A Positive Approach Towards the Future The issue of mandatory school uniforms has taken on several debates over the past decade; it is believed that this issue will plague public schools for decades to come. Students who wear uniforms feel a sense of being superior with their fellow classmates. This feeling of being part of a group boosts morale and individual confidence, thus leading to higher grades. Children will be more focused in a uniform classroom. There is no more distraction as to what the other kids are wearing or who has the name brand shoes.
Girls will be dressed appropriately and clothing will fit properly. This adds to the learning experience. There is no more competition. There is no more rivalry and the children are able to focus on their schoolwork and not on the latest trends ( Bodine 67-69). Former President Clinton made a state of the union address in 1996; in that address, the subject of mandatory school uniforms was mentioned. “If it means that teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear uniforms” (Williams).
In fact, that year in Long Beach, California, the first district to implement mandatory uniform policies, assault dropped by sixty-seven percent, vandalism by eighty-two percent, and robbery by thirty-five percent. Overall crime was reduced by seventy-three percent the first year the policy was in place (Williams). This was a direct reflection of the uniform policy. Students were more disciplined and behaved in a more mature manner. These students took pride in themselves and others.
With the lack of material items to fight over, students no longer felt the need to use aggression towards others, proving that school uniforms do in fact improve student behavior. Also when it comes to crime, a student wearing a school logo, is less apt to commit a crime outside of school while in uniform because it would be easier to track him based off of the school information on the uniform? This lowers the crime rate for the general public as well as the in school instances.
Not only do mandatory uniform policies for public schools offer the potential for higher educational benefits and improved student discipline, school uniforms dissolve social boundaries between classmates. Students are no longer judged based off their appearance but by who they are on the inside. There is no more competition between social classes that these students may have otherwise felt and they work together as a team and share a common pride. All students will feel a sense of belonging. No longer will lower income children be labeled as poor based off of their clothing.
All children will appear as equals in the classroom and will be treated as such. However, some may argue that uniformity takes away from the student’s individuality. Many children, especially teens, express themselves through their personal styles and the way they dress. Sometimes children need to feel special or unique and dressing a certain way is how they accomplish this. Uniformity takes away from the First Amendment by taking away freedom of expression. If we take away the freedom of expression, we are taking away our children’s creativity and conforming them into a society where free thinking is not accepted.
However this is not the case. The uniform does not change who the child is on the inside or how he thinks creatively. Students will still be able to focus creative energy through activities such as art, music, writing or sports. There are several creative outlets besides the choice of clothing options. When it comes to our economy, we as Americans must pinch our pennies where we can. Many parents are faced with the dilemma of outfitting their children in the latest trends or putting money towards more important things like saving for their children’s college education.
Some families are unable to afford the popular named brand clothing that their children desires, which make the children, feel inadequate in school when they are forced to wear lesser brand clothes or second hand outfits. School uniforms would take away that hassle of finding bargains to ensure that their children feel confident in their attire. Uniforms are generally more durable than the average street clothes. Granted, the cost may be a bit more substantial in the beginning, but the uniforms will last longer which means there is less out of pocket expense for replacement articles.
With uniforms, the parents may only have to purchase two or three sets compared to several pairs of bottoms and tops. Uniforms are more durable and can be washed more frequently compared to regular clothes. This makes them the better option not only for lower income families, but all families in general (Romero C4+). Critics claim that uniforms will cost the families more money in the long run because parents will be forced to buy the uniforms and regular clothing for their children to wear when they are not in school.
The cost for parents may double that of just buying traditional school clothes. Although this is partly true, that yes, parents will be faced to make additional purchases for their children, in reality, they really won’t be spending that much more money if any. Since uniforms are more durable, the parents only need to buy a limited supply and since the children will only be wearing their regular clothes outside of school, parents will not have to buy as many outfits. Most children wear out their clothes while in school.
Since this is not an issue with the uniforms, the traditional street clothes will last longer, hence saving the parents money in the long run. Also without the constant competition in schools, children may not feel the need to have the latest brands and styles as they would if they were wearing the clothes to school on a daily basis around other social classes (King 3-5). With all of the advantages and disadvantages of implementing mandatory uniform wear into our public schools, there needs to be a compromise. Some schools have decided that it is best to make minor changes to the dress code policy.
When it comes to school uniforms, there is a never-ending debate as to what the right approach and the wrong approach may be for our public schools. Works Cited Bodine,A.. a€? School uniforms, academic achievement, and uses of researcha€?. The Journal ofEducational Research 19 Feb. 2008: 67-73. Print. King, K. A. Should school uniforms be mandated in elementary school?. 2010: 3+. Print. Romero, E. a€? School uniform countdowna€?. Daily News Record, 16 Aug. 1999, C2+. Print. Williams, D. a€? School uniforms: The raging debatea€?. n. d. Web. 5 Aug. 2011.