Should Schools Require Students to Wear Uniforms? Essay

How many of you remember the State of the Union address delivered by President Bill Clinton in 1996? One of the issues that most concerned him was discipline and violence in schools. He stated the following: ¨ …And 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 school uniforms¨. How would you feel if your child were attacked over clothing? How would you feel if your child were the assailant? According to an article in the Free Press website, discipline, safety and security have become issues that plague many schools. In this paper we will address the problems faced by schools and how they are dealing with these issues.

Schools throughout the country have been experiencing discipline problems. One the one hand, a number of students have been harassed because of what they wear. It is no secret that students who cannot afford designer clothes and who do not wear the latest trends are belittled and made fun of. These students are ostracised and alienated by their peers. Additionally, they are called names because they wear second hand clothes and some experience bullying at the hands of peers that are more popular.

On the other hand, a number of students who can afford expensive items have been attacked because they wear items other students covet. These students are beaten up and robbed. Another problem is that some students simply wear inappropriate clothing. How many times have we seen teenage girls wear extremely short skirts and revealing tops? How many times have we seen teenage boys wear baggy pants and exposed underwear? It has become increasingly common to see teenagers wear clothes that are too daring and clothes bearing inappropriate insignias. It is usual to see kids wear clothing bearing suggestive or offensive messages.

Additionally, according to an article published by the education bug website, schools authorities have a difficult time identifying intruders who wander into school, for both students and intruders wear street clothes. This is a very serious matter, as outsiders could pose a grave threat to the students.

One possible solution to these problems is to adopt school uniforms policies. According to an article published by the Education Bug website, the Long Beach Unified School District in California adopted a mandatory uniform policy in 1994, and the use of uniforms in public schools is growing, especially in elementary, middle and high school. According to the National Center of Education, 14 percent of public schools principals reported that their school had adopted a policy requiring students to wear uniforms for the 2005-2006 school year and, also in 2005-2006 school year, 55 percent of school principals reported that their school had strict dress codes. After the first public school began using uniforms, other school followed suit. Additionally, schools in 21 states and the District of Columbia have some sort of uniform requirement and students in 95 percent of public schools in New Orleans. 85 percent of public schools in Cleveland, 80 percent of public schools in Chicago, 65 percent of public schools in Boston, 60 percent of public schools in Miami and 50 percent of public schools in Cincinnati must wear school uniforms.

School uniforms could help to solve an array of problems. School uniforms could help to identify who belongs on school campus and who does not, in other words, uniforms could help to reinforce security and they also help to differentiate between students and intruders. Also, uniforms could help to instill discipline. Students would have to behave themselves as they would be easily identified and held accountable for their actions.

Wearing school uniforms could decrease the chance of hiding weapons and other dangerous objects. Additionally, school uniforms could help to remove status symbols and help to eliminate economic differentiation.

If other public schools decided to adopt policies requiring students to wear school uniforms, students would not be able to harass each other because of their clothes and students would be in a safer environment. Students would not be able to make fun of or ostracise students who cannot afford the latest or more expensive fashion and those students who can afford expensive items would not run the risk of being robbed or assaulted.

Additionally, school authorities would be able to keep track of truants and would be able to recognize trespassers. School officials could help protect the student body by not allowing potential intruders the opportunity to approach, make contact, show aggression or fight with students.

School authorities have been forced to adopt policies regarding uniforms. However, if a mandatory uniform policy is to succeed and in order to avoid power clashes between parents, teachers and students, school authorities have to make sure parents and students are involved in the final decision of implementing a uniform policy. Parents and students should be able to give their input and be involved from the very beginning. Schools authorities have to call parent and teacher meetings and ask them about their opinions and invite them to raise concerns about uniform policies. If your child were to be asked to wear a uniform, you would have every right to approach the school board or the director and be able to express any doubts or objections, school authorities should address those worries. If you are a parent and have to make a special request regarding the guidelines, especially if the suggested uniforms are too expensive or if the students are not allowed to wear religious items, you should approach the principal.

School authorities also have to be able to provide uniforms to those students whose families cannot afford them. School authorities should subsidize disadvantaged students. The school board could have school store buy in bulk and sell the same uniform to all students.

As you can see, schools all over the country have experienced discipline problems, which calls for immediate action. Several districts have decided to adopt uniform policies that could help to solve some a myriad of problems that have a negative effect on the student body in general. However, schools are discouraged from taking decisions without consulting the parents and the students, for this would be counterproductive. Students have to be able to express their views on what they wear, after all clothes are considered a form of self-expression.

Works cited

  • Clinton, William J. ¨ State of the Union Address¨. 23 Jan. 1996. The White House Home Page. 10 Apr. 2009
  • McConnell, Maggie. ¨Discipline Issues Plague Schools¨. 5 Dec. 2007. Community Free Press. 12 Apr. 2009
  • ¨Public School Uniform Debate¨. 10 Jan. 2002. Education Bug a Complete Listing of Educational Resources. 10 Apr. 2009
  • ¨Public School Uniform Statistics¨. 10 Jan. 2002. Education Bug a Complete Listing of Educational Resources. 09 Apr. 2009
  • ¨Fast Facts¨. 2007. IES National Center for Education Statistics. 09 Apr. 2009
    < http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=50 >
  • ¨School Uniform¨. 2006. K12 Academics. 17 Apr. 2009
    < http://www.k12academics.com/education-issues/school-uniform >

I. Introduction

How many of you remember the State of the Union address delivered by President Bill Clinton in 1996? He addressed the very important issue of discipline and violence.: ¨ …And 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 school uniforms¨. In this paper we will address the problems faced by schools and how they are dealing with these issues.

II. Body

Schools throughout the country have experienced discipline problems and violence.

A number of students have been harassed due to what they wear.

Students who cannot afford expensive clothes are ostracised and bullied.

Students who can afford expensive clothes are beaten up and robbed.

Students wear inappropriate clothing:

  • Clothes that are too daring
  • Clothes bearing offensive or suggestive messages.

Schools authorities have a hard time identifying intruders who wander into school.
According to an article published by the Education Bug website, the Long Beach Unified School District in California adopted a uniform policy in 1994, and the use of uniforms in public schools is growing, especially in elementary, middle and high school. School uniforms could help to solve an array of problems.
Uniforms could help to identify who belongs on campus and who does not.

Uniforms could help to instill discipline.

Uniforms could decrease the chance of hiding weapons.

Uniforms could help to remove status symbols and help to eliminate economic differentiation.

Students would not be able to harass each other because of their clothes and students would be in a safer environment.

Students would not be able to make fun of or assault students who cannot afford the latest or more expensive fashion.

Students who can afford expensive items would not run the risk of being robbed or attacked.

School authorities would be able to keep track of truants and would help to recognize trespassers.

School authorities have been forced to adopt policies regarding uniforms, but parents and students should have a say in the matter.

Parents and students should be able to give their input.

Schools have to provide financial help to those who cannot afford them.

III. Conclusion

As you can see, schools all over the country have experienced discipline problems and violence, which calls for immediate action. Several districts have decided to adopt uniform policies that could help to solve some a myriad of problems that have a negative effect on the student body in general. However, schools are discouraged from taking decisions without consulting the parents and the students, for this would be counterproductive.

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Should Schools Require Students to Wear Uniforms?. (October 5, 2020).
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