In the modern school system, there are many distractions that take a student’s focus off of education, making it more difficult than ever for them to learn the curriculum. These problematic distractions include the formation of gangs and illegal activities, being ridiculed for not keeping up with the latest fashions, and social discrimination. Mandatory school uniforms will increase the safety, and unity of the school, and decrease the pressures and costs of keeping up with the “latest fashion.” This puts a greater focus on academic ability and education, and sends a clear message about what is really important in life: knowledge.
The most effective way to keep illegal activity out of schools isn’t by installing metal detectors or security guards; it’s by implementing a mandatory dress code. A child in a Detroit school was killed simply for his Nike tennis shoes. Statistics say that schools having a mandatory uniform program have seen major reductions in crime rates. In one California school, sexual offences have dropped an astounding 93%. It’s much easier to conceal a weapon in a pair of baggy pants than it is a pair of khakis. If all the students in a school were wearing the same thing, it would also be very easy to detect people that didn’t belong on campus. Gang members are unable to display their gangs’ colors or symbols if they are wearing a school uniform, so there is less of an opportunity for gang related violence. School uniforms are a vital tool in the reduction of violence in schools.
There are no positive aspects associated with worrying about not having the money to buy the newest and coolest fashions. If a dress code is implemented, parents will no longer have to deal with fights at 7 AM about if something is decent to wear to school or not. This is time better spent worrying about school itself. Teachers will no longer have to make the decision on if a skirt is too revealing, or if the sleeves on a shirt are too short. The initial cost of changing to school uniforms may seem daunting, but there are government funded programs that pay for up to 90% of the cost of these uniforms. They are also much less expensive than typical clothes teenagers wear. In the long run, uniforms save both time and money.
When everyone in a school is wearing the same clothing, students feel a sense of unity. More pride is taken in academic achievements. Conversely, in a system without a dress code, students are judged by their clothes or shoes, not their academic abilities. This creates cliques, complete with outsiders, the rich kids and the poor. It makes a division of people who try to stand out and shine by using their parents’ money, rather than using hard earned knowledge. Without uniforms nearly all sense of unification and oneness is quelled. If everyone’s clothes look the same, the only way to outshine someone else is with academic excellence.
High school is a place of growth. It’s a place where students should feel safe. It should be a place of respect, both given and received, where the instructors do their best to adequately prepare their students to face the challenges of the real word. These challenges are daunting enough on their own; students shouldn’t have to worry about things like gang violence, money, and social discrimination. The last thing a student needs to be worrying over is what clothes they wear to school. That’s why the implementation of a school uniform program is so important; to once again make a school into a place of safety and learning, instead of a fashion competition.