The usages of school uniforms started in the 1960’s. To require uniforms or not to require uniforms is the question many school districts are facing today. This is one of the most common proposals put fourth for reform of the American System of Education. Some argue that uniforms have not been proven to work and they interfere with the freedom of speech and expression for young people. However, I argue that uniforms can make schools safer, and also improve school attendance, and increase students’ achievement. “The number of public schools adopting uniforms and strong dress codes is growing annually” (NAESP 2000).
Wearing uniforms can improve student behavior. In the modern day kids have become more obsessed with their clothing. Kids that go to school in unfashionable clothes are often teased or bullied. Other kids that wear the more flashy clothes get jumped or mugged for their designer clothes and expensive sneakers. Many females would wear sexually degrading clothing, and the males’ behavior fed the degradation. If every student wore the same thing students would not have this problem. Wearing uniforms prevents gang members from wearing gang colors.
Students who are allowed to free dress can be exposed to gang violence, simply by wearing the wrong color. Gang members can be very dangerous. Uniforms eliminate many gang fights during school. Some schools may have problems with unwanted people or intruders invading the school. If the entire school was dressed a like it would be a lot easier for security guards to spot the intruders. Opponents believe the uniform dress-code policy did not fix all the problems. For instants, some students still try to “sag,” or wear undershirts or shoelaces that reflect gang colors.
They believe that students are going to get into fights and be bullied by one another with or without being in a uniform. Wearing a uniform cannot make students popular or make their hair grow. These are other reason why students get bullied in school as well. Bulling is not just based on what you wear. Gang members are very territorial. They can spot out other gang members by the way they act not just by what they wear. Kids also hang out outside of school, so it is easy to find out who is apart of a gang. Uniforms do not prevent gang fights.
If an outsider knows that the school they are going to invade has a uniform policy, it is very easy for them to buy a uniform to blend in. Then how would the security guards distinguish them from the rest? Enforcing uniforms may no completely stop the problems inside of schools, but they can improve and make situations better. Uniforms help increase student’s attendance. Various psychological outcomes are attributed to wearing uniforms including: increased self-esteem (Thomas, 1994), increased spirit (Jarchow, 1992), and increased feelings of “oneness” among students (LaPointe, Holoman, & Alleyne, 1992).
Students are more likely to go to school in a uniform because they have no fear of getting hurt or talked about because of what they wear. They will not have to spend hours at night or in the morning trying to figure out what they are going to wear to school, because that decision has virtually already been made for them. I am college student and there are days when I sometimes find myself missing my uniform because I didn’t know what to wear and would spend 30- 40 minutes shuffling through my closet. Students also will not have the need to try to compete outfits with other students.
They will fell better about themselves knowing that everyone is dressed a like. Everyone wearing the same uniform in school can be presented as a form of unity. It can increase student’s school spirit, and make them excited to go to school. Opponents argue that in this generation kids want to be different. Nobody wants to be like the next or the last person. Every student has his or her own personality. With everyone wearing the same thing makes it difficult for students to express themselves. That does not build up self-esteem. It makes more students have much insecurity, which makes them depressed and not want to attend school.
Students will begin to feel like there is no point of going to school if they cannot be themselves. Making student wear uniforms helps decrease student’s attendance. I feel that students can still express themselves by the way they speak and act. What you wear on the outside is not the only way to get noticed. Uniforms helped improve learning achievements for students at the middle school I once attended. The hallways are now empty and quiet during instructional time. The graffiti that once lined the corridors of the school is gone.
Replacing the graffiti is student work, hanging in the classrooms and hallways. Now you walk into a classroom and you will find students engaged in learning activities. During passing periods, students are civil as they move from one class to another. And when the bell rings, few stragglers are left patrolling the hallways skipping class. In short, there is now a functioning school where once there was just a school building. The students are now more concerned with their studies and less about their attire. Others express that uniforms do not affect academic achievement.
Students tend to work better when they are comfortable. Kids do not learn much of value in an environment where they are excluded from decision-making. Uniforms are no longer serving their traditional role as a marker of elite status. On average, the face of the uniformed student in U. S. public schools is one of poverty and minority status; these students attend schools with high enrollments, dismal funding and lack of resources. A study was done in 2004 and the results indicated that uniforms have a negative and significant effect on reading achievements for teenagers (Brunsma 2004).
Uniforms undermine the goal of trying to achieve. I stand strongly in believing in what I know from once being a uniformed student, that they do benefit students in many ways. The way I look at it is, if it means that the school rooms will be more orderly and more disciplined and that our young people will learn to evaluate themselves by what they are on the inside, instead of what they are wearing on the outside, then more schools should want to require their students to wear school uniforms.