As students get back to school, COVID isn't the only challenge for parents to navigate.

Regardless of vaccination status, masks are required in schools this year for all students and faculty members due to the fourth surge of COVID. Masks aren't the only thing that the delta variant is influencing because the shipment delays along with inventory issues nationwide are making it hard for some parents to track down uniforms for their kids.

It's an issue that the Lafayette School Board is aware of, as parents have told the board that numerous local stores are low on stock and have advised parents to try their luck with ordering online. Some parents have even asked for the Lafayette Parish School System to relax the dress code and not require uniforms as a mandatory dress code for the new school year.

Jessica Wells was one of the parents who voiced her concerns at a recent LPSS meeting.

I propose that we don’t have uniforms this year due to the national shortage of uniforms. When you order through the school, they’re having issues getting it on time.

Parents aren't the only ones concerned, as local uniform stores have also commented on their struggles when it comes to getting inventory. Ashley Seacrest manages Young Fashions and told KADN that the uncertainty of the current school year due to COVID also played a factor in the situation.

The pandemic definitely affected the transportation of items, you know, because of the pandemic a lot of parents probably waited to get stuff not knowing, you know how the schooling was going to go whether they're going necessarily back to school and all that. There were some pants that I ordered that was supposed to be expected at the beginning of July that I still haven't gotten half of the stuff in, they came in bits and pieces, but I'm still missing half of it.

So, with the combination of product shortages, shipping delays, lack of overseas products, and stores having to piece out orders to fill their stock, some parents are having legit difficulties finding sizes in the required uniform for their child's respective schools.

A lot of stores say the rush of parents all shopping at the same time has led to shortages in some areas of Acadiana. This isn't an issue that is exclusive to the Lafayette area as schools nationwide have been feeling the pinch.

Schools across Acadiana also changed uniform requirements and it’s been hard for local businesses to get those new items in stock. While stores expect to be fully stocked by September, parents are taking to Facebook to help each other track down the sizes they need.

Facebook

One mother even shared a form that could give parents and students a grace period from LPSS due to the difficulty associated with tracking down uniforms.

Uniform stores are also advising parents to also order uniforms "one size bigger" next spring so they can avoid the same issues when it comes to securing their uniforms for next fall.

LPSS confirmed that school uniforms are still required this fall, despite the shortage.

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