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Should Students Be Required to Wear Uniform

By bobbbyray Oct 14, 2012 1613 Words
Should School Uniforms be Required?
When thinking about a uniform you think of a police officer or maybe even someone in the military, but what about uniforms in school? Today, there are more schools than ever that are considering switching to uniforms to keep things equal and professional throughout the student body, but is it fair to make restrictions to students on being able to express themselves personally? Students may feel like they are being cheated on personalization and freedom to express who they are but the safety and security of the student body is more important than expression of style. The school system is struggling more and more each day to maintain a sense of security and organization with the ever growing concern of bullying, crime rates, sexual distractions, and social inequalities. Uniforms will help create a more controllable and relaxed atmosphere for students and school employees alike. We live in a materialistic world where people are always looking to judge individuals on the clothes he or she is wearing. The world has put extreme pressure on our kids to wear curtain name brands in order to fit in. A child that has to worry if other kids are going to laugh or make fun of them because of the clothes he or she is wearing takes away from that child’s learning experience. The stress of school work is enough and no child should have to worry about being made fun of because he or she is not wearing those brand name clothes. Large cities have crime issues that just involve kids wanting the more expensive clothes and that causes problems for the other children who are wearing them; the students have to worry about those items getting stolen or fighting other kids for their clothing. This problem has even got the attention of former President Bill Clinton in saying, “School uniforms are one step that may be able to break this cycle of violence, truancy, and disorder in our school systems” (Chen, 2008). The use of school uniforms will also minimize the gang activity by not being able to wear gang colors or symbols on clothing. School uniforms also will help school officials identify those individuals that do not belong on school property, by visually seeing the difference in clothing. In 1994, when the California school district of Long Beach implemented school uniforms, the fights and muggings at school decreased by 50% this static alone makes it safer to send your children to public schools. Another example would be Ruffner Middle School in Norfolk, the number of discipline referrals decreased by 42% once uniforms were enforced (Chen, 2008). In 1995 South Shore Middle School in Settle Washington reported in the first year uniforms were implemented the demeanor in the school has improved 98%, an increase in attendance rates and higher student achievement (Grauke, 2005). The main goal of any school is to have children wanting to attend school and continue the commitment to learn. The school uniform is a sign of equality and has increased the commitment and pride in a school and the student body. A school should be able to look upon the students and know that they are all there equally and treat each child just as equal. A good example of treating children equally is the no child left behind program that is now in place for public schools. The idea is to not separate the children who have learning disabilities but to weave them into classes with additional teachers so they don’t feel separated and segregated. School uniforms will only help all students feel equal and fairly treated when implemented in the correct manner. The cost of uniforms is also a topic that has been brought up, that it will somehow cause needy families to feel pressured into purchasing something they cannot afford. The idea is to help keep their children from being picked upon and ridiculed for the clothing that they do wear. Several school systems even have grants from local foundations that cover the $25 dollar cost of uniforms for families that cannot afford to buy them. The government and several other agencies are here to help you if you need it to purchase uniforms; there are even department stores that run specials on uniform attire because they are aware of the need. The school and government are only looking out for the best interest of the child and that is what should be the most important topic. A student that is constantly ridiculed and picked upon will go into depression and seal themselves off from the learning environment. When a child goes into depression and it is not treated or noticed what will the outcome be? A student that I went with was so picked on so much and made fun of for what he could not afford that he ended up killing himself just because no one seemed to care. The school did not step in and defuse the tension between him and the other students. With school uniforms in place it would have helped make a difference, I am not saying it could have fixed or stopped what happen but it may have been a life changing experience for him. A problem that people are trying to say that will come with converting all schools to uniforms is the transition from adolescent to adult. The child with a lack of self expression will not be able to identify who they truly are as an adult. The individual will face the criticism and pressure as an adult instead of a child. When it comes to self expression a child is still structured by what they wear by their parents. The parent of a child is the one who ideally purchases and makes the choice is this appropriate for my child and should they wear this. A child who chooses what they wear to school without structure will more than likely make a poor decision; a teenage girl may go to school with a low cut shirt and shorts that are not really covering much. When a child makes a choice like that it can only lead to distractions within the class. A teenage boy may get the wrong idea about the girl and then try to influence her into doing things that they should not be doing. The type of situation can them lead to a sexual harassment charge or even rape. A school structure with a uniform in place will only help keep students focused on learning and less on the opposite sex. Today there are more and more students who are being diagnosed with ADD (Attention Defecate Disorder). The students who are struggling to learn are being distracted by several different issues thru out the day. Classes are busy, loud at times, several different teachers, and keeping up with what is going on between each peer group is also a lot to deal with. The distraction of what is popular to war and who is wearing what can be eliminated by implementing the school uniform policy. With the increase of ADD or ADHD in students would this not make it just a little bit easier for them to concentrate on what is important, they already struggle with so much in today’s environment. The student who has this disorder is already stressed and pressured enough by peers and teacher alike, the uniform would be one less thing they have to worry about each day. When student’s get up in the morning the choice has already been made and it would make it for them to remember their school work and what is important instead of what am I going to wear today. Each and every student should be able to freely express themselves in and out of class; when I think of expressing myself I consider art, music, or even writing a poem or book. Expression is not limited to just the clothing an individual wears. Many people would say that it is against the 1st amendment to implement such a rule, but we all wear a uniform to work of some kind. A uniform does not limit who you are; it just helps promote a good structure and balance in a school learning environment. When an individual goes into a shopping center he or she looks at the employees and expect a clean uniform and it does not have to a blue polo and khaki pant uniform but clothes without holes in them. The person should have a clean shirt and name tag to identify them and show professionalism. What harm would it cause to do this in school to help form a better future for our students and prepare them just a little bit more for the real world. There are several countries who have already applied school uniforms in their system and they seem to excel in educational programs compared to American students. This will only give us a fighting chance to keep up with the changing world around us and to keep our children safe as well. In conclusion of the topic of school uniforms, not everyone will be happy but the results from test in public school system are staggering. The idea of expressing yourself personally thru clothing is something that can be done outside of classroom. Students come to school each day to socialize and become future presidents, lawyers, doctors, and even teachers; making sure we keep them focused on their future and not the latest fashion has to be a priority. Our children need to under the importance in receiving a great education and school uniforms are one major piece of the puzzle.

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