniforms and dress codes, setting their analysis of the cases in the broader context of First Amendment and constitutional jurisprudence. They also provide an innovative meta-analysis of the existing empirical studies on the effects of school uniform and dress code policies on student behavior, concluding that the evidence is mixed on this important issue. In addition, the authors, calling for data-driven policy decisions by school administrators and school boards, provide level-headed suggestions concerning the "hows" and "whens" of implementing (or not) school uniform or dress code policies within the confines of the existing case law. Overall, Professors De Mitchell and Fossey's book is must reading for school attorneys, student advocates, school administrators and school board members - indeed, for anyone who cares about appropriately balancing the expressive rights of students with the interest of school districts in carrying out their educational mission. -- John Rumel, associate professor, University of Idaho College of Law
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