The Advantages & Disadvantages of School Uniforms
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the number of public schools that implement a school uniform has significantly risen in the last 10 years. In 1999, 12 percent of public schools had a uniform. By 2008, 18 percent had adopted a uniform for students. The NCES considers school uniforms to be an "indicator of school crime and safety," and safety is one of the top advantages of school uniforms. However, a strict uniform policy also has its disadvantages, and there have been numerous controversies generated by their use. 1. Advantage: Safety Concerns
* School uniforms restrict the ability of students to wear gang-related clothing. According to an article featured at MSNBC.com, "Dress codes are supposed to reduce violence and bullying by taking style differences out of the equation." As noted by the National School Safety and Security Services' article, "School Uniforms, Dress Codes, & Book Bags," uniforms may also reduce the risk of student robbery and carrying of weapons. Advantage: Simplicity
* As noted at Education Bug.org, a school uniform policy is much easier to control and enforce than a more lenient dress code. Uniforms also make it easier for teachers to recognize any nonstudents and keep track of their group of students at school events and field trips. Advantage: Equality and Community
* School uniforms reinforce the idea that all students are equal, despite a diversity of races and cultural backgrounds. Students are less likely to form cliques or bully certain member of the class for not being up to the latest fashion. Having a school uniform may also lead to a greater sense of community and unity, as noted in the article "Public School Uniform Debate" at Education Bug.org. Disadvantage: Lack of Expression
* Many opponents of school uniforms argue that wearing a uniform suppresses...