Dress for Success
As much as we all wish to deny it, the way we dress has a big impact on our success in life. One way to acknowledge this idea is through the use of school uniforms. Over time, schools have become aware of the importance of uniforms: In 2007–08, about 18 percent of public school principals reported that their school required students to wear uniforms. In 1999–2000, the percentage of principals who reported that their school required students to wear uniforms was 12 percent (“Fast Facts.”) Regardless of whether the school is private or public, the use of school uniforms should be executed as a way to promote an environment that helps students get the most out of their school education. More than a form of dress code, uniforms set up a discipline, a professional setting, which helps create a sense of community and unity among the students (Crawford). In sports, teams wear uniforms not only to differentiate among one another, but also to form oneness with members of their own team. This oneness helps elicit team spirit within the members of the team which majorly impacts which team will be the winning team (Khilawala). The same way, school uniforms help “increase a sense of belonging and school pride,” which ultimately define a successful school (Wilde). Additionally, due to the unique uniform of each school, a sense of “ambassadorship and loyalty” is built in the students (Khilawala). Besides oneness, a structured environment is also formed. Due to the attire, students feel that they need to work harder and more professionally. According to proponents, school uniforms also help improve student attendance (Wilde). “Virginia Draa, assistant professor at Youngstown State University, reviewed attendance, graduation and proficiency pass rates at 64 public high schools in Ohio” (Wilde). According to the conclusion of her study, “those schools with uniform policies improved in attendance, graduation and suspension rates” (Wilde). On the whole, through the use of uniforms, a very professional environment that assists in setting a “tone for serious study” is formulated in the school (Isaacson). Students may resist the idea of having school uniforms with the argument that the enforcement of uniforms is taking away their individuality or that their right to freedom of expression is being taken away (Isaacson). Some also say that uniforms do not prepare students for their future in an office environment. Their argument is that if they are not given a chance to make decisions in school regarding their clothes, they are not going to know how to dress appropriately in an office setting – where there are no uniforms. Speaking of decisions, some even may say that uniforms hinder them from learning how to make personal decisions. However, as someone who went to a school where uniforms were enforced, I disagree with all of these arguments. Uniforms are only worn only during school time. Therefore, students have all of the other time to express themselves with their clothes and to learn how to dress appropriately in an office environment. In addition, as mentioned earlier, uniforms already help prepare students for a work environment by facilitating in creating a structured, professional atmosphere. Some works places even require the use of uniforms: Dress codes and uniforms are a reality of the workplace in the adult world including in professional offices, retail and food stores, delivery services, government offices and service providers such as post offices, public safety employers, and so on ("School Uniforms, Dress Codes, & Book Bags.") As for decisions, students have time to make clothing decisions outside of school. Both inside and outside of school, they have a chance to make decisions regarding important issues such as their attitude, how they present themselves, in terms of personality, in front of others, and their work ethic. Sharon Hager, a mother of two children whose schools enforce school uniforms, shares...
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