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An Argument Against School Uniforms

There is an ongoing discussion in this nation about school uniforms, whether or not they help with behavior problems, and increase test scores. As an eighth grade student at Delta Middle School, I do not want school uniforms. In this paper I will present the argument against wearing school uniforms. I will include, personal opinion and will also site research.

Kade A., a sixth grade student, when asked about school uniforms said, “No, I don’t like them, because they are uncomfortable, and make you feel like you are in your church clothes all the time.” Daycen J., another student said, “I don’t like school uniforms because they take away student’s individuality.”

Dr. Alan Hilfer, senior psychologist in Brooklyn’s Children’s and Adolescent Unit at Maimonides Medical Center states:

"Clothes are a source of expression for children, and as kids get older, they become increasingly resentful of uniforms….By instituting a uniform policy, schools are taking away kids’ individuality--- schools need to decide if that sacrifice is worth making.”

Dr. Hilfer is talking about whether taking away student’s individuality is worth the payoff of decreased behavior problems, and increased test scores. A study done by David L. Brunsma , University of Alabama and Kerry A. Rockquemore of Notre Dame, entitled Effects of Student Uniforms on Attendance, Behavior Problems, Substance Abuse, and Academic Achievement, showed that uniforms did not lead to an improvement in these areas. Their conclusion was:

“Student uniform use was not significantly correlated with any of the school commitment variables such as absenteeism, behavior, or substance use (drugs). In addition, students wearing uniforms did not appear to have any significantly different academic preparedness, proschool attitudes, or peer group structures with proschool attitudes than other students.”

One area that might be of concern is the lessening of gang related problems, and fashion wars. A study published in 1995, by Lillian O. Holloman, a clothing and textiles professor at Virginia Polytechic Institute and State University, entitled Violence and Other Antisocial Behaviors in Public Schools: Can Dress Codes Help Solve the Problem? explores the problems the students can get into because of the way they dress. The study says:
“Gang colors and insignias, whether worn intentionally or unintentionally, can get a student jumped or worse. Status clothes, such as team jackets of professional sports teams, leather coats and designer sneakers, have led to thefts, sometimes by knife or at gunpoint.”
This may be true in some areas of the country, such as low-income, inner city areas, but I do not believe this to be true in the Millard County School District. I cannot recall any accounts of violence against students caused by a student’s clothing selection. I believe that before you put into action a school uniform policy based on such fears, you need to take into account the area the school is in, the economic level of the population, the number of people involved in gangs and the amount of gang related activity in the community.

Most of the articles that I have read about whether wearing school uniforms changes behavior and increases test scores, are inconclusive. Most of the time other rules are put into place along with the school uniforms, which may lead to a desired behavior. However, the uniform itself cannot be entirely responsible for the change.

Middle School/ Junior High is a time of maturing, physically, mentally, academically, and emotionally. Schools need to create an environment that encourages students individuality and motivate them to challenge themselves and inspire self confidence. I feel that school uniforms diminish creativity and self expression.


School Uniforms: Pros and Cons. Ann Svensen.

A Mixed Bag of Uniform Research. American associations of School Administrator.

Scientific School Uniform Research. http:/

Join the Discussion

This article has 124 comments. Post your own now!

Beckmeister said...
Jan. 22, 2015 at 12:19 am
I wrote and essay on the point as well and hope you guys enjoy it. Every morning starts off with a boy who attends an all male military private school wearing JROTC uniforms. He gets up in the morning knowing what he needs to put on every day without a hassle other than trying to locate where he put his tie! The morning gets hassle free without struggling to scavenge for an outfit in the morning. However, the boy transfers 1 year later to a public school with both girls and a place where you... (more »)
Beauty15"Squad'' said...
Nov. 18, 2014 at 11:38 am
 My opinion aboiut this is that we should not wear uniform because we feel more comterble on our choles and our things. So i think  that we should not wear school unifrom at all.               BY;NATHALIE ACEVEDO HANKK 
your_mixed_princess said...
Oct. 28, 2014 at 2:54 pm
If our school gets uniforms i will dieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee i love the way i dress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! schools should have no right to tell you what to wear
Anne Marie Gingery said...
Oct. 23, 2014 at 12:06 pm
Although private schools customarily require their students to wear school uniforms, more public schools are instructing their students to wear school uniforms as well. School uniforms may neglect the students’ individual rights; however, they allow students to better focus on their studies while in school and do not elude to the socioeconomic status of any student. Therefore, school uniforms create a more equal and studious environment which students are more likely to thrive in.
&n... (more »)
tanyausman said...
Oct. 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm
mee too i am so scared just because i am fat usman calls me fattie and i no i am not thin.  
dress code lame said...
Oct. 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm
we need not to have dress code i love my way of fashion not schools
3904cai said...
Sept. 12, 2014 at 4:14 pm
School uniforms do not strip a students individuality but instead prompt them in the direction of learning and improving their mind to be able to cope in the 'real world'. I believe that a school without a dress code/uniforms can increase bullying because 'Jill isn't wearing the latest fashion' or 'Johnny has got all of his stuff from a charity shop because his parents can't afford any high street clothing'. It also allows students to become accustomed to the fact... (more »)
jojocococococo said...
Jul. 15, 2014 at 12:10 pm
no one likes uniforms jajajajajaajajajajaj
crysbear said...
Jun. 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm
Uniforms are better, because, honestly, I'm tired of having to pick something "cool", individualistic and matching every morning. In the end, all I wear is jeans and a plain shirt. I would rather pull on something that was made to look good together and be done. And uniform doesn't limit creativity. Instead, it makes kids think outside the box and make up new ways to stand out. By developing a personality, for example.
man said...
May 28, 2014 at 1:06 pm
i hate uniforms i still get bullyed at my shcool
Siddo(((;161966 said...
May 27, 2014 at 3:00 pm
corcolata fricko said...
May 8, 2014 at 1:59 pm
unfrms ar good and bd bacase they help people use soccer
Idek said...
Apr. 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm
I agree with somee statements
BarrKat13 said...
Mar. 21, 2014 at 9:12 am
I completely agree. Even with uniforms bullying will still continue. People can make fun of hair, shoes, height, weight, and so on. School uniforms just aren't a good idea.
NAYLA+_WITHME replied...
Apr. 17, 2014 at 11:20 am
Birdsinger replied...
May 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm
I have to disagree. Kids get judged all the time at schools w/o uniforms and there's a lot of pressure to wear what's popular. That can create an uncomfortable atmosphere. If you're worried about impressing people based on what you're wearing, it definitely won't help academic performance. In fact, it will probably hurt it. So uniforms make sense in a lot of schools. They reduce peer pressure. They help remind kids what they're supposed to be focusing o... (more »)
ruth millan replied...
Jun. 16, 2014 at 4:51 pm
I totally agree with you. There is a lot of peer pressure and that only creates distractions among students. 
JENIFER said...
Mar. 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm
taylor51 said...
Mar. 6, 2014 at 9:07 am
i think uniform is good
Puppy replied...
Apr. 22, 2014 at 3:21 pm
I think school uniforms are good.
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