Uniforms and Gang Violence

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Uniforms and its effects on gang violence

Does uniform reduce gang violence; a question often debated within many branches of the school systems, recently stirring up controversy in secondary schools. The idea of mandatory uniform restrictions in high school, what students consider to be the school where one is “free to express their style, and hold an elevated level of maturity” is nothing but a thing of the past; when there was an increase of reported gang violence ending the 20th century, entering the half the decade of the 21st century, school administrators, and parents alike agreed on the idea that the “innocent world” they lived in was no more. The past of the 20th century without all the complicated situations faced today, is what they have engraved in their mind; the current future is quite different, with the ability to have access to a plethora of information at your fingertips, to being anti-social with the use of the internet. A major issue with the freedom of a student expressing his style was that of conflicting gang colors, through the activity of “representing” – through the use of colors for the respective gang, such as blue for the “Crips” of red for the “Bloods”, there was violent conflicts for “territorial warfare”; ironically the end result was to enforce a dress code in which all students are mandated to “represent” the school by their choice of colors. The uniform is required to be worn at all times of the school day. When I attended my primary school, Hammocks Middle School, there was an influx of adolescents who were lost in the illusion of “belonging to a gang”, the popular reason was the mental stronghold that led the students to believe that when in a gang, they are associated with an aggressive group which they can use to threaten other students with fear; another illusion though up by the members was that they would essentially have “back up” when they’re in need. The reason this topic of research intrigued me was that over the last 5 years, I have personally observed a nation-wide ratification on how the majority of Public High schools function, in terms of dress code; in addition I have also noticed that in high school, thought as where one is aesthetically free to express themselves, was being locked down with mandatory uniform restrictions. The reason uniforms are mandatory today is due to the current situation of gang violence, which caused uproar in concerned parents. Parent’s, in agreement with the district, called to have uniforms enforced through-out the student body, in all branches of schools; uniforms were implemented through a poll in which parents expressed their positive, or negative opinion on the idea of uniforms, I clearly remember this occurring during my 6th grade year, and was a very controversial topic of interest through the school at that time. Mainly the reason the idea was successful was the advertisement of reducing gang violence through the idea that all individuals, representing a single identity would avoid ridiculous conflicts between opposing groups for clothing, or any offensive messages; Do uniforms reduce gang violence? Research was interesting for this topic, at first I planned to conduct personal interviews with school administrators, but unfortunately they had an extremely busy schedule. With no personal interview on which to look forward to, I referred to one of my best friends, the internet! The internet is what many refer to as “the information highway”; the internet provides me with an unlimited database of electronic documents, media, interviews previously conducted, or about anything. While browsing through the index of web pages (more than 6 billion, and increasing) I stumbled upon a video hosted by NBC, and conducted on February, 27, 1996, that described on how, through a survey, “75%, or ¾ of secondary schools principals agree upon the idea of enforcing a dress code through schools in efforts to reduce gang violence” (Tom Brokaw,...
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