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Bibb County Schools recently changed its dress code, and not all parents are happy

It relaxes some restrictions, offering a wider range of color choices for shirts and adding blue jeans into the mix

MACON, Ga. — It seems like it just ended, but the start of the new school year in Bibb County is just a few weeks ago.

Recently, the district announced a change in dress code and some parents are worried about how they're going to handle the change.

It actually relaxes some restrictions, offering a wider range of color choices for shirts and adding blue jeans into the mix.

While some parents are happy about new uniforms, others says it adds challenges to the search for new clothing at a time when consumers are already getting hammered by inflation.

After the death of her son, retired grandmother Keisha Harpe took on the role of raising her grandchild, but she also has other responsibilities.

"I'm raising my son's child and I help my daughter with her three while she works during the day," explained Harpe.

The new unified dress code applies to her grandchildren at L.H. Williams Elementary and other children at each of the Pre-K and elementary schools across the county. 

Harpe says it's hard to keep up with her fast-growing grandkids, especially financially.

"Last year, I probably spent $2,600 when school started just to clothe everybody, but then I had to turn right back around in December and try to find clothes for three of them that outgrew their clothes," said Harpe.

Even though the new policy offers more options by adding blue jeans and more colors of shirts to the mix, Harpe says supply chain issues make finding specific clothes to meet the uniform requirement tougher.

"It kind of started with COVID. It didn't use to be that way, but after COVID it's been extremely hard to find the clothes that they need to wear," said Harpe.

When Bibb County Schools made the announcement on its Facebook page, many parents voiced opinions about the changes. Some are happy about the greater options, but as a grandmother of 10, Harpe wishes the district would create a store where she could buy the uniforms without having to worry about hunting down the right items or dealing with supply chain problems.

"Feet grow more, legs grow longer, then we are faced with not being able to find them clothes to wear for their sizes because they are not in the stores," she said.

The district says principals do have the power to make changes to the uniform policy. Students in Bibb County head back on Aug. 3.

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