I teach at a Special Education Center High School for students ages 14-19. Our amazing program is located in Detroit, Michigan. We have three wings that serve students with Autism, Cognitive Impairments, and Severe/Multiple Impairments. We service students from the entire City of Detroit. Our school has 204 beautiful, young people with varying strengths and weaknesses. Their backgrounds are as diverse as their abilities. I have students whose parents are my colleagues and students who live in boarded up houses. Some come from 2-parent homes, and some come from three different homes. At this time approximately 30% of my student meet the federal guidelines for being considered homeless.
We are all unique, but we are definitely a family here.
When Detroit Public Schools implemented school uniforms as a district-wide intervention several years ago, it was a very positive thing. It has reduced gang violence, bullying, increased self esteem, and made getting dressed each day easier for students.
However, there are many students who can not afford the necessary school uniforms.
They have none, not enough, they are in disrepair, or do not fit. I have students who wear pants with no buttons or working zippers whatsoever, held up by nothing at all. For our young ladies who begin our program at 14 and promote at 19, their bodies grow and change so quickly, and financially struggling parents simply can not keep up. In addition, due to their special needs, our students will sometimes soil their clothing either at lunch with food or with toileting accidents and we require extra clothing for these occasions.
I am asking for school uniforms for our young ladies: 29 pairs of pants, pants, 42 shirts, panties, and 72 pairs of socks, in various sizes. This will enable me to send several sets home for each young lady, and keep some at school for emergencies. Providing clean uniforms that fit for my young women would really help them feel confident and comfortable while they learn. Thank you for your caring contributions toward our class!
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