Top-Rated Free Essay

Education and Individuality

Topics: Education, Dress code, High school, Independent school / Pages: 4 (826 words) / Published: Nov 29th, 2010
Tien Duong
Professor Grimland
English 1302
21 October 2010
Paper #2: Individuality
Individuality is the particularly character, or aggregate of qualities, that distinguishes one person or thing from others; sole and personal nature. Everyone has the right to individuality and express one’s personality. We all make personal choices which create the unique character that we carry. Therefore, if public school system enforces students to wear school uniforms, it infringes on our rights and is a wrong use of authority. So why should school districts try to make students look the same?
Individuality is the way a person expresses their personality to others. Using contradictions in a sensitizing concept in the article “School Uniforms in Post-Scarcity Japan”, Tamura Yuichi identifies that “several emerging cultural themes such as individuality and human fights that became incongruent with the uniformity of student appearance prescribed by dress codes. This Japanese case study suggests that in times of post-scarcity in which economic affluence permits wide participation in the culture of individualism and consumerism, a new educational paradigm that emphasizes individuality emerges, and schools' management of youth lifestyles may shift toward deregulation and permissiveness.” Many opponents contend that school uniforms do not work well due to the infringement of freedom of speech for young adolescents. Many school districts in the US concern over the school’s ability to respect individual differences for all young people. Educators argue that an academic program encourages students to pursue individual thought is more important than what they wear. Most of them conquer creativity and self expression, forcing students to adapt.
Each and every one of these students should be able to feel free to wear whatever they wish to wear rather than preventing them from expressing themselves in any way they would like. It could be by fashion, personality, creativity, or freedom of wardrobe. Each and every one of us should not be banned from wearing various clothing to school. Today, most debates still show that grades of students in school do not differentiate between schools which enforce uniforms those which do not. The stress on a uniform dress code in school opposes the spirit of unity in diversity and its celebration. Public school systems who enforce students to wear uniforms have also claimed to restrict socialization, a vital aspect of human nature. Not only does it suppress individuality but more so, issues on affordability are also a conflict for parents who have difficulty providing their children with needs. Most of them expend things from discount stores due to the low affordability they have.
As school uniforms prevent the right to individuality and have much conflict on affordability, most parents with mixed cultures think that it also ignores religious and cultural needs. In the article “School Uniform Revisited”, Damian Carney writes that a school uniform policy infringes a student’s rights to manifest her religion to Article 9. Most schools need to approach the issue of balancing religious rights with other interests in designing their uniform policy. Another article “What not to wear”, Lieve Gies “stated a note that asks whether the House of Lords by framing the issue as a matter of individual choice and informed consent may have underestimated the potential of social harm inflicted by a school’s unwillingness to accommodate certain types of religious beliefs where it has already adapted its school uniform rules for others”. It is clear that all schools must respect or be mindful of the religious and cultural needs of others.
Besides individuality, another ill effect on the school uniform policy is the comfort of students. Most argue that students are not able to concentrate and learn well while being uncomfortable. Many uniforms that are enforced to public school systems are not as prosperous as their everyday wardrobe they would like to wear. Majority of students in school districts enjoy wearing comfortable clothing to students. Also, school uniforms might make the student uncomfortable around people outside of school who do not have to wear them. Children are deprived from the discomfort, which each one experiences on wearing different type of clothing, fashion, and style, as per individual choice. Many believe that this discomfort might adversely reflect upon the academic performance among each student in any district of public school system.
Therefore, school uniforms prevent freedom of self expression, individuality, freedom of wardrobe, affordability, discomfort, and ignorance of religious and cultural needs. If we want comfort, individuality and freedom while cutting down the costs for families, then we should not enforce students to wear school uniforms for those who attend public schools. All this does is take away this form of expression of oneself. We all express ourselves in various ways. Each person is unique in their very own fashion or manner. It may be hard to get students to believe that we are all in a free society when our educational system imposes more rules upon them. So why should we limit our students’ freedom?

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