School uniforms are nothing to new to most of the world’s public and private schools, but in the United States, the use of uniforms in public schools is almost unheard of. The way that students dress may seem insignificant to the learning environment, but it absolutely plays a large role. There are strong supporters and arguments for both sides of this issue, but in order to truly understand the conflict, you must understand all of the benefits and consequences that come from implementing a mandatory school uniform.
The Advantages of School Uniforms
1. Helps To Prevent Bullying
Clothes are a status symbol in schools. Many students who are unable to afford the newest fashions or name brand clothing are ostracized and made fun of. School uniforms puts everyone on an even playing field and prevents this type of bullying from happening.
2. Aids In Identifying Students
If a child is kidnapped, lost, or runs away from school or a school function then they can be very easily identified by their uniform. Most schools have a unique uniform, which helps them to keep better track of all of their students.
3. Promotes School Spirit
If every single day, every person in the school is sporting their schools colors and mascots, then a feeling of unity and togetherness is inspired. This helps with the overall moral of the student body and ignites a higher sense of school spirit and pride.
4. Eases Morning Routines
Knowing exactly what you are wearing for the day, and having no other choice, greatly reduces the amount of preparation and time that is required on getting ready for school in the morning. This helps to reduce stress in the students and parents, as well as allow for a more restful night sleep.
5. Helps Prevent Gang Activity
Gangs use colors and symbols in order to identify themselves as members. Every year, there are many crimes involving drugs and violence that happen in our schools because of gangs. School uniforms prevent theses gangs from putting themselves on display.
6. Can Be Money Saving
The pressure to buy children, especially the older ones, trendy and expensive clothing is huge for parents. School uniforms are often much cheaper than buying an entire wardrobe of trendy fashion.
The Disadvantages of School Uniforms
1. Interferes With Creativity And Self Expression
Clothing is a big way that people express who they are and their personal style every day. School uniforms strip students of this right and can make them feel like they are being oppressed.
2. Comparison Is Inevitable
School uniforms require all of the students to wear the same outfits than they will compare who looks better in that outfit. This is especially true for girls, who are always comparing themselves to each other.
3. Cause Resentment Among Students
The majority of students do not want uniforms. If they are forced to wear them, without taking into consideration of the way that they feel about the situation, then they will begin to resent the school and the administration. This could cause behavior problems throughout the school.
4. Undermines a “Free Education”
Public school is a government service that is there to educate children, at no cost to their parents. By making school uniforms mandatory, you are requiring parents to shell out money for school uniforms in order for their children to attend school. This contradicts the idea of a free education system.
5. Hinders Self Thinking
With school uniforms, young students do not have to learn to make appropriate clothing decisions. This could interfere with their transition into adulthood, especially when having to choose appropriate work attire.
6. Merely a Band Aid On a Bigger Problem
Opponents to school uniforms believe that they are simply a way to try to solve a much bigger problem. Attendance rates and performance in public schools have been lowering every year. This is due to a wide variety of problems that plague the halls of schools, but the clothing that the students are wearing plays a very small role.