A. Reduces conflict stemming
B. Reduces the risk of students being robbed
C. Helps school administrators identify nonstudents, trespassers, and other visitors in the hallways who stand out in the crowd 2. Uniforms help to resist peer pressure
A. Students do not feel pressured to buy trendy, expensive clothes B. Increases self esteem
C. Equality creates school unity
3. Students will focus more on school work
A. Uniforms will prevent distractions
B. Eliminates competition between students
C. Picking out fashionable outfits takes away from study time
School Uniforms: Forced or Forgotten?
Imagine waking up each morning, getting out of the bed, putting on the identical outfit worn the previous day, and heading off to school. Does this sound too good to be true? In today’s society, wearing the same outfit everyday is becoming more common because school uniforms have gone from private schools to public schools. Uniforms have a positive effect on students and that is why school uniforms should be required in all schools, public and private. School uniforms should be required in all schools, public and private, because students will be in a safer environment, uniforms will help to resist peer pressure, and students will focus more on school work.
First, students will be in a safer environment. Out of all the benefits in a school, no benefit is more important that the safety of the faculty and students. Protection in schools these days are extremely important. An organization with the intention of consulting nationwide on school safety as well as crisis preparedness issues, The National School Safety and Security Services, supports school uniforms as a way to “contribute toward improving school safety “(Daniels 1). According to the organization, uniforms help reduce problems reducing conflict stemming. Conflict stemming consists of remarks or personal attacks about who has better materialistic items. Another way that uniforms can reduce problems is by reducing the possibility of students being robbed of expensive clothing, jewelry, or electronic devices. If uniforms are required, the rules will enforce that the items cannot be worn, therefore, the items cannot be robbed from other students. In the case of requiring uniforms, it will also help school administrators recognize trespassers, nonstudents, or other guests in the hallways who stand out in the crowd. The Center for the Prevention of School Violence states the three P’s of school safety—“place,” the physical security of the school, “people,” those in the school, and “purpose,” the mission of the school(Daniels 2). Dress policies describe what is appropriate for the school surroundings while impacting the way in which people interact and relate with each other.
Second, uniforms help to resist peer pressure. As trends and fashion change, students happen to be more worried with how they appear and are perceived rather than their achievement and academic success (Duvall 1). If uniforms are required in all schools, the poorer students would not feel pressured to buy trendy, expensive clothes. Uniforms also increase self esteem. “Schools with uniforms say that their students have better self-esteem because without the name brand clothing on display, the students are placed on an equal level” (Daniels 2). If all the students are identical, no one can judge someone else by their appearance. The equality of the school uniforms also creates a sense of school unity. “Dr. Viola Vaughan and Allan Sledge, both principals from Halifax County, have witnessed an increase in school unity since uniforms were required” (Duvall 2). Dr. Arnold Goldstein believes that uniforms promote a “sense of belonging” because they encourage a feeling of society among the students and help make a troubled student feel like part of a supportive whole (Duvall 2). These effects add to a school’s overall discipline and sense of order. As an outcome of these effects, the learning environment then improves—the teachers can teach and the students can learn. Third, students will focus more on school work. If uniforms are required in all schools, distractions will be prevented. Students will be able to sit in class and learn without gossiping to their friends about what another student is wearing. In today’s society, students do not see school as a place of work. They see school as a place to socialize, hangout with friends, and catch up on the latest news and trends for teenagers. Uniforms help to erase that negative image by placing the importance back on education and a work type atmosphere (Duvall 2). One reason on behalf of this careless attitude is for the reason that many students dress as though they are going out to dinner, to the beach, or to the movies. If uniforms become enforced, their unprofessional manner in which they present themselves will change. School will no longer be a distraction, but a learning zone. Another positive effect of uniforms would be eliminating competition between students. Teenagers today compete in fashion and trends. Every teenager tries to look better than one another. If students are not allowed to wear name brand clothing, there would no longer be competition between students at school. Picking out fashionable clothing to compete with the other students at schools takes away from study time. If students would become more concerned about academics and achievements, students would have more study time because they would not be concerned about their clothing. Uniforms would push more to academics and achievements because students could not wear the name brand clothing to school. Of course, many people are against the fact of schools having uniforms, especially students. The students feel as if they cannot voice their individuality. However, if some students and families consider the positive effects of school uniforms, their will be more students to graduate with higher test scores. Bullying should not be taken lightly because in today’s society, bullying leads to teen suicide and depression. If school uniforms become enforced, bullying should subside. Wilkins states, “I know from growing up in England, where until recently school uniforms were mandatory, that children are acutely aware of each other’s social and economic status, regardless of uniformity of school attire” (4). Some students may feel this way, but it is a different view outwardly. Just because some of the students may still feel at a higher rank than others, the “others” will not be forced to feel the same. Wilkins also states, “The problem of bullying has deep roots and will never stop just because children are dressed the same” (4). Bullying may never stop; however, if every individual student is wearing the same uniform, higher ranked students could not pick on a less fortunate child for their clothing. Since bullying is such a big concern, it would not hurt to enforce school uniforms for the safety of the faculty and students.
Daniels, Stephen. “School Dress Codes Are Necessary and Constitutional.” Students’ Rights. Ed. Jamuna Carroll. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Student Dress Policies: The Success of School Uniforms and Dress Codes.” Findings (May 2001). Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 29 Nov. 2012. “School Uniforms.” School Uniforms. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. Wilkins, Julia. “School Uniforms.” The Humanist Mar. 1999: 19. General OneFile. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.