A Highland Park mom is pushing for uniforms, prayer in public schools. (I had to check several times to make sure it was New Jersey–there’s a Highland Park in Illinois and one in Texas and others, too).
Here’s the story:
HIGHLAND PARK — Parent Karen Blount-Torres is saying “Enough.”
The Highland Park resident said the rising incidence of sexual harrassment in New Jersey schools has gotten to her.
And she wants to do something about it.
She started a signature drive for a petition to introduce uniforms and prayer into the New Jersey school system — as a solution to the problem.
Blount-Torres said the recent incident in South Brunswick, where a teacher was allegedly involved with a student, was the last straw.
‘I’m simply tired, there’s so much mess going on in the world,” she said.
The 38-year-old mother of three children, who are in the school system, said she looks back to the old days when she was a student and prayer was a part of school.
She said reintroducing a common prayer that does not offend any religion will help the students and staff realize their purpose in school and focus on it.
She also strongly believes that a uniform system would require students to cover up and bring back standards and principles to the system.
Uniforms for students will ensure that “the staff can identify them as children and not adults.” It would also save money for parents, she said.
Blount-Torres, who has served on the Parent Advisory board for Highland Park High School and on the PTO committee board, said she has seen firsthand how the clothes worn by the students can be distracting.
‘The prayers and uniforms will keep both staff and students safe,” she said.
A week ago, she started a signature drive, getting people throughout Middlesex County to sign a petition that asks to include prayer and uniform in the school system.
She has been out at barber shops, diners, stores, Dunkin Donuts, Sam’s Club and other stores. Her efforts have led to a record 700 signatures in the first week itself.