Buffalo, NY- Antoine M. Thompson, NYS Senator, 60th District and an active member of the Bennett High School Alumni Association understands the importance of school uniforms.
For a number of years while serving as Masten District Council Member, I worked closely with the Board of Education developing a school uniform protocol,” said Senator Thompson. He continued by saying, “We have to provide positive examples for our children whenever and however we can if we want them to be successful in life, and uniforms are one way of doing that.”
In 2004, Thompson sponsored and won passage of a resolution requesting the Board of Education to set a goal that there would be 25% participation of Buffalo Public Schools to implement a uniform policy for the 2004-2005 school year. In 2005 a Dress Code/Uniform Advisory Committee was established and made up of interested parents, school representatives and interested members of the community. The goal was to move towards the implementation of uniforms into selected schools for the 2005-2006.
Thompson was instrumental in working with School #80 Highgate Heights, School #67 Discovery School and #307 East High.
“At Bennett, students are required to wear tan or navy blue tops emblazoned with the school logo which must be purchased from the school at a cost of $12.50, tan or navy pants or skirts which they can purchase anywhere and black footwear. Currently there are about 75 students who are without uniforms and this contribution will hopefully assist them,” said Senator Thompson.
Mrs. Maria Ryles, a Bennett High School parent said, “How grateful she was for the financial and mentoring support that Senator Thompson has provided for the students. His support has removed barriers for many families who could not afford uniforms to make this a successful school.”
According to Senator Thompson, “School uniforms level the playing field for all students and provide an opportunity to focus on other issues such as education. I understand that the initial cost may be a financial hardship for many working families, so as an active member of the Bennett High School Alumni Association, I feel it is my responsibility to give something back to the school that gave so much to me.”