School Uniforms

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Wouldn’t you be tired of wearing the same outfit over and over again? I know I would be. I believe no kid should be forced to wear a uniform because it takes their personality away. Why should students all dress the same? Should they act the same to? How does it help the school? 40% of schools in the U.S. are changing their appearance and getting their students to wear uniforms. Historically, private schools requiring uniforms began in the 16th century in England. As of 2009 in the United States, there were 21 states with public school systems requiring their students to wear uniforms. It’s like being forced to be clones in society! We should have the right on what to wear when we want to!

First of all, many people feel that uniforms reduce distraction and competition among students. Others think that uniforms inhibit individuality and creativity. I think students should be able to express themselves. A good school would allow their students to express who they are, however they feel inclined to.

Secondly, some people don't have a lot of money, so how should school expect them to afford the uniforms? It might also cost a lot of money to wash the uniform every night. You would have to buy additional soap and laundry detergent. So if the school really wants their students to wear uniforms, I believe they should provide them.

Thirdly, school uniforms take students’ freedom of choice away. How can they be independent if they can't choose what they wear every day? Instead of focusing, the student is likely to be distracted because of the discomfort. What if this student bought a really nice top? Can she wear it to school? No!

Bonnie Coblentz, from Mississippi, said; “Several years after their introduction, school uniforms are performing as expected. And as expected, many students don't like wearing them. Their use has been credited with reduced behavioral problems and better learning environments. The U.S. Department of Education outlines their usefulness and regulations in an online manual on the subject. “In response to growing levels of violence in our schools, many parents, teachers and school officials have come to see school uniforms as one positive and creative way to reduce discipline problems and increase school safety," the department states. Louise Davis, Extension associate professor of child and family development at Mississippi State University, said wearing uniforms reduces peer pressure students face in school. “Uniforms create less distinction between the haves andthe have-nots," Davis said. "They help the students focus on learning rather than the clothes they wear. “Official education department rules state that students can express themselves within the uniform policies by wearing such things as buttons as long as the items don't interfere with discipline or the rights of others. Many schools that enacted uniform policies have seen dramatic decreases in violence and improvements in attendance and class participation. According to the U.S. Department of Education, much of this appears to be attributed to the use of uniforms andtheir ability to reduce distractions. Kathy Wilson, principal at Kemper County High School, said uniforms were already in place when she came to the school three years ago. The school had problems with gangs and gang behavior, and requiring uniforms prevented the students from wearing gang colors. With behavior problems in check, the uniforms also help keep costs down for school clothing in this economically depressed area. All students wear khaki shorts, long pants or skirts with white, navy blue or royal blue polo shirts. “I hear parents say they like uniforms because it's more economical. I hear children say they hate it because they want to wear the latest fashions," Wilson said. "As an administrator, I don't have problems with the dress codes that a lot of my peers have. I'm satisfied with uniforms, considering the alternatives. “But while parents and school administrators typically like them, many students don't. Uniforms promote conformity and youth often want to express themselves as unique individuals. Davis, however, said young people should learn to express themselves in ways other than through the clothes they wear. “Your own self should come through," Davis said. "Wearing a uniform sends the message that clothes don't say who you are. You have to work harder at your own personality, your own self-esteem and your own self-confidence to say who you are. “Davis, whose two sons attended schools requiring uniforms, said uniforms can help students feel more a part of the school environment. She acknowledged that mandatory uniforms do raise some questions of personal rights and freedom of speech. "We do live in a society where we have to conform to rules. This is just one of those rules you just have to obey for the sake of the greater well," Davis said. "There's plenty of time to be your individual self."”
There are also more reasons to not wear uniforms. Sometimes the uniforms may not be appropriate for summer and winter. Who wants to get yelled at by the administration about falling hems, pins, etc.; so someone will have to maintain them. Let’s put choice back into students’ hands!





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