I have attended a variety of schools in my life.  In one of my schools, it was required that students wear uniforms.  In my opinion, uniforms have many pros and cons.  Is it more productive academically for students to wear uniforms?  Does it cause less distractions, and maintain a better schooling environment?

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It is less expensive than trying to keep your child dressed in the latest brand names.  I would think that it would translate into less pressure for kids who cannot afford to dress with the "in crowd."  It must have some benefits because many public schools are now having students wear uniforms.

I agree 100%.  Our Middle School doesn't have Uniforms, but has considered it the past several years. 

 

Some of the concerns are normally that it would be expensive for parents, it strips students of their individuality, and the time it may take to enforce. 

 


However, a pair of dress pants and a collared shirt is much cheaper than some jeans and a T-Shirt from Hollister or Pac Sun.  I agree with the argument that uniforms strip students of their individuality, but it isn't like they dont have other means to express it (after school, on facebook, and even through their schoolwork).  Finally, the time it would take to enforce it wouldn't compare to the hours each week our administration spends trying to find kids clothing or making phone call when they DO break our dress code.

 

Also, since we dont have uniforms, we have to update our dress code every year.  A few years ago, we said "No Jeans with holes in them" when that became a huge style.  Students would continue to wear them, covering the holes with Florecent colors of Duct Tape.  Then our school decided to allow holes, but only below the knee.  So students took advantage of that.  This year, if your jeans have holes above the knees you must be wearing clothing under your jeans.  Now you will see students with their whole thighs completely ripped out with sweatpants underneath. 

 

If we simply had uniforms, we wouldn't have to update our dress code very year and it would be so easy to enforce.  I am all for them!


Although I see the benefits of uniforms, it also needs to be recognized that by using uniforms as an equalizer, it is implied that clothing should create social barriers.  Upon graduation students will enter into a society in which people dress with different clothing brands and styles.  If, up until this point, students have been told that what makes them equal is their exterior appearance, will that not create a greater sense of superiority or inferiority when the cost of clothing differs?  Instead, students need to be taught that the clothes in which they dress themselves do not and should not add or detract value; it is the content of their character that should be emphasized, and the focus should be taken away from clothing.

WHen I read your post, it occurred to me that the biggest impact of wearing a uniform is probably determined by the perception of the group that has to wear them.  For example, I know when my Band members put on their uniforms, you can see there pride come out and they literrally behave more professionally.  While I haven't had to wear a uniform in the school system that I went through, I would believe that it probably is seen as a penalty more than a privelage to wear them.  I think it's all in how you present the issue to the students.  Of course, I could easily be totally wrong!!

In the private school I attended a unifrom dress code was required. Many students violated dress code and it became a distraction to the teachers as well as the students. However, Daniel is correct in saying that students can begin to think more professionally given that the dress code is maintained.   

For high school I attended a private school.  However, we did not have a "uniform."  Rather, we had very strick guidelines of what we had to wear: polo (tucked in), a belt, no holes in jeans, no flip flops, no hoodies, you could not zip up your jacket, guys could not have facial hair, their hair could not touch the collar of their shirt or cover their ears, etc.  As you can see, this form of "uniform" can be very annoying and difficult to abide by; thus, causing resentment.  I actually remember a day my friend and I were walking out of chapel and our principal pulled her to the side.  She told her she would give her a detention if she saw her with her jacket zipped up again.  A bit ridiculous.  About my junior year, they had the students vote on whether they wanted uniforms or not.   It was almost unanimous for uniforms.  Unfortunately, they decided uniforms would be too expensive.  But when it comes to the point where you are looking at everything the students are wearing, you might as well go to uniforms because no one is happy.  

Having said that, before high school I went to a public school.  Of course, the dress code was much more lax.  However, what little there was was not followed at all.  On a daily basis you saw: cleavage, navels, crack, etc.  It was not pretty, and I did not enjoy seeing it.  So, I would also suggest uniforms for this school.

However, I do not believe having uniforms stops jealousy and superiority complexes.  You give the kids uniforms and they will simply find another way to set themselves apart.  Whether with diamond jewelry or manicured nails, some kids will always find a way to show they have more money.

My kids attend charter schools where uniforms are worn.  My sixteen year and her freinds have no problem with requirements and she is actually relieved that fashion at school is not one of her concerns.  Some argue that kids need to be allowed to express themselves, but clothing often becomes distracting and diverts time and effort away from a classrooms primary objective. 
I have done some observations in a school where the students wear uniforms and I can see a big difference between the students at that school and the schools I have done observations where the students don't wear uniforms.  At first I didn't think I would like the students wearing uniforms because I felt like it was not allowing them to be themselves but after my observations I feel completely different.  Now I think that uniforms allow the students to be themselves more because they are not trying to impress anyone or prove themselves to anyone by what they wear.  Also, I think that when the kids are not concentrated on their clothes so much, they can concentrate on their school work.
Lauren, I teach in a school district where uniforms are required of all schools and you are so right in your observations. 
I replied earlier to your post.  My daughter is in tenth grade iin a school that requires uniforms.  On our way home,  later that day, I posed the question to her.  It had been two years since we talked about this and i was curious to see if her opinion had changed.  To my suprise she was even more convinced uniforms were better.  "It's easier on kids and parents", she said.  My daughter plays sports and is a social butterfly.  She is an " A"  students ,in "Who's who" , Science Olympiad,and is a gifted writer.  "After a week or two, it becomes a non issue and you realize how much easier it is".  "You don't have to go to bed wondering what you'll wear, or get up early to accessorize".  Words of wisdom straight from the horses mouth...

I agree with you that uniforms have many pros and cons. However, I do think that it a good idea for students to wear uniforms.  I think having uniforms causes fewer distractions. Students will not be so worried about what others are wearing or what is “cool.” Also teachers will not have to worry so much about enforcing dress code. I think there would be a better learning environment if students had to wear uniforms.

I think that school uniforms are a very good idea, BUT, the one thing that you must take into consideration is that by the end of the year, the wear and tear on the poorer kids uniforms will make them stand out.  They will only have one or two complete uniforms where the kids with more means will buy more.  Many poorer families also do not have the means to wash laundry two or three times a week so those uniforms will be dirty and in bad shape by the end of the year.

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