ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – For nearly ten years, standardized dress has been implemented at Abilene ISD middle school campuses. Originally created to help address peer pressure, cost, safety and modesty concerns.

Middle school is a challenging time for students, as its when they are going through emotional and physical changes, plus, learning how to express themselves. So having a ‘uniform style’ dress taught them how to dress for success.

However, what originated as a dress code with five color top options quickly changed to add more colors. Dr. Gustavo Villanueva, Associate Superintendent for leadership and student services, said now it doesn’t look like there is a standardized dress.

“It was a committee who met at least two or three years after that would review it with added colors and proposed that and approved it, so now there’s ten colors and so the standardized has become not as standardized,” said Villanueva.

After conducting a survey with a little more than 1,400 middle school parents, staff, and students, Villanueva said the majority wants to see a change. Some because they want the students to express themselves, while others said having multiple clothing options actually makes things more expensive as retailers struggle to keep every size and color in stock.

“Do we move back to a tighter standardized dress, or do we decide that they can express themselves and they have to struggle with decisions of making the choice of appropriate wear modesty and those pieces,” shared Villanueva.

Villanueva said the decision for a change was brought up when discussing the switch to intermediate schools.

“Standardized dress is it going to be a part of this new setup if we go that way, or is it going to stay in middle school so it brought up the question, and some of our leadership on campus none of the current principals were part of that change back then, so they have an interest in looking at other options,” said Villanueva.

The dress code is reviewed in the summer every year, but later this spring, the school board will be presented with recommendations to help with their decision.