After teen’s death, parents question school uniforms

LA JOYA, Texas – Soft music plays as family and friends pay their respects to the body Josue Uranga, 13. It’s been two days since he was fatally hit by a car walking to school.

“I had so many people come and tell me ya know what I am so sorry for your loss it could have been my child. And it happened to mine,” sobbed Tanya Gonzales, Mother.

It’s a day full of tears. The news of Uranga’s death has many parents more conscious of how their student arrives to school and what they are wearing.

Eighth grade students at Lorenzo De Zavala Middle School wear black polo shirts as part of the dress code. This choice is fine in school, but how does this color affect students coming and going from school?

Gonzales believes Uranga’s black shirt was one of the reasons he wasn’t visible to the driver that struck him.

In La Joya ISD, some grade level wears a different color shirt. The student handbook reads, it’s a decision “to improve students’ self-esteem, reduce ethnic/racial tensions, bridge socioeconomic differences among students, and promote positive behavior.”

The colors worn today were decided by a committee of principals and parents.

“I think the color should be changed. because they are going in so early in the morning and it is so dark out there, and ya know this is the time of the time change, ya know where it is darker in the morning,” said Gonzales.

Some parents agree with Gonzales, like Ester Gomez. She said, “because they don’t see it with the black colors it is very difficult to see it.”

But other parents don’t.

“I bring him to school everyday so I don’t have a problem with it,” said Melissa, Parent.

But the good news is, the school uniform color is re-voted on every year and it’s open to all parents.

Gonzales plans to attend.

“Our voice does count and we need to come forward to make changes in La Joya,” said Gonzales.

But for today, Gonzales and family are only focused on saying goodbye.

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