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School Uniforms

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Whether khaki or grey, plaid or slacks, school uniforms have become one of the most controversial school matters to date. And there’s a lot reason why. Not only do school uniforms stifle creativity and discourage originality, but they also encourage distance between the school and the schooled.
Creativity ranges from a project to tomorrow’s outfit. And with today’s shifting world of trends, it takes an extra teaspoon of ideas to stand out from the crowd. Though it would seem like it would lighten up your day, it’s in reality depressing to find you have no say in deciding your appearance. The uniform becomes the metaphorical face of what school means to students: one color and predictably dull.
If anything, the teenage years are the exploration of the big question mark called ‘you.’ And nobody wants to find out they mirror someone else. With a school uniform, everybody becomes just that. No longer is a student a separate person, but a fragment of the huge student body. A person loses their diversity by becoming another face in the mob: the meaning of being individually empowered diminishes physically.
And not only does a uniform discourage originality, but it also encourages a sense of disconnectedness from a student and their school. Those not used to a uniform, or those strongly against it, could wreak some serious damage to a school’s reputation and the safety of its students through rebellion, uprisings, or outright refusals. And at the other extreme, many students will feel forced by the uniform. It shows that the school obviously doesn’t trust students to make smart choices for themselves, in terms of clothing. And because the uniforms aren’t decided by the students, students can easily feel they have no say in their school community.
But many still argue there are huge benefits that come with school uniforms. It’s supposed to lessen unfairness towards certain styles, people unable to afford flashier brands, or clothing traditionally worn by their race. But requiring a school uniform doesn’t change that. If anything, it makes it harder to find. Because prejudice doesn’t just end in appearance—most of this discrimination can just as easily continue through other channels, other areas that make everyone different. Someone with a “weird accent” can be bullied just the same as someone who always wears black. Another point many say is a pro to uniforms is that referrals are shot down. Without the need to enforce dress code, there should be less people stuck in detention. But referrals don’t just apply to dress code, and can as easily pile up when students refuse to wear their uniform. Also, school uniforms represent school unity, school spirit, right? They bring a school closer together. But that’s an understandable outsider’s view. It’s a lot easier to feel connected to your school if you’ve voluntarily chose to be an active part of it, instead of being handed a uniform that forces you to be.
On the whole, school uniforms are the opposite of the shortcut many view them to be. They minimize creativity, squash personal originality, and spread a tension of forcedness between the student and his/her school community. Besides that, there is the ugly side to the stereotype pros labeled to it: school uniforms aren’t the cure to all things a school might want to change. So for maximum school spirit, school uniforms should be schooled.



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