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.
This time of year is when parents do the bulk of clothes shopping for the children to get them ready for school. Whether you have a child in public school, private school, or homeschool them you have choices to make. Your child’s school may require uniforms and they may lesson the arguments about what your child is allowed to where but then you also have to buy uniforms on top of everyday clothing. This can ease some stress and then add some stress and cost to the equation. Either way most parents, teachers and students would agree that clothing is a subject where a lot of peer pressure comes into play.
School uniform requirements are a hot topic that is much debated. We will just provide a brief section for the pros of uniforms and one for the cons of uniforms.
Pros of School Uniforms:
Uniforms take the guess work out of setting guidelines of appropriate school attire.
The students clearly know what is expected of them, there is no room for interpretation.
Students and parents are less worried about fashion trends and can more readily focus on why they are at school.
Students appear as equals in every way. This eliminates social classes and cliques. It also keeps any gang related clothing articles out of the school. These things all create a feeling of unity in the school.
Students are easily identifiable on field trips.
Cons of School Uniforms:
Students lose their freedom of expression in regards to dress and outward appearance on some level due to uniform requirements.
Students do not see the real world at school, identifying that we are not all alike or have the same taste but that we can all get along.
It may not be right to teach conformity in school as a way to avoid problems with each other.
Students are not able to dress for their body type and so may not look their best in school uniforms that may be unflattering. Especially for teens and tweens, this can be hard on their self esteem.
Cost – parents may not have the money for new uniforms every time they are needed or when the school changes a uniform requirement. This excludes children which should never happen at school if possible.
Not allowing children to wear their own clothing will not prevent gangs, clicks or how students choose to express themselves in other ways. With the expression in how they dress taken away, they may find an alternative way that is not much better.
The debate can go on and on about school uniforms or what is appropriate for school dress codes.
Back to school can be stressful but it can also be a joyful time.It depends on how prepared you are and how far ahead you look to know how to handle situations.
If your child is moving to a new school you will need to take special consideration to help the student feel comfortable in their new learning environment.Going to back to school nights, visiting the classroom and teacher before school starts,Giving the student (if older) a map of the campus may help them to navigate and not get lost.Finding friends that your student may know at that school can make life easier.This could be someone from the neighborhood or church or other activities.The bottom line is to help your child find their place in their new environment and be active in their school.
Parents should try to volunteer as much as possible at the school that their student is attending.Parents should never underestimate the impact they have on their children’s lives when they get directly involved in what the child is doing.
The American Association of Pediatrics recently came out with an article that gave several tips on a broad spectrum of topics regarding this time of year.A few of these tips are:
Talk to your child about the first day of school.Point out positive aspects of having a new school year.
Find someone from your neighborhood that the child can walk or ride to school with that you feel comfortable with.
Make sure that the backpack you choose is light and comfortable.
Discuss safety with your child regarding getting to and from school.“Stranger danger” is a discussion we can’t have too many times with children of all ages.
Make sure you have lunch and snacks if necessary for your child.Talk to the school to see what your options are and make sure you have it all in place before the first day of school.
If your child is bullied make sure you teach them what they can do for themselves and always remain an active part of their school day.
Make sure you have child care in place for before or after school as needed.
Develop good homework and study habits.Make a spot in your home that is away from unnecessary distractions.A comfortable place with plenty of light is optimal.
Keep in mind that this list is not conclusive for everything that a parent has to think about regarding the beginning of a school year.There is naturally back to school shopping, uniform shopping and more.