Parents up in arms over school uniform change

Scotlandville's old logo (L) and new logo (R)
Scotlandville's old logo (L) and new logo (R)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A small change on some school uniforms has caused chaos for parents who bought their child's uniform early. At least three schools in East Baton Rouge Parish have changed their logos this year. The modifications are even taking a toll on a local business.

Denice Landry is doing what most parents are this time of year; getting her children packed and ready for the new school year.  Landry said she likes to get most of her shopping out of the way in June to avoid the back to school shuffle.

This year, she says it came back to bite her wallet. Landry said it happened when she bought her daughter, a sophomore at Belaire High School, three new shirts which are part of the school uniform.

"A week later I found out they done changed the logo after I done purchased it and now I can't get my money back," said Landry.

Landry said the school called on Wednesday, but it was too late.

"The new shirts are costing us $20 per shirt which I can't afford to buy three more shirts for $60 when I done lost $40 on three other shirts," she said.

The sudden change is not just affecting parents like Landry, Captain Farooqi, owner of Uniform Mart, says he bought thousands of the old shirts.

"We keep the shirts ready because at the last moment we cannot make all those shirts and sell it so we have to keep them in stock," Farooqi said.

His clothing cubbies inside the store are full, and he has two wall-to-wall warehouses full of boxed uniforms. Farooqi said he was ready for the rush and thought his back to school sales would go smoothly. Then, he said, Belaire High School decided to lose the old logo at the last minute.

Farooqi told 9 News Scotlandville High and Istrouma High Schools have also changed their designs, leaving him with thousands of shirts he can't sell. He said it amounts to $40,000 to $50,000.

Farooqi said because the schools have decided to trademark their new emblems and sell the shirts themselves, he is having a hard time getting his customers to accept the usual store credit at the register. He said he's not sure whether he'll refund his customers' money.

"I have not decided. I don't know what to do," Farooqi said.

Landry doesn't either. She holds the school principal responsible for the mix up.

"At the last minute she told us and I felt as if it was a mistake she had made. She should honor our kids to wear them because we don't have the money to purchase the shirt again," Landry said.

A spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge School System says Belaire parents were told last year that the new logos would be required this school year. However, students will be allowed to wear a school uniform shirt with no logo this school year if they choose.

Scotlandville students can wear either the old or new school logo this school year. Iron-ons will be sold for $5, but they are not mandatory this school year.

Istrouma High School has not yet responded.

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