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Principal launches ‘Tie Tuesdays’ at Centennial High School

Jason Lewis jlewis@ourweekly.com | 3/17/2016, midnight
Centennial High School Principal Douglas Brown is changing the appearance of the boys in his school in Compton. The effort ...
Principal Douglas Brown talks to his students about the importance of dressing professionally./OW Photo by Jason Lewis

Centennial High School Principal Douglas Brown is changing the appearance of the boys in his school in Compton. The effort started eight weeks ago on a Tuesday with one student and a tie. Every week since “Tie Tuesdays” has grown with the help of the students, the alumni, church members, and the community.

“The purpose of Tie Tuesday is to get the students to understand that appearance matters,” Brown said. “There is a certain type of dress that you need to have so that opportunities will present themselves.”

The best turnout for Tie Tuesday has been about 50 boys, and Brown said that he usually averages 10-30 boys per week. Most of the boys did not know how to tie a tie before Brown started this program, and hardly any of them owned one.

Brown has received ties from faculty, alumni, and members of the community, and the boys are able to keep the ties for future use. Many of the boys put the ties on over their t-shirts, but some will wear a collared shirt. Next year Brown plans to expand the program to a professional dress day, where the boys will wear a dress shirt, dress shoes, and a tie.

“We love our Jordans, and we love our Adidas, but we have to learn how to wear loafers and dress shoes,” Brown said.

Men from Faith Inspirational stop by every Tuesday morning to greet and encourage the students to participate in Tie Tuesday, and many of the boys are taking to it.

“They now want to learn how to tie a bow tie, so one day I might do a bow tie Tuesday,” said Brown, himself wearing a bow tie and a Kappa Alpha Psi lapel pen.

Senior Omar Corona already knew how to tie a tie because he plays in a band. The 3.4-grade-point-average student is a musician who has earned a full scholarship to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He has also been accepted to Cal State Long Beach. He understands the importance of appearance in part because of his performances with his band.

“It makes the whole band look more uniform,” Corona said. “You look good, you sounds good.”