Coming from someone who attends a private school that mandates school uniforms, I believe schools are better off without them. I have gone to the same school since the 5th grade, which would put me there for 6 years. All of which we have been required follow a dress code, and wear uniforms. My first couple of years weren’t ideal, but they were definitely more tolerable than they are now. Our school would require us to wear khaki shorts or pants from the Parker School Uniform Company, and a collared shirt we could purchase from our schools campus store. We would have to wear a belt, tuck in our shirts, and have our hair cut to a reasonable length, all of which I was in compliance with. This was the dress code for my first 2 or 3 years there, but now things have changed, and more rules have been added. Today along with the dress code I’ve mentioned above, we’re required to wear all white or all black tennis shoes, no boat shoes or dress shoes are allowed regardless of color. Our hair must be above the eyebrows in the front, off the ear on the side, and off the collar in the back, no facial hair of any kind, and we’re not allowed to have logos on our socks. Our belts must be solid black or brown, we have to wear a navy grey or white undershirt, non-school jackets are not allowed regardless of the outside temperature, or weather, and we must wear an ID badge around our neck throughout the entire school day, even though we have 500 students in our entire high school. If we lose our issued ID badge, we receive and infraction, and pay a fee of $5 to receive another one. Pretty much all of the rules I’ve mentioned above have been added since my first year, and in my eyes are completely pointless. To me it seems like the school is just looking for more ways to make money off of their students, who already pay a $15,000 yearly tuition. Another down-side of uniforms is that it allows certain students to get singled out by the administration. This has happened to me countless times, I’ll be pulled aside while walking through the hall because part of my shirt tail is hanging out, or my hair is too “long”, and while I’m talking to the teacher, a football player, or teachers kid will walk by with obvious dress code violations, and have nothing said to them. School uniforms also take away a students’ freedom of expression, and personality. Taking this away from a high school student can damage them emotionally in the long run, a student may not feel comfortable with themselves, and restricting their freedom of expression, and not allowing their personality to come out, can damage their social lives in a drastic measure. In the end, school uniforms have no effect on the type of education one receives in any way whatsoever, and that’s why were in school, it has nothing to do with the clothes we wear, or the length of your hair, school is about education, socializing, and finding you self, having a restriction on how you dress yourself doesn’t help with any of these.
May 22, 2011