Should Students in Public Schools Wear Uniforms?
One of the most controversial issues in public school is the school uniforms. In 1996, the issue of school uniforms was bought to the forefront in President Clinton State of the Union address. People argue that uniforms can make schools safer and improve attendance and increase student’s achievement. People opposing school uniforms argue that it has not been proven to work with discipline, attendance or the student’s achievement. The purpose of this research is to find out if school uniforms will work in all elementary public schools. Do the students and their parents want a change in their school district attempting to control many aspects, attendance, academic achievement, self-esteem, safety and violence? Interested in positive changes in the students success and achievement may want to consider school uniform policy in their school district.
Uniforms in public elementary schools can have an impact on the students and on the school system. The students can focus more on their classes rather than social factors that students focus on when there is no school uniform and the dress code is not strict. There is no competition between peers to outdo each other when wearing uniforms. Some parents complain that uniforms are too costly for them, but uniforms are actually more affordable and there are fewer clothes to buy because everyone will be dressed in similar clothing. There are also ways to help low-income families with the cost. The school can set up funding for low income families to help pay for the uniforms for their children in the form of donations, clothing vouchers, and support from the business partners of the communities; this problem can be overcome. The thrift stores and uniform supply houses also reduce the cost for the clothing. These things combined can make it far less costly to purchase standard clothing than to meet the demand for designer clothing worn now. Many private schools have required uniforms for a number of years and now public schools are adopting the school uniform policy. With Long Beach, California being the first large urban school district to enforce uniforms to all students in Kindergarten through eighth grade in 1995. In 1999, New York City enforced uniforms in 70 percent of their schools. In 2000, Philadelphia enforced the uniforms district wide and 60 percent in Miami and 80 percent in Chicago (Konheim-Kalkstein, 2006). Since then school uniforms in public schools are becoming increasingly popular across the nation. Several other states have already implemented uniform policies in Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, Michigan, Florida, Utah, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia, and District of Columbia. Many large public school systems including Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dayton, Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Phoenix, Seattle and St. Louis have schools with either voluntary or mandatory uniform policies, mostly in elementary and middle schools (Brunsma, 2006). Advocates believe that the uniform policies have great benefits. They believe that it eliminates conflict over expensive items of clothing and has a business-like atmosphere to the school (Darden, p.36). They also think that the uniforms will make schools safer, improve attendance, and a higher education achievement. By wearing uniforms in school they will be able to identify trespassers and setting a good example for the students who are serious about school work and their studies, and also discourages the activities of gang members and the tensions that result from wearing gang clothing attire (Boutelle, 2008). Opponents feel there is not enough evidence to support the relationship between the uniforms and discipline or uniforms and students achievement. According to Brunsma (2006, p.185), he suggest that uniform policies may only...