BOE discusses uniform colors

WATERFORD – Kelly green and white are still the only official school colors, but Wolf Creek Local officials agreed Monday to a little leeway when it comes to black uniform pants.

No formal vote was taken, but a majority of board members told Superintendent Bob Caldwell during the board’s regular meeting in the Waterford High School library that they could accept black pants for sports that play outside and often get dirty.

“Would you go out and do your work in white pants,” board President Hugh Arnold asked.

Four years ago, in response to a growing number of predominantly black attire and accessories related to school sports, black accents on uniforms and a national trend of more black in sports jerseys, Caldwell issued a memo emphasizing the importance of tradition and reiterating that the primary colors in uniforms were to be kelly green and white.

In April 2012, members of the high school band boosters approached the board about purchasing black pants for the band’s new uniforms. Black pants without stripes reveal fewer alignment mistakes and could lead to improved scores at competitions, they said. As a compromise, two sets of pants were purchased – green for marching at games and black for competitions, Caldwell said Monday.

Recently, a member of the baseball booster organization contacted Caldwell about purchasing black pants for the Waterford High School team’s uniforms, noting they would be easier to clean of dirt and grass stains than white ones.

“It was purely for sanitation,” Caldwell said.

The superintendent then asked the board whether they wanted him to continue with the firm prohibition against black he’s emphasized in recent years.

“I think your outside sports … should be allowed to go with a little bit darker color,” board member Tom Kearns said.

“I think it stays green and white,” board Vice President Neil Huck said.

One board member asked whether green pants would be an option over black, but Waterford Elementary Principal Doug Baldwin, the high school softball coach, said in some cases that can be significantly more expensive.

Board member Jeff Campbell agreed it made sense for outdoor sports to use black pants, but not others, like basketball.

“An indoor, clean sport, I don’t think we need it,” he said.