Debate on School Uniform

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Public School Uniforms- A Beneficial Change

Today we are seeing that the younger generations are becoming more preoccupied with fitting into the latest fashion trends. School administrations have noticed that dress code violations could be an attribute to the lack of performance in the classrooms. Public schools across America are searching for answers to enhance a better learning environment for the students. Taking all this into consideration, school uniforms would be a great idea to alleviate some of the negativity kids face due to societies apparel obsessions. In addition to what has been mentioned, studies have shown positive results with the use of public school uniforms. If it means that the schoolrooms will be more orderly, more disciplined," Mr. Clinton said, "and that our young people will learn to evaluate themselves by what they are on the inside instead of what they're wearing on the outside, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms (Mitchell, 1996). I believe a requirement of school uniforms should be implemented in all public elementary and middle schools.

In the name of putting “discipline and learning back in our schools” President Clinton instructed the Federal Education Department today to distribute manuals to the nation’s sixteen thousand school districts advising them how they can legally enforce a school uniform policy. If it means that the schoolrooms will be more orderly, more disciplined,” Mr. Clinton said, “and that our young people will learn to evaluate themselves by what they are on the inside instead of what they’re wearing on the outside, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms” (Mitchell, 1996).

“It’s a fashion trend that’s spreading from Los Angeles to Louisiana, from Maryland to Miami, public schools are discussing, and in many cases adopting, the old private school idea. School uniforms are designed to help kids focus on algebra instead of high-tops; to make students compete for grades rather than jackets (www.pbs.org). In 1987, the first public school Cherry Hill Elementary in Baltimore, MD instituted a school uniform policy. Later in 1994, the Long Beach Unified School District in California adopted a mandatory uniform policy in some of its schools, making it the first urban district to do so. Before long there was a considerable increase in the use of uniform. For example, ninety-five percent of New Orleans’ public schools require uniforms, eighty-five percent of Cleveland, eighty percent of Chicago, sixty-five percent of Boston, sixty percent of Miami, and fifty percent of Cincinnati’s public School changed to uniforms (www.education.org).

New York City, which is the largest school district in the US, has adopted the school uniform policy. The largest school district in the U.S. has adopted school uniforms. Over a half-million elementary-school students in New York City will have to adhere to a dress code by the fall of 1999. The president of the school board said the policy is “important to diminish peer pressure and promote school pride,” but that it’s not “an act of magic to transform schools overnight… It isn’t going to replace a good teaching, good principals, and small classrooms.”(www.pbs.org).

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) conducted a phone survey of seven hundred and fifty five principals in 2000, which revealed that twenty one percent of all public schools had a uniform policy (www.education.org).

Another reason that schools have decided to conform to uniform policy is because some students arrive at school in T-shirts that bear slogans or graphics promoting drugs and alcohol, or that display a variety of messages that conflict with values the schools are trying to promote. Others may swagger around the halls in gang-related garb. Also, others may show up in sexually provocative clothing. These...
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