School Uniforms Essay
School UniformsCurrently in America an on going debate continues regarding a uniformpolicy suggested to public and private schools. This develops into acontroversial issue because valid argument exist on both sides. Giving thisissue much thought has lead me to believe that making school uniforms mandatorywould help the school systems. School uniforms would help unruly classrooms,also students would not have to buy expensive clothes and students would not getkilled over tennis shoes.
Schools that have adopted uniforms have reported several advantages.
Some school systems including ones in Miami, Detroit, and Los Angeles haveadopted a voluntary uniform policy. Under this plan schools do not requirestudents to wear their uniform, but most students cooperate. In the fall of1994, the Long Beach Unified School District became the first in the nation torequire uniforms, hoping to improve the overall conduct and scholastic recordsof their students. This school system feels that dressing students the samewould eliminate the pressure of fitting in, build up students self-esteem, andaugment student moral. Parents, teachers, and students agree that wearinguniforms would decrease arguments that begin over expensive clothing andsneakers. School systems hope uniforms will help to eliminate gang violencecaused by students wearing rival gang colors. Uniforms would also prevent thewealthier students from picking on their less fortunate classmates because theycan not afford to dress the same. Although no evidence confirms that theuniform policy will improve academic achievement, the Long Beach Unified SchoolDistrict reported a 50% decline in the number of disturbances at school and busstops in their district.Overall, the Long Beach Unified School District hasset an example for other schools planning to adopt the uniform policy by showingnoticeable improvements in specific areas of its educational environment.
Opponents of the uniform policy say it comes with disadvantages. Notall students want to fit in. Instead, they value their freedom andindividuality. Students feel that making school uniforms mandatory takes awaytheir right to self-expression. Opponents feel that uniforms are just a newgimmick that will have little effect on education. Also, school uniforms wouldprove costly for the students.
On the other hand some people argue that uniforms are cheaper thanbuying children street clothing. However, opponents still feel that uniformsshould not become a requirement. Most of the schools adopting uniforms arechoosing so many other reforms that they will have difficulty proving thatuniforms deserve praise. Skepticism, economics, and students reluctance to wearuniforms will continue to further decrease the popularity of uniforms in ourschools system.
In conclusion, making uniforms mandatory in schools definitaly has itspros and cons, which makes the issue very difficult to agree on. Uniforms mightimprove the overall behavior of students by lifting school spirit and decreasingaltercations caused over expensive articles of clothing, but no evidence existsthat links uniforms to any aspect of education. Furthermore wearing schooluniforms takes away a students right to self-expression and will cost parents afortune. But as President Bill Clinton stated in his State of the UnionAddress, maybe schools should be allowed to require uniforms if it would meanteenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets.