School Uniforms

[deleted account] ( 36 moms have responded )

Should school uniform be got rid of?





The question of whether children should wear a uniform to school always makes for a lively debate, and not only among students! In some countries school uniform is normal and most schools make their students wear one. Britain is the most obvious example of this, but in many other countries with strong links to Britain uniform often has to be worn to school - examples include Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and many other African countries. Uniform is also required at almost all schools in Japan. In other countries, particularly in continental Europe, the USA and Canada, uniform is very rare in state-funded schools, although private schools may have one.

Debates about school uniform have been going on for decades in different countries and districts, but during the 1990s state schools in the USA began to adopt uniforms. At first uniform rules were seen as a way of stopping children dressing in gang colors in troubled urban areas. Later, claims that introducing uniform leads to better discipline and educational results encouraged other school districts and schools to make a change. Both the Clinton and Bush administrations have been in favor of school uniforms. Other countries have picked up on this trend - for example, there has been talk of making German children wear uniforms.



****Shannon....I think school uniforms is a great idea for all schools. Private & public..

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[deleted account]

A normal dress code could be up for interpretation by students. For example, a girl might push the envelope by wearing a skirt 2 inches too short. Then the teacher takes class time to send the student to the office to go home. As a teacher, I wouldn't have cared, but *I* would have been the one in trouble if I had not sent the girl to the office. A uniform eliminates this distraction and major waste of time. If there are only certain skirts, shirts, shorts, etc. that students are allowed to wear, you really don't have to worry about checking to be sure that students are dressed appropriately.

And another plus about uniforms, the school I was at kept all sizes on hand. So poor students that had holes in their shirts could have a fresh clean shirt. And when I had students pee on themselves (this happened 3 times in my fourth grade class) the office had spare pants on hand for these students. It's just easy to make sure all students had clean clothes for school.

I agree that uniforms are not an equalizer. Heck, when I taught fourth grade the "cool" girls were distinguishable by the size of their hairbow. The bigger the bow the cooler you were. And if you dare wear the same bow two days in a row or a little tiny bow then you were not in the crowd. There will NEVER be a way to eliminate this type of thing.

To me, uniforms are just practical and easy and keeps teachers focused on education.

Jenny - posted on 03/23/2010

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I also think uniforms are the way to go. I don't take my kids to school for lessons on individual experessions, they are there to learn. Uniforms help create an environment where education is the main focus. At my daughter's school there have been cases of 6 year old wearing mini skirts, make up, belly baring shirts and high heels. Aside from just being WRONG, it is distracting to the other kids. Not to mention the ease of getting my kids dressed in the morning and putting the kids on an equal fashion playing field. I was the poor kid in school with the ripped up acid wash jeans (and not when they were cool) and it was very embarrasing.

I plan on joining our PTA and pushing for school uniforms for my kid's sake.

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2010

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The other good thing about uniforms is that every now and then (like tomorrow for my daughter) you have a ''mufti day'' where you can wear whatever you like!
It's usually to raise money for charity or something.
She's dead excited, if she wore her own clothes all the time it wouldn't be so fun! LOL! :)

Rose - posted on 03/24/2010

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I think school uniforms are ridiculous, I am sorry but you still can have name brand clothes and where a uniform. like for example i had to where uniforms in middle school as long as they were khaki and navy blue pant and white or blue shirt we were ok. So there for kids would still get the baggy pants or the name brand shirts oh and wheather they had a belt or not they still wore their pants around their knees. Kids still got picked on for their shoes and what brand of clothes they had on. You can tell how poor or rich a person is on what they bring for school supplies or backpack or even their coat so what does it matter uniform or not? Kids are brutal and we can't be their to protect them all the time we can just give them the right tools and knowledge to defend themselves and not become fashion obsessed. As for the kids that do pick on the kids that can't afford it maybe the school should do something about it cause it usually happens more than once. Why does it have to affect a school as a whole? When i was in high school no one cared what you wore you could wear PJ's and no one would give two shits.

[deleted account]

School uniform is a way of making children dress smart. How you dress does affect your performance and free expression doesn't prepare a young person for the workplace. Plus it would get rid of so much peer pressure to wear the right clothes.



Nearly all kids in the Nashville area have to wear school uniform whether they attend public or private school. It came about as a result of kids wearing clothing affiliated with gangs. I'm all for uniforms because the good arguments outweigh the bad.

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[deleted account]

I love school uniforms! I wore them all my life at a catholic school and I don't think it's stifled any individuality, and it certainly saved a lot of money and hassle for mum and dad.

My kids went to public schools, where there was a uniform but they were pretty flexible. It was great - no hassles about getting dressed in the morning, no worries about not having the latest fashion item to wear to school, and a real celebration to get home from school and change out of your school things.

As parents, it made life easier. Some uniforms can be expensive, but you can get them second-hand. I think wearing a uniforms helps kids stay focussed - when they're in their school uniform, it's time to work, when they're in casual clothes it's time to play.

Emma - posted on 04/04/2010

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Hear in South Africa we have Strict uniforms and rules on jewellery and make up ect.
And i hope that we always do..
A uniform is a great equaliser, we have a huge discrepancy between the haves and have not's by all the kids having to where the exact same thing it cuts out a hole arsenal of ammo for bully's .
Plus makes our lives as parents much easier, we don't have to deal with the daily trauma of what to where.
There casual cloths are for weekends and after school, so you get a good amount of where out of there cloths.
Plus with the other rules that go with the uniforms hear like no make up at all , the only jewellery you are sleeper studs if you are a girl and only 1 pair you also are not aloud coloured hair and girls must have there hair up or cut as not to touch there collar, the boys must have a neat short back and sides, must be cleanly shaven and have short sideburns. they my not have earnings ect. you have to ware school shoes which are a bit dorky but everyone is in them, and your school bags are also regulated.
our schools also tent to have strict codes of conduct too.

I think this helps regarding discipline and helps maintain a good learning environment.

I my self went to school both in South Africa and in the UK
The UK dose have uniforms but they are a lot more relaxed than we are hear, i could where make up at school and we could where any trousers/shirt/jumpers as long as they where the school colours and you could where heals to school you would get in big trouble for that hear.

So a big thumbs up for uniforms from me !!!

[deleted account]

Those that say they hate uniform and that they never cared about brand names etc you were obviosly lucky that your life wasnt made hell because of it. Bullying started in primary school for me because i wore my sisters hand me downs and hand knitted cardis my gran made me. I had uniform in secondary school but by then all the kids i'd gone to primary school with had already labelled me as one of the scruffy kids. My kids have worn uniform to school since they started at three years old. Yes its expensive initially but im not well off and ive managed no problem. My kids all look smart going to school, and will never be bullied for wearing the wrong thing as they all have the same clothes on even down to the coats which match their uniforms.

[deleted account]

They didn't try it long enough then. Every new policy takes time to work out the kinks. There were many kinks when our district first started but now, eight years later is one of the best things they've done.

And yes, girls will roll up skirts, but it is easier to catch if all students are dressed the same. In the morning I stood by my door as kids entered my classroom. All I had to do was scan to make sure all shirts were tucked in with a belt and skirts were to the knee. No time wasted on reading t-shirts to make sure they weren't vulgar or measuring the straps on sleeveless shirts or trying to judge if a shirt was too low cut to be appropriate.

LaCi - posted on 03/25/2010

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Girls still toy with uniforms, rolling skirts to make them shorter. Our uniform based dress code took a lot more time than the regular dress code. Which is why it was overturned after a short period of time.

LaCi - posted on 03/25/2010

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A normal dress code eliminates the possibility of people coming in to class looking like they would rather be on a pole.

Gina - posted on 03/25/2010

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I agree with Sarah, I wore a uniform ,my daughter wears one too.It's so much easier not worrying about what to wear,and keeping up with the latest fashion.Plus like Sarah said the school has out of uniform day where for a dollar they can wear what they want ,it's exciting for them.Is it just me or 5,6 or even 7 year old in mini skirts and bare stomachs, thats just plain wrong why not let them be kids?

Cidalia - posted on 03/25/2010

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My children wear uniforms. Uniform policy was implemented in our city Catholic schools in 2004 (these are public schools, not private). I can't say that I agree that uniforms are easier or cheaper. Sure, I know what they're going to wear in the morning, but as a mom who goes to college full-time, works part-time (including all weekend, every weekend), I can barely find time to do laundry, and it's really frustrating in the morning when I realize they don't have a clean uniform shirt left while their drawer is packed with tons of regular shirts (I get a lot of hand-me down clothing but no hand-me down uniform stuff). Money is another issue. The uniforms have been a financial burden for me. Regular clothes were always easy because I got tons of hand-me-downs and I could shop thrift stores and clearance racks... uniforms, on the other hand, are more difficult and are about to become more difficult now that our school board is changing the rules from a uniform dress code (you could buy the items anywhere and get them crested) to having to buy the uniform at a specific local supplier. I'm looking for a new home, and when we move, I don't think I'm going to put the kids in a school that requires uniforms. There is no financial help available for low-income families. The school board and uniform suppliers paid lip service to helping low-income families, but I have not seen any concrete plans to do so. If money and time are not a big issue, uniforms can be great, but in my case, they have caused me a great deal of stress.



Just wanted to add... there are other ways to avoid 6 year olds wearing mini skirts and belly shirts, etc. A dress code with specific rules on what is acceptable and what is not. They could even add a clause that brand-name labels are not acceptable.

Jane - posted on 03/24/2010

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Uniforms in my opinion are horrible if it's a public school. I like the idea that my kids were able to express their individuality with the types of clothing they wore. i had my own rules on what they could and could not wear to school and the schools also had their rules on what was and wasn't allowed. And honestly...and maybe it's because of where I live and the type of community it is, we didn't/don't have any issues at all.

Rosie - posted on 03/24/2010

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i'm not really for uniforms. i don't think that having uniforms is bad or anything, but i don't really think it's necessary. i like being able to pick out what i wear, and not being told what i have to wear-i get enough of that in the workplace.

Nicole - posted on 03/24/2010

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I am 100% against school uniforms. They voted to start wearing uniforms in my elementary and middle schools and every year my mom would go down and fill out an exemption for me and my brothers. We were 3 kids, in order for us to wear uniforms, that would've meant twice as much clothes for each of us, play and school clothes. Which would mean twice as much laundry. And the uniforms are not cheap. I was never distracted by kids wearing designer clothes or shoes. I couldn't care less about that stuff. I still don't care about it. I also think uniforms don't teach kids how to dress in the real world. How are they going to pick out an outfit for a job interview when they've been told what to wear their whole lives? I don't think kids learn how to dress themselves properly when they're told what to wear all the time. Take my husband. We went to the same middle school, he wore the uniform. There were no uniforms in our high school. And now in the military he wears a uniform everyday. As a result, he dresses horribly! He's said the uniforms have made him lazy about getting dressed. Unless my child goes to a private school (which he won't) I say no uniforms!

Amanda - posted on 03/24/2010

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I live in Canada all schools have Uniforms in my city. My children have been wearing uniforms since grade one to public schools. I love uniforms, there are no fights in the morning about clothes, when children are causing problems on the streets before/after school, you know which school to call about them.



It is also good for the children in my area, because we live in the inner city, many low income families, and plenty of well to do families, so uniforms make them all equal.

[deleted account]

I live in the UK and I've never came across a school here which doesn't wear a uniform. I think it's a very good idea for a number of reasons: 1) It means everyone is wearing the same thing and children who may not be able to afford the latest designer gear don't feel ostricised, 2) It prepares children for work - in most jobs a uniform is mandatory, and most of all 3) If you look smart you're more likely to perform better in class.

[deleted account]

Personally, I think uniforms are great. My daughter goes to public school and the school has a uniform dress code (they have to wear red, white, blue, black or khaki). I really like it for a number of reasons:



(1) My daughter has 2 sets of clothes. She changes into her play clothes right after school and this ensures that her school clothes are always nice and last a lot longer.

(2) I think it makes for less distractions in the classroom. School is a place for learning, not for showing off the latest fashions which can often be distracting.

(3) I live in an affluent area. My family is not as fortunate financial-wise (a friend of the family owns our house and gives us really cheap rent) and it's nice that my daughter does not hve to worry about her friends having nicer clothes than her since they all pretty much wear the same clothes as each other (especially since only a few stores in our area carry uniform-type clothing).

(4) My daughter doesn't even have to think about what to wear in the morning, so she can dress herself and I know she'll look presentable (she's 7).



There are more reasons, but I have to go get my beautiful daughter from school now. :) I always wish my schools growing up had uniforms (I was in the minority, but I was also from a very small town) and I am so happy to have my daughter in a school that has a uniform policy!

April - posted on 03/23/2010

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i think school uniforms are a good way to separate school and "outside of school". i think it is important to remind children that there's more to life than material things and academics is a good way to get more out of life.

Jackie - posted on 03/23/2010

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I think school uniforms are great. I wore them for hte 9 years I was in private school and it simplified things ALOT, both in school and out. Kids can still express themselves, but no one feels like the "outcast" b/c their parents can't afford the latest whatever. Everyone starts on an even playing field in some ways....and theres no arguments at home about what is and isn't allowed...its either within the rules or against.

[deleted account]

My district decided to switch to uniforms my SENIOR YEAR!! I was not happy. In my 17 year old mind they were taking away my freedom.

Fast forward a few years and now I am the teacher (or was, I quit when my baby was born). Uniforms are so convenient! They practically eliminate dress code violations....skirt and short length not a problem, vulgar t-shirts not a problem, width of straps on sleeveless shirts not a problem, etc. Made my job as a teacher easier. All I had to do was check to see that each kid had their shirt tucked in with a belt. It was easy to see that they had on navy bottoms and white or green tops. But I did have to send a girl home for wearing an orange bras under her white shirt, bless her heart.

Christy - posted on 03/23/2010

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i think they are a good idea. i think it would lessen some of the bullying that goes on in elementary and middle school and even to a degree in high school because then you wouldn't be able to see so readily who the low income kids were. i think it would make it easier for the kids that came from low income families to concentrate on school work more than on the fact that they can't look like the rest of the kids. say what you want about how dumb it is that people feel like they need to fit in but until you are on the outside looking in at the "cool" kids you will never understand...

Amy - posted on 03/23/2010

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It's just clothes. Even if you have a uniform, then you'll go crazy with hairstyle/jewelry/makeup - whatever to try and be an individual. Especially once in high school. It would make it easier to get the kids dressed in the morning - unless you were gone all weekend or washer broke, etc. uh oh. have to wear a dirty uniform because you can't just put on jeans and a shirt. I don't really think what you wear has any bearing on how well you are educated or pay attention or learn.

Sarah - posted on 03/23/2010

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Being from the UK i wore school uniform until i went to 6th Form.
I think school uniform is a good idea, though i didn't think so when i was actually at school! lol.

Firstly it is good for me as a parent, i don't have to worry about what to dress my daughter in every morning......she puts on her uniform. End of story.
It's good from a money point of view for me too, you can get uniform items very cheaply, so it saves on buying expensive "good" clothes. If that makes sense.

I think it's good for when they go on school outings too, they are easily identified by the uniform and easier to spot in a crowd.

Some arguments against uniforms that i've heard in the past say that it stifles a child's individuality. Well, i know when i was at school we tried to get away with as much alteration of the uniform as we could possibly get away with! I think it makes kids creative to a certain extent, trying to stand out when you're all wearing the same takes some serious thought!

So i am very FOR uniforms. I think it is good for school morale and helps kids to concentrate and stuff.
Most grown up's have a uniform of sorts for work, even if it's just smart trousers and a top or something. It's good to put your work/school clothes on, as it gets you in the frame of mind for working! :)

Yvonne - posted on 03/23/2010

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It does save a lot of time with teenage girls especially. I never had to wear a uniform, but I had limited clothes anyway, but I have a beautiful teenage daughter who takes a while getting ready for school as it is. I'd hate to think how long it would take her if she had to decide each morning what she was going to wear to school that day. So I'm a yes for uniform.
I never had to wear a uniform to school so what was it like at a school with no set uniform? You could pick who belonged to what crowd or group by the clothes and make up and hair. (I'm talking about the 70's here. Gosh that makes me sound old) It was toward the end of my school years that Reabok came into existence and therefor the problem of being attacked for the clothes you wore. Very distinct differences. But for me, not knowing any different I accepted as the norm. So when I joined the Army Reserve later it was quite novel to where a uniform.
Hope that makes some sense ladies, I really should be in bed.

LaCi - posted on 03/23/2010

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The barriers you mentioned are still there after school lets out. As soon as people change clothes they know what you're into, what you can or can't afford. People who care about what you're wearing are still going to care when they end up at the mall or wherever the truth comes out. OR Rather than making fun of someone for their clothes they can focus on more important things, hair, makeup, body type, personality, things that can't just be attributed to the fact that someone can't afford something. Those really personal things that might actually damage you as an individual.Those things that actually define you.

Lady - posted on 03/23/2010

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It's ridiculous for us as adults and maybe for teens aswell but that's just the way it is unfortunatley and always has been so we're not going to change that.

LaCi - posted on 03/23/2010

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I didn't make any assumptions about anyone, I stated my opinion about a situation. You said people feel left out when they can't wear what other people are wearing and I think thats a ridiculous thing to care about.

Julia - posted on 03/23/2010

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Laci,
You are making a lot of assumptions about me. By the way I DID get a job and paid for my car insurance, paid for anything school related that I wanted to do because my parents couldn't afford it.

Just because I wasn't a social outcast who wanted to stick it to the man doesn't mean I was sucking the corporate teet and giving into ridiculous fashion pressure.

PS I wore hospital scrubs almost every day of my senior year because by the time I DID get to high school I didn't care but I would still have preferred having school uniforms.

How's that for assumptions.

Lady - posted on 03/23/2010

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LaCi I think you'll find high school is the exact point in most kids lifes when they desperatley want to fit in. I was a heavy metal fan - the only one in my year at school - but was so sick of getting picked on for wearing the "wrong" thing that I eventually gave in and just tried to conform but because we didn't have a lot of money I still didn't always have the right name on my sweater. Yes it's stupid and I hope my kids aren't ever so shallow but that's why uniforms are such a great idea because it makes everyone the same no matter how much money their family has or their taste in music and clothes. Everyone is equal and a lot of the silly clique barriers are removed.

LaCi - posted on 03/23/2010

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Julia,
by the time you're in high school if you can't get over the fact that you can't wear some stupid logo and be a walking advertisement for some evil corporation you should get a job and buy the things you want. But I would highly recommend just not sucking the corporate teet than giving in to some ridiculous fashion pressure. I can only hope my son doesn't want to be a billboard because I'm really not into that. If he does, he can get a job and buy his own clothes.

Lady - posted on 03/23/2010

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The high school I went to didn't make pupils wear a uniform and I spent the whole time there worrying about what to wear, was it the right thing, would people make fun of my trainers or the jumper I had on?
Now my son is at High school and has a uniform and I feel it is so much better, not only do he not have to worry but also as a parent it's easier on me. Although it was quite expensive getting his blazer and tie and the PE kit it was still cheaper than making sure he had trendy clothes to wear 7 days a week. And there is government funds to help parent on low incomes purchase uniforms but not for other clothes. Also clothes shops and supermarkets are so desperate to get customers that they all sell shirts and trouser, skirts and polo shirts for school at discount prices at the end of summer.

Julia - posted on 03/23/2010

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Laci,
My school was also that small I actually graduated with a grand total of 73 people with 350 in my entire high school...but if you are the one student that can't afford all that stuff you feel complete left out of everything.

LaCi - posted on 03/23/2010

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I'm not really in favor of school uniforms. We had issues with this when I got to high school. It was an extremely small school, I graduated with less than 100 people. Small suburban school, most of the people were practically wearing a uniform anyway, no violence minus the occasional catfight, no gangs. At the time I was going through a grunge phase, the problem they had was with MY clothing. Basically the school board was completely revamping the dress code to target my social group, which was all of 5 to ten kids. We thought it was ridiculous, the parents thought it was ridiculous. They passed the very strict dress code, although not uniforms because then the ACLU was willing to be involved. So they passed it, we didn't follow it, and that lasted all of 6 months, longer than that phase probably would have lasted had they just left us alone. They actually attempted to send me to one of those *last chance* schools for criminals for wearing wide leg pants. Their claim was that we could store an arsenal of weapons in our pants, you should have seen the ridiculous videos in which they lined a kids jeans with AK47s among other things and expected that to be an explanation as to why this was *safer* however, they never made the kid walk in the video because it wouldn't have been possible. If i wanted to bring a gun to school I could wear tight clothing and stick the damn thing in my bra, unless they banned large breasts from high school as well. Anyway, they pretty much gave up when the teachers began complaining that all of their time was being spent enforcing the dress code rather than educating students. We already had a reasonable dress code, no bare midriff, no distracting hair or piercings, no sagging pants, no visible underwear, no tank tops, no boobies hanging out, no offensive clothing. I see nothing wrong with that dress code. To tell us all we had to wear khakis and polos or school related shirts, tucked in and what not was just silly. No one was dressing in a way that was distracting or dangerous.

Julia - posted on 03/23/2010

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Personally I grew up in a small well off town...My dad was a blue collar factory worker, I never had the brand name clothes (also being the youngest of 5) I was always self concious (too tired to care if I spelled that right) of what I was wearing. I would have loved it if my school had adopted a school uniform. Of course another thing is I always hated trying to figure out what I was going to wear in the morning...probably one of the reasons that I joined the Army. I am all for uniforms. My daughter will be wearing uniforms when she starts preK in the fall and I can't wait to see her in uniform!!!



Having said all of that I also lived outside of one of the most dangerous cities in the US. The inner city schools adopted a school uniform program and crimes in schools did go down. Kids weren't getting attacked and having their name brand jackets stolen (the uniforms were adopted right after 2 13 yr old kids shot and killed an 11 yr old for his jacket and shoes) yeah I'm not exaggerating.



So in all aspects I think school uniforms are a good idea and need to be adopted in every school public and private in the US!

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