According to the U. S. Department of Education statistics, in 2010 nearly 1 in 5 public schools required a school uniform, up from just 1 in 8 a decade earlier. That is a huge growth in uniform requirements in American state schools (CTD. In Bennett). A school uniform is an outfit that is picked out by the school’s administration that every student who chooses to go to that school must wear.
Although there are some critics who argue that a school uniform violates a students’ right to freedom of expression and can cause a financial burden on poor families, school uniforms should be mandatory for everyone in primary and secondary school, because it increases students’ self-esteem ND school unity, it helps promote school safety, and it helps students resist the peer pressure to buy trendy clothing. Some critics say that by enforcing a school uniform on students it consequently infringes on the student’s right to express himself.
While it may be true that preteens and teenagers like to express themselves through the clothes that they wear, educational psychologist and Today contributor, Michele arroba, explains, “a new mindset is needed, it’s not the stuff that you wear, its the stuff on the inside” (Flam). Students can learn to express homeless in other ways, such as, their thoughts, their words, and their deeds. By using these avenues of expression, it will inevitably lead to added positive attention and higher self-esteem.
Another argument that is posed by people who are against uniforms is regarding the high price of uniforms and the financial strain it places on poor families. Granted that this is a problem, there are various resolutions. First, the school can create a reward system for donating any old uniforms to the school, so that the underprivileged can acquire the uniforms for free or at least at a reduced price. Also, the school can offer scholarships to the families that are unable to afford the uniforms.
Last, in majority of cases the amount of money a family spends on uniforms is about the same amount that the family would spend on clothing for the school year, so they may as well wear uniforms. There are many factors a school must take into account to ensure that their students can get the most out of the experience, not only academically, but socially as well. Schools who require their students to wear a uniform say that their students have a better self-esteem, and a better sense of school unity.
Uniforms minimize the focus placed on brand name clothing, which causes students to have a better self-esteem, because students are placed on an equal level regardless of what they are wearing. Poorer students do not feel and are not treated as inferior because they do not have nice clothes. This equality also seems to create a sense of school unity. Dry. Viola Vaughan and Allan Sledge, who are both principals from Halifax County, voice that ‘ u have witnessed an increase in school unity since uniforms were required” (Daniels).
One of the big obstacles in school unity is the way people are dressed, so once that is demolished it makes it one step easier to endorse unison within a school. In order for students to learn effectively it is vital that the school creates an environment that students feel safe. Unfortunately, in schools without uniforms there is a high demand for high priced designer clothing that often puts students at a risk of theft and violence from other students. Additionally, some students wear clothing that indicates participation in gangs, and it can cause fear and intimidation in schools.
According to the National School Safety Services, which is an organization that deals with nationwide school feet, uniforms help reduce violence and improve school safety by reducing conflict stemming from socioeconomic statuses, reducing ways in which gang member can identify themselves, reducing the risk of students being robbed of expensive clothing and jewelry, and it helps school administrators to more easily identify instruments, trespassers, and other visitors in the hallways who stand out in the crowd (CTD. N Daniels). A display of the positive effects of a school requiring students to wear uniforms is clearly shown in the aftermath of Californians Long Beach school strict implementing mandatory school uniforms. From the time that they began requiring uniforms, crime in the school district dropped by 91 percent, suspensions decreased by 90 percent, sex offenses reduced by 96 percent, and vandalism went down 69 percent.
Furthermore, a study released by Harvard School of Education found that Long Beach School district was among six districts in the nation’s 34 largest cities that dramatically reduced their dropout rates (CTD. In Daniels). The dress policy that a school executes sets the tone for the students regarding what is appropriate for the school eating, while impacting the way the students relate and interact with each other.
Beginning from a very young age, children in school naturally feel peer pressure, whether in the area of which clothing to wear, which hairstyle to choose, or which friends to have. However, when a school requires students to wear uniforms, it helps students resist the peer pressure to buy trendy clothes. Depending on the brand, clothing can be very expensive. For example, a pair of American Eagle jeans can cost up to $97. 46, or take a pair Of Firebombed overalls that can cost up to $160- that is just for one pair Of ants, if an individual adds a name brand shirt the price can double.
In schools that do not require uniforms many students fear that if they do not wear the most fashionable name-brands then they may be considered a nerd, or even worse they may be socially isolated from the “cool” students. Additionally, by requiring uniforms it alleviates stress from the parents to buy extremely expensive high-end clothing. Over the past number of years there has been a lot of discussion about whether schools should require students to wear uniforms or not, and many schools concluded that uniforms are the best option.