School uniform policies are a controversial issue among schools. Two members of The Bobcat Times staff debate on why or why not we should have them.
School uniforms are a hot topic that many students think about, for the most part most have made up their mind that they dislike them. But a lot of what students assume about school uniforms is incorrect.
School uniforms benefit students’ academics, social behavior, and their overall attitude about school. Whether required to wear a specific colored polo shirt or a whole required outfit, uniforms help students in their daily school life.
Many advantages come with wearing school uniforms like better concentration and improved grades. Uniforms take less time to choose from than regular clothes, and can be less distracting during the day. When asked how school uniforms benefitted her at Fulton High School, Jazper Bradford, now CHS student, responded, “ ...made [school] easier, because I didn’t have to find something to wear in the morning.” By students not having to spend as much time worrying about what to wear or how to make a fashion statement they can devote more time to learning.
Requiring school uniforms dictate a stricter environment that encourage students to follow and respect school rules. Decreased violence in schools has also been directly correlated to schools with uniforms. In a Nevada Middle School study, discipline referrals were reduced about 10% the first year uniforms were given out. Uniforms provide a more professional feel to the school environment, so students will tend to behave more appropriately. Mrs. Lutton, assistant principal, used to work at Fulton High as a teacher. During that time, she was used to students having to wear uniforms. She believes that, “[Uniforms] allows students to come to school for the purpose of learning.”
School uniforms also eliminate discrimination between students about what they do or don’t have. Kids are no longer segregated by the clothes they wear; jocks, nerds, goths, etc. Social relationships are no longer bound to just your immediate friends but to many other students as well.
The advantages of school uniforms out-weigh the disadvantages. If schools want better behavior and academics from students, they should consider implementing school uniforms. Uniforms help unite students in a common goal: to do well in school. School uniforms demonstrate to everyone that students are more than just their own clothes: they are all individuals.
School uniforms: these two words are often cringe-worthy for most public school students. As teenage students, we oppose the idea because we tend to hang on to any amount of freedom that is granted to us. Adults, on the other hand might enjoy the idea in such a way that parents would prefer to imprison their children in their homes forever rather than allowing them to explore the world. However, the “positive” effects of school uniforms are highly generalized and often incorrect. The idea of school uniforms is not only unfavorable for students, but has a longitudinally negative effect on the individuals that have to conform to it.
All schools that require uniforms do so to obtain an overall goal: avoid conflict. Administrators believe that by forcing every kid to look and dress the same, bullying will not be such an issue. This concept may be effective during school hours, but have they considered the lasting effects of promoting the idea that conformity is the best way to avoid conflict? Isn’t the idea of conforming to avoid conflict the very idea that made individualists a target for criticism? If all children at a given school wear blue and red polo shirts every day, they will most likely have a more difficult time learning to accept and embrace the imminent diversity that exists in the real world.
Uniforms have the tendency to discourage the individuality and creativity that we acquire throughout our lives. Whether people like it or not, diversity is simply inevitable, and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you force students to dress the same, it is guaranteed that they will find another way to express their opinions. For example, Southwest Middle School, the school that I used to attend in Polk County, Florida, had a very strict dress code. Students were only able to wear red, black, or navy blue polo’s as well as school printed tee shirts. In protest, students often dyed their hair crazy colors and many of them got visible tattoos and piercings. Bullies started to target the kids with less popular tattoos and piercings, which didn’t solve the bullying issue, but only refocused it.
Another generalization that uniform supporters make is that uniforms eliminate the problem of financial issues that arise with buying regular clothes. This argument would make sense if uniforms were the only thing that kids wore in and out of school... but they are not. Parents have to provide clothing for their children for life outside of school. Schools that don’t require uniforms make it easier for parents because it allows students to simply wear what they already have in their closets rather than having to go out and buy specific clothes that are only suitable for a day at school. Uniforms actually create more financial issues for parents.