Vineland’s Board of Education approved a new policy Wednesday that requires students to wear uniforms in all district schools beginning in September.

The 9-0 vote made the city and Bridgeton the only two school districts in Cumberland County with mandatory uniform policies.

Under the policy, students will wear khaki bottoms and red, black and white tops.

There are other aspects of the policy that must still be decided. Those involve things such as whether the district will mandate certain styles of shoes or the tucking-in of shirts.

“All these questions will go to the principals,” Board of Education President Eugene Medio said. “I think that the administration will have to put the principals together. The principals will have to come up with a uniform policy throughout. We have time.”

Board of Education member Susan Morello wanted all the issues settled immediately so “there is no room for anyone to misunderstand what the policy is, or the intent.

“It cuts out a whole new level of administrative bother … for questions that should be spelled out specifically,” she said.

However, board member Alan Mounier said there is a difference between adopting a uniform policy and a dress code. Board member Tom Ulrich said he did not want to dictate what kind of shoes a student should wear.

The policy adopted by the board is more widespread than the original plan, which would have allowed each of the district’s 18 schools to decide on uniform regulations. School principals said they favored a districtwide policy.

District officials said they believe a uniform policy will improve school discipline and security.

There is no clear information as to how many schools or school districts in New Jersey have uniform policies.

Recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Education indicate about 19 percent of all public schools in the country have some kind of uniform policy. Those statistics show an increase from the 12 percent estimated in 2000.

However, officials with the New Jersey School Boards Association said there is some concern about the accuracy of those statistics.

Contact Thomas Barlas:

609-226-9197