As the new school year begins for students situated in K-12, I would like to let parents know that one of their most important priorities should be to purchase their children some new name brand clothes for the upcoming school year. Although I know that the primary concern of great parents is to make sure that their children have all the necessary supplies and books required for their academic success, I would just like you to know that your children have another barrier to their academic success: their clothing. When students come to schools, they can face serious ridicule for not having on some of the latest fashions or some name brand clothes. While I’m at it, let me go ahead and tell you to make sure that you get them some name brand shoes too.
When your children arrive at school, they do not only face the fear of being critiqued negatively by their teachers on their assignments, but also experience a fear of a harsher critique: the critique of their clothing by their peers. Now, parents you can say that this is not an important issue that you need to concerned about with your children, but I have had the opportunity to witness how children were picked at about their clothing when I was in school and even now from my interactions with various K – 12 schools. Although I was fortunate to have parents who could afford to buy me the lastest fashions and shoes, many of my classmates were not able to do so. If you don’t have that much money to buy your children a bunch of new name brand clothes, then make sure that you try to make a sacrifice and purchase them one or two namebrand outfits that will help them to make a positive statement, and this will help them to combat negative peer criticisms about their clothing.
Even here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I have people who try to hate on me about my clothing because I have the money to dress nice whenever I feel like it, and they are mad because they work so hard to dress nicely everyday but don’t have the money to do it. Because these people lack the money to try to meet their high fashion desires for their everyday wear, for which they don’t have the money to do, they end up putting on wild and crazy stuff to get attention and to compensate for the fact that they don’t have the money to dress in high fashions everyday. When I do elect to dress nicely in expensive name brand clothing, they hate on me by saying that my clothes are average or forgettable. Lol! Now, parents just imagine if I face this as a grown man, just picture what your child goes through during their K – 12 experience.
I know that we are experiencing tremendously tough economic times, but I would encourage you to make a sacrifice for your children and try to purchase them at least one or two new name brand outfits for school. You might even just try to buy them a pair of name brand shoes so that they can at least wear them everyday. I know you are probably saying that I am focusing too much on your child’s clothing, but I can tell you that it will make a world of difference in their academic achievement if you would make some sacrifices for them to let them wear some name brand clothing. They face great peer pressure and attacks at school about many things, including what they wear. By investing in name brand clothing for them, you can make a significant difference in their lives.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison