An Argument Against School Uniforms

November 12, 2008
By Joel Mork, Hinckley, UT

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.









References

School Uniforms: Pros and Cons. Ann Svensen. http://School.familyeduction.com/eductional-philosophy/individually/38676.html

A Mixed Bag of Uniform Research. American associations of School Administrator. http://aasa.org/publicactions/content.cfm?

Scientific School Uniform Research. http:/www.gate.net/rwms/UniformsBrunRock.html/


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This article has 129 comments.


Lucy_RK GOLD said...
on Sep. 28 2017 at 7:24 pm
Lucy_RK GOLD, Brooklyn, New York
11 articles 1 photo 13 comments
Very well written and valid. I personally like uniforms because of the style, but that's my form of self-expression. All kids should have that right.

on Aug. 29 2017 at 4:06 am
WriteFreak SILVER, London, Other
9 articles 0 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Everybody lies." - Hugh Laurie, House MD.

Very well written. I moved to England, and when I did, I hated uniforms. They're also mad expensive!!! It's also annoying for a tomboy like me. Guess who has to wear dresses in the summer.

Tharru said...
on Jun. 8 2017 at 6:20 am
Tharru,
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Hye guys ..I really loved this essay I can totally relate this to my situation in my country rite nw ....we are forced to wear their (paper-like) uniforms evan high school students!!!!!......hmm anyways is this a factual article essay?

Some one said...
on Mar. 30 2017 at 10:17 am
People also had to pay for them because school just want money and they can't provide the. For you

surya_k BRONZE said...
on Jan. 29 2017 at 9:37 am
surya_k BRONZE, Chennai, Other
1 article 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies ... The man who never reads lives only one. - George R R Martin

Our school has uniforms. Our whole country does. Since there's a significant gap between the rich and poor, an old leader made uniforms compulsory.

on Nov. 19 2016 at 6:20 pm
I have a school uniform. It's already pretty constricting, but on Wednesdays we have a formal uniform that's worse. The shirt feels like paper (not exaggerating at all) and the shorts the girls have to where under the skirt are uncomfortable and tight. Also, the uniforms aren't right for some people's body types. It makes some girls feel bad about their bodies. I think that this argument is really good and I can definitely relate.

Clorox said...
on Sep. 21 2016 at 12:21 pm
Clorox,
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
TRIGGERED how can it increase bullying and who would be bullying i find that to be a ton of bs

Clorox said...
on Sep. 21 2016 at 12:19 pm
Clorox,
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
TRIGGER WARNING ON ARTICLE

ConHusky said...
on Aug. 10 2016 at 2:29 am
its anything but fascist it installs a sense of communism because they state that uniforms make everyone equal because everyone is dressed the same which is like communism except communism doesnt work because not everyone conforms to that idea just like most people in this thread

mtolhurst57 said...
on Jun. 21 2016 at 7:58 pm
Next time back up your belief, why do you believe it diminishes one's creativity (wearing uniforms), otherwise it was a well written article.

Jose Foxes said...
on May. 9 2016 at 3:29 pm
Thanks for helpful reading about my essay is argumentative essay before semester and I agree with you.

babytaytay said...
on Apr. 13 2016 at 2:20 pm
babytaytay,
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
lucky u I still have to wear a uniform

I.Am.Shyia said...
on Apr. 12 2016 at 5:58 pm
Today at my school, we had to do an argumentive essay against school uniforms. My group says that wearing uniform decreases our individuality and INCREASES bullying. We should all embrace our uniqueness and are uncomfortable. My name is Ashyia and I am in sixth grade.

on Apr. 11 2016 at 4:56 pm
DarknessIsForeverWithMe, Minneapolis, Kansas
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I use to wear uniforms in my old school and they do take away a students individuality. My new school doesn't have uniforms lucky but I can totally relate to your article you did a great job.

on Apr. 11 2016 at 12:57 pm
I don't like them they are restricting

mplo said...
on 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.

mplo said...
on 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.).

on Nov. 10 2015 at 9:49 pm
MikeLiberty GOLD, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
11 articles 0 photos 6 comments
I would've mentioned that it's fascist.

williscodi said...
on Nov. 5 2015 at 1:23 pm
williscodi, Brusly, Louisiana
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I wear a school uniform everyday and it’s uncomfortable to wear. I would like to go to school and be comfortable while I'm doing something i don't like to do. As it says in the passage, “ by instituting a uniform policy, schools are taking away kids’ individuality.”

on Nov. 4 2015 at 1:19 pm
itss.hallee BRONZE, Addis, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
An Argument Against School Uniforms I am a 10th grade student who also disagrees with the decision of making kids were school uniforms. I agree with possession of school uniforms takes away a students individuality. "Clothes are a source of expression for children, and as kids get older, they become increasingly resentful of uniforms…” This article is one that needs to have the attention state wide . Thanks for writing this.




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