Open discussion thread: non-political

by Beth Melo on August 27, 2013

Post image for Open discussion thread: non-political

Above: So, this is what kumquats look like! (Photo from Flickr by aldeka_)

I need to get outside and spend the last day of summer with my family.

So, time for another open thread.

For a change, let’s make this one Non-Political.

This way, those of you who want to ask questions like, “Where can I find a store that sells kumquats?” don’t have to wade through passionate political debates.

(For those of you whou thrive on politics, don’t worry. An opportunity will come your way soon.)

For those of you new to the blog, the open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Ask questions about programs in town or the town itself
  • Post a note about things that you’re selling or giving away, or things that you want
  • Share notices about upcoming events (Southborough or otherwise)
  • Register your thoughts on town issues or news stories
  • Point out interesting or helpful resources

You can add comments to the thread throughout the week. Check back often to see new comments. (If you read the blog via email or RSS, you might want to check the site from time to time for new comments.)

To view past open discussion threads, click here.

1 Rami August 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM

I am curious why public schools in general do not wear school uniforms, growing up we were required to war school uniforms which not only instigated school pride, they were also very effective in resisting school peer pressure from the more well dressed students and I would say helped me concentrate more on school work.

As a parent now, I wish the public schools also instigated school uniforms, I would be quite nice not to worry about what shirt / dress to dress my kid as well as safe all that money buying the coolest advertised dress my daughter is guilt-ed into purchasing.

2-3 pairs of the same uniform should be sufficient for all, plus it would install a degree of organisation into the school system, what kids belong to what school, etc …

2 Frank Crowell August 29, 2013 at 9:09 AM

I am in agreement that school uniforms is a good idea. A spring visit to Algonquin is all the convincing I have needed.

3 dog walker August 28, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Is there any recourse available through DPW or elsewhere to get homeowners to trim back trees and bushes that block sidewalks in town? I am talking about those spots where the growth completely covers the paved walking area, such as on Liberty Drive (near the end of Constitution) and the beginning of Heather Lane. Would DPW go through and trim this stuff, if not for safety reasons, then so that it does not block their sidewalk snowplows in the winter?

4 Trixie August 28, 2013 at 5:40 PM

I’ve seen the DPW out trimming bushes along the sidewalks on Southville Rd. I don’t know if they would do areas in the neighborhoods. Usually its not an issue to venture out to the quiet streets.

5 SB Resident August 28, 2013 at 2:36 PM

A big player is the first amendment right to freedom of expression, but I think there is a general believe that expressing your individuality is a good thing. There really is no clear majority on the issue, so making change in that case is challenging.

As you point out there are lots of pros to uniforms, but there are pros to not having them too. Many people think that school isn’t (or shouldn’t be) just about academics, it is also about learning how to interact with their peers and be able to get along in society, so reducing peer pressure can be considered to be a negative.

6 Rami August 29, 2013 at 11:21 AM

But I don’t see kids in catholic schools or those that wear uniform complaining about their first amendment rights are violated, after all after school or on weekends they can wear whatever they desire!

Even as uniforms in my belief reduce peer pressure, they just cannot eliminate it. Kids will always find a way to pressure each other in all manner of subtle ways. It may be the way they wear the uniform, pop a collar, accentuate it with subtle elements, heck they may even just pick on the design of your school bag – its futile to eliminate every element of it – but at least one can work towards reducing it so kids can concentrate more of schoolwork.

There are many instances even in public spheres where a “uniform” is required, say the case of Judges in court, Even as they have freedom to self express, I doubt it would be proper decorum for one to come to the bench dressed in tennis garb.

7 Mom of Two August 29, 2013 at 10:36 PM

While I understand Rami’s point, I believe it is most likely an uphill battle to make a major change in a small district like Northborough-Southborough especially since the schools are not plagued with large city problems and uniforms seem to be controversial in public school settings. A stricter dress code might be the way to go if kids are not dressing appropriately. That won’t do anything about peer pressure or being “guilted” into buying clothes you don’t think your child needs.

from the National Center for Education Statistics (necs.ed.gov)

School uniforms
Question:
How many public schools require school uniforms?

Response:
In 2009–10, about 19 percent of public school principals reported that their school required students to wear uniforms, an increase from 12 percent in 1999–2000.

Also in 2009–10, approximately 57 percent of public school principals reported that their school enforced a strict dress code, an increase from 47 percent in 1999–2000.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2011 (NCES 2012-002), Table 20.1.

8 Frank Crowell August 30, 2013 at 10:13 AM

We don’t have big city problems so we should not think about school uniforms? Sorry, I am not buying that argument.

I wonder if the principles at Algonquin think they have a strict dress code.

9 Mom of Two August 30, 2013 at 11:58 PM

I didn’t mean to imply that I was against uniforms, but I do think it is going to be a hard sell to the general population given that the schools are not plagued with gang violence and other hard core discipline problems. How will the schools handle families that refuse to go along? Does any one know of a suburban public school in MA that has a uniform mandate? A quick Google search pointed to Malden, Revere, Fall River, and Springfield. Boston mandates that schools set their own policy be it mandatory, encouraged, or non required. There is no punishment for students who don’t comply, but rather there are incentives to encourage participation. It would be more productive in my opinion to address a stricter dress code if fashion choices are an issue in the schools. In a perfect world parents would parent their children and not allow them to attend school in inappropriate clothing.

10 Frank Crowell August 31, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Here’s the Algonquin “Dress Code” – such as it is. I would certainly expand upon the “revealing” examples to include shorts that are too short. But I guess I am an old fashioned guy.

“We encourage our students to express their individuality by the clothing they wear, as long as is does not offend or distract the life of the school and the educational process.”
We take pride in the appearance of all Algonquin High School students. All students are expected to dress and groom themselves appropriately. Designs on clothing, which display poor taste, advocate drugs, alcohol or sex, and express vulgarities and/or ethnic slurs will not be tolerated. Any style of dress that is considered disruptive to school activities is prohibited. Parents are responsible for discussing with their children the kind and type of clothing that is considered appropriate to wear in a school setting. Clothing that is too revealing (e.g., clothing that exposes underpants, the midriff, and cleavage) is inappropriate in a school setting. Students will use good judgment regarding appropriate attire in school. Bare feet are not allowed for the obvious reasons of safety and hygiene. Students will be required to correct the situation upon the request of any staff member. Refusal to comply with the request may result in disciplinary action including suspension.

11 Lisa August 30, 2013 at 8:03 PM

, I find it ironic the slight difference in spelling between principals and principles

12 Lisa September 2, 2013 at 11:32 AM

I was wondering if anyone could recommend a local voice coach? My son is interested in voice lessons. Thanks!

13 KDL September 5, 2013 at 9:20 PM

MULTI-FAMILY YARD SALES
Saturday, September 7th
9 am – 2pm
Wedgewood/ Wildwood neighborhood (across from Finn School).
Homes on Wildwood Drive and Southwood Drive will hold sales.
Look for yellow signs and arrows.
See you Saturday!!!

14 Jim September 6, 2013 at 12:27 AM

Hello,

Is there a commuter bus from Southborough or Framingham that goes to downtown Boston daily? I recall there was a Gulbankian bus many years ago.

Thank you.

15 wellgal September 20, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Every day when I take my walk I bring a 13 gallon trash bag and fill it with the trash I liberate from under the trees, in the field, across the street and in Triangle Park in Cordaville. The MBTA is totally unresponsive to litter complaints, and the benches and sidewalks are filled with losing lottery tickets, empty coffee cups, candy wrappers and associated detrius tossed aside by thoughtless people. Limp yard sale signs hang limply impaled upon telephone poles until they rot in the sun and rain. The telephone numbers of the families posting them are clearly and boldly scrawled on them. Triangle Park a new park in town and is, I believe, under the auspices of the DPW. It’s filthy. Fitzgerald store has between 15 and 25 cars parking in the back parking lot, and I assume, not for free, which anyone who has eyes can see. Fitzgerald also does not police any area behind the store and the trees are filled with trash. It does, however, allow anyone to idle in their parking lot for any length of time, filling the air with noxious fumes and noise. Cordarville has always been an area of low priority, superseded only by Southville, while Main Street appears pretty clean and the businesses there are not allowed to litter or rent out parking spots, Oh,, and we pay the same taxes. This is not new news, I actually had several go rounds with our former chief of police regarding this and have written to the selectmen in the past. Just who is going to do something about this? Thanks for listening.

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