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?
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!
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!!
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.
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.
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