20 YEARS PASS SINCE LONG BEACH UNIFIED’S HISTORIC SCHOOL UNIFORM POLICY (LONG BEACH PRESS TELEGRAM)
By Nadra Nittle, Long Beach Press Telegram, September 2, 2014
Gene Kinsey still remembers the evening his son announced that Long Beach students would have to wear uniforms to school. It was early 1994, and his son wasn’t happy about the prospect of ditching his street clothes to attend class.
“At the time we were living in Bixby Knolls,” recalled Kinsey, an attorney. “I came home one day, and he said, ‘Dad, they’re going to make me wear a school uniform next year. It’s going to be mandatory, not voluntary.’ ”
Kinsey assumed his son was mistaken. “We have the United States Constitution and a First Amendment,” he said at the time, and promised his son: “You will never have to wear a school uniform.’”
Kinsey made good on his promise — but only after a legal battle resulting in an exemption for parents who object to the policy.