Lamar High School, like several HISD schools, has a mandatory uniform for its students -- polo shirt with the school's name, khaki pants or shorts. Parents are expected to pay for the clothing, although we're sure there's some program that helps those who can't afford it.
Some Lamar students, because of the vagaries of class availability, have to go to summer school even if they aren't making up a failed grade. Signing up for summer school at HISD ain't cheap, but to some degree it is "optional," so parents go ahead and dig deep again.
And they find out, during the registration process, that they're going to have to fork over cash for yet another uniform -- the special "summer school" uniform. The shirts worn during the school year won't cut it.
Quelle scam, non? No, says HISD spokesman Norm Uhl.
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He passes word to Hair Balls from Lamar principal James McSwain that it's a security issue, and that the reason different shirts are required is because non-Lamar students will also be on campus.
"We host district wide tuition summer school," McSwain says. "This has kids from all over the city including kids from outside HISD....The same rationale applies as during the rest of the school year. Safety and security. We want to know that the students who are supposed to be in summer school are the ones here."
To be honest, the shirts aren't going to break anyone's bank -- they're seven bucks. But coming on top of the $300 or so needed for summer school, it can seem like HISD is trying to nickel-and-dime parents to the nth degree.
Then again, maybe we're just a bunch of whiny misers/