An Argument Against School Uniforms

November 12, 2008
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 129 comments. Post your own now!

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.
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.
emilioromerocastillo replied...
May 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm
i think you should not have them because kids want to show threre cloths
speedy0 said...
Feb. 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm
this is a good argument
deepthi said...
Feb. 10, 2014 at 8:37 am
I think we should wear uniforms.Because it may create discrimination between the may develope a inferiority complex in the minds of the children who are not properly dressed.This may help them lose their confidence level and not participating in class events.and it may also cause oyher problems.So we should not see our desires but should think about other poor children and their welfare.
man i hate uniforms replied...
May 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm
i still get bulled and picked on i disagree
mplo replied...
Dec. 30, 2015 at 8:00 am
Although I'm way out of my teens (mid 60's), I think that school uniforms do kind add kind of a militaristic atmosphere to a school, plus I agree that they don't lessen the likelihood of a student with differences (i. e. learning/developmental problems, etc., being bullied.).
maxisawesome said...
Feb. 4, 2014 at 9:40 am
i agree with volleyballgirl i need this for a paper im doing
-Steph- said...
Feb. 1, 2014 at 5:49 pm
I also do not think kids should have to wear uniforms becuase clothes are a form of expression and that should not be taken away. 
Dalton H. said...
Jan. 31, 2014 at 2:38 pm
I see why some people would support uniforms, but I agree that uniforms aren't that good.  Sure, you can't bully people for the way they dress, but expression of yourself is more important.  If people didn't want to be bullied for te way they dress then they would wear clothes that are considered "cool".
RutvikS. said...
Jan. 31, 2014 at 2:22 pm
I don't think we should have school uniforms since we don't get to be our self. It takes away our individuality.
mplo replied...
Dec. 30, 2015 at 8:08 am
That's a good point, RutvikS. Moreover, if a kid is different in some way or other (be from a learning/developmental problems(s), being over or underweight, etc.,), the rather strait-jacketed look to uniforms, plus their often drab colors, tends to draw more attention to these differences.
Brenda said...
Jan. 15, 2014 at 5:40 pm
They are so baby  
haterscanhate102 said...
Dec. 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm
people will always judge no matter what
crywolf3x6 replied...
Jan. 10, 2014 at 9:59 am
well yeah people will still judge no matter wat even they look redicous ^-^
Olivia Vanderhoof said...
Nov. 21, 2013 at 11:24 am
You guys both have the same name; first and last...
stone kid replied...
Dec. 3, 2013 at 10:08 am
i feel like he didnt have to put in that remark in the 5th paragrah about gang colors and stuff
Site Feedback