School uniforms have been part of the private school setting for a number of years. Over the last decade we have found that many public schools are now adopting school uniforms as well. There are many arguments both for and against school uniforms. Today we will take a look at a few of the arguments from both sides to try and give a little more insight into the issue of school uniforms.
Some major reasons those in favor of school uniforms feel they are beneficial:
- Uniformity – for many years now school administrators have tried to set dress codes that were appropriate and fair but still allowed students to expression their own individuality. This has become increasingly difficult with popular trends in clothing showing more and more skin and insignia on clothing becoming more vulgar and suggestive.
- Save money – fashion can become so important to a teenager that a family will spend more than they can afford just trying to keep up.
- Stop dress-identified cliques – many gangs or other cliques will choose clothing as a way of signifying that they belong to a certain group.
- Community spirit – wearing a school uniform can help make everyone feel like they are part of something significant.
- Reduce crime – if everyone is wearing the same clothing it is much less likely that students will steal clothing from other students. Also victims that became targets because of their clothing will be eliminated.
- Reduce intruders – if everyone in the school dresses the same, anyone at the school that does not belong will be easily identified.
- Recognizing individual talents – having everyone dressed the same forces teachers and peers alike to look further than one’s clothing to determine who that person really is. In this way everyone is given a fair chance to prove who they are.
Some reasons individuals oppose school uniforms include:
- Lack of self-expression – it may be more difficult for an individual to feel like they can express their personality if they have to dress the same as everyone else.
- Expense – some feel that purchasing school uniforms is more than their budget can afford.
- Exertion of power – some think that school uniforms are just a way for school administrators to show their power over their students.
- Doesn’t prevent cliques or gangs – while they may not use clothing to show they are part of a gang or clique, having school uniforms does not prevent these groups from forming.
- Negative expression – if teenagers are not allowed to show self-expression in how they dress, they may find other, inappropriate, ways to express themselves.
- Self-image – some uniforms are very unflattering and students may develop a very negative self-image if they are forced to wear something that they do not look good in.
- Differences – forcing everyone to dress the same can take away opportunities for children and teens to learn tolerance and skills for dealing with people they find different or unappealing.
- Conformity – some feel that uniforms send the message that conformity is the way to prevent conflict and that this is not an appropriate message for schools to teach.
Both the arguments for and the arguments against school uniforms have some validity. With the increase in crime and behavioral issues in public schools over the past decade, many schools are choosing to adopt a school uniform in an effort to help stop these problems. Find more information and statistics regarding public school uniforms here.