Schools uniforms are becoming a common trend in the current school system. Students, teachers, and parents have varied feelings about the need for students to wear uniforms. While some point to the need for all learners to look alike and for discipline purposes, others contend that the requirement for all learners to wear uniforms takes away students’ freedom of self-expression. This paper argues that despite the reasons identified by opponents, school uniforms are necessary for schools and all stakeholders need to embrace it.
A common argument raised against the use of school uniforms is that it denies students a chance to fully express themselves. While this is some extent true, self-expression does not only involve clothes. The student can express him or herself through, for instance, doing hair in their style of choice, wearing bracelets, and putting on shoes of their choice and complementing this with the school uniform. Just because the learner is not allowed to dress in the latest, trendy jeans does not imply that they have been denied their rights. Furthermore, students can wear the clothes of their choice outside the school. From this perspective, uniforms give all students a homogenous look, putting them on a level playing ground, thus eliminating the likelihood of discrimination.
Schools which require that students use uniforms look more formal. The campus generally tends to have a professional look. In addition, school uniforms dissolve the concept of social classes. Allowing students to wear clothes of their choice provides a leeway for students to categorize and possibly label each other based on whether they come from wealthy or poor families. Such discrimination at school could lead to a rise in indiscipline cases, reduction in some students’ self-esteem, and poor performance in school.
The other concerns about school uniform touch on the teachers’ inability to identify students with violent tendencies and deal with them. Contrary to this allegation, uniforms help to suppress and eliminate violence and gang behavior. If students are allowed to dress in home wear, some will come to school wearing clothes with special identification gang-related colors leading to the formation of cliques. This is a factor that makes it harder for teachers to enforce discipline within the school. In fact, the essence of schooling is to acquire, among other things, education. Fashion should not be emphasized at school.
Uniforms also inculcate pride in a student, as each student identifies with the others and the school hence each of them feels proud to be associated with their institution. That way, student feel more closely connected to their classmates. A sense of community emerges, and this leads to a reduction in crime and gang affiliated behaviors. In fact, the sense of belonging that emerges from wearing of school uniforms helps to boost the students’ self-confidence. Also, bullying is a major issue in schools. Some students face physical, verbal, and social harassment from their schoolmates. Without school uniforms, it becomes easy for “bullies” to target the students who look different and who are not wearing the “right” clothes.
In conclusion, school uniforms ensure that all students have a level playing field in terms of social classes and education. Bullying and gang activity would be more prevalent if students were allowed to dress as they wish. Students, parents and teachers have an easy time undertaking their responsibilities in cases where the students have a standard uniform.
A Persuasive Essay Against School Uniforms
- Length: 654 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
High school is typically a time when kids begin to distinguish themselves from one another. Students begin to develop their own sense of personal style, desperately trying to both fit in and stand out simultaneously. Being self-conscious and often lacking the confidence needed to assert themselves, teens are forced to use clothing and outward appearance as the means to manifest this individuality. Thus, students should not be forced to wear uniforms to school. Standard uniforms are unproven deterrents to student violence; are a "Band-Aid" to cover up the real problems faced by children and teens; and they violate students' right of self-expression, depriving them of their search for identity.
There is something comforting about school children and teenagers dressed in pleats and plaid. Maybe it is a reminder of past times, or conjures up thoughts of order and safety. Whatever the reason, school uniforms are getting a lot of ?wear? these days, yet remain an unproven deterrent to school violence. No long-term, formal studies have been done with regards to the effectiveness of school uniforms, but many schools have kept their own informal statistics, such as the Long Beach School District. These statistics offered by Long Beach are often most cited as a proven deterrent to school violence, after adopting a mandatory uniform policy in 1994. According to Richard Van Der Laan, school crime has dropped over seventy-five percent, while attendance has reached an all-time high. One question we must ask ourselves is this, ?Is it the uniforms, or the induction of them that is solving the problem?? Maybe it is the school and parents showing some ?back-bone? which is affecting the students, not the clothing.
If you are a skeptic, get in line. There is no concrete evidence proving uniforms alone cause such dramatic reductions in crime, but rather, these policies appear to act as nothing more that a ?Band-Aid? that fails to address the real causes of youth violence. Although this violence, including sexual assault, can be linked to ?free-dress?, it is not dependent upon it, and points to deeper, more significant problems within the youth community. Violence is not learned by clothing, but rather through unfit home situations, negative friendships, and even popular culture (including emulation of television, media, music, and movies). A simple change in dress will not abolish these problems, but merely hide them for a time.
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Every individual looks different; everyone knows that. This fact is especially apparent in high schools across North America. Students? bodies are constantly changing and developing and students often try to wear clothing which is flattering and, or comfortable. It would be embarrassing to wear the same outfit as everyone else and look bad in it, and the shape or design of a standard uniform may not be right for every individual. Uniforms also prevent students from expressing creativity and using their own minds in making decisions on how to dress. Self-expression is a big part of maturing. All students are trying to find their identity and discover who they will become. If they cannot show who they are or find who they want to be, then a vital part of their school experience will be denied.
So what is left to do? No one will ever be completely happy with any decision adopted, but we must continue to try and determine the best approach. Standard uniforms are unproven deterrents to student violence; are a ?Band-Aid? to cover up the real problems faced by children and teens; and they violate students' right of self-expression, depriving them of their search for identity. From these conclusions, we must understand that though some gain is found through uniformity, a lot is lost. The most satisfying compromise between uniforms and free dress would be dress codes, which would alleviate some tensions (especially with regards to sexual assault), but would allow students to retain their clothing as a creative and expressive outlet.