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.


on Nov. 4 2015 at 12:10 pm
mariyahm-- BRONZE, Plaquemine, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 4 comments
“I do not want school uniforms,” I disagree with this issue because I think that wearing school uniforms is unique, and that it makes the school look well organized. This can relate to me as a student because I don’t have a problem with wearing a school uniforms because that means that I don’t have to wake up in the morning or have to find clothes that night for school the next day. "Clothes are a source of expression for children…” I understand that, but the kids can express themselves through their uniform also. They just don’t have to wear the plain ole uniform they can add style to it. That’s why there is a thing called being unique in your own way!

on Nov. 4 2015 at 10:01 am
2brumfielda BRONZE, White Castle, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
Being a student myself, I completely agree with the argument against school uniforms. “I feel that school uniforms diminish creativity and self expression." It’s true because uniforms destroy a student’s style.

on Nov. 4 2015 at 9:55 am
hollycallegan BRONZE, White Castle, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I respectfully disagree with this article. I, a student, would like to express my individuality. “I don’t like school uniforms because they take away student’s individuality.” This is true, school uniforms do take away individuality.

skull said...
on May. 27 2015 at 12:49 pm
i know that's dumb im in 5th grade i hate school uniforms

Brandon1129 said...
on May. 10 2015 at 5:45 pm
The students in my school district,are working to remove the restrictive dress code.We would love if you would sign our petition ,and help us remove this very restrictive dress code.Thanks :) the link is below change.org/p/rapides-parish-school-board-uniform-policy-removal

Callista14 said...
on Apr. 1 2015 at 2:22 pm
Callista14, Swanton, Vermont
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Love is beautiful if its with the right person"

Wow this is a horrible argument

LilyRose said...
on Feb. 19 2015 at 3:13 pm
What level is this argument?

beckmeister said...
on Jan. 26 2015 at 1:32 pm
I wrote and essay on the point as well and hope you guys enjoy it. Every morning starts off with a boy who attends an all male military private school wearing JROTC uniforms. He gets up in the morning knowing what he needs to put on every day without a hassle other than trying to locate where he put his tie! The morning gets hassle free without struggling to scavenge for an outfit in the morning. However, the boy transfers 1 year later to a public school with both girls and a place where you can wear whatever you want at least if it's "school appropriate". He wakes up and decides what to wear. He always wants to look good to put on the act for his peers. He enjoys the fact that he has the freedom to show what he likes in public to his friends. Many people compliment him on the way he looks which gives him a good feeling inside. He feels like he succeeded with how he wants people to view him as a kid who cares about the way he looks and wants people to notice that. These paragraphs are based on a child who has experienced what it is like to be in school with, and without uniforms. There can be both pros and cons to both sides of the argument which can be found all over the Internet whether or not students should wear school uniforms. Students shouldn't have to wear uniforms because it takes away the ability to express yourself with your clothing choices, as school uniforms are expensive, dull, and lack individuality. High school is typically a time when kids begin to distinguish themselves from one another. Students begin to develop their own sense of personal style, desperately trying to both fit in and stand out simultaneously. Being self-conscious and often lacking the confidence needed to assert them, teens are forced to use clothing and outward appearance as the means to manifest this individuality. Thus, students should not be forced to wear uniforms at school. For kids who go to schools that require uniforms, there is no style present. Everyone looks the same. In a normal school where kids can where whatever they want, sometimes you can tell if someone is having a good day or not. You can learn things about people just by looking at how they dress themselves. Someone’s personality is represented by their outward appearance. Many school uniforms are designed to be affordable, but even so they become a significant cost when you have to buy them for two or more children. There's also the problem that children are growing rapidly, so a new uniform will probably be required every year or even more often. They don't even save wear on normal clothes, because those clothes will probably be outgrown before they wear out anyway, even if they're also worn for school. Uniforms often exclude items that may be important to a student's religion. There have been many cases of girls being suspended for wearing veils or jewelry that violate a uniform policy but are required by their religion. Schools shouldn't have school uniforms because it does everything that a child doesn't want to do by expressing who they really are and who they want to be viewed as. That is all that school uniforms takes away from a child life. They uniforms show that they are just like everybody else, it doesn't allow the child to stand out and be what he wants to be which is what really matters in the child's school career.

Beckmeister said...
on Jan. 22 2015 at 12:19 am
I wrote and essay on the point as well and hope you guys enjoy it. Every morning starts off with a boy who attends an all male military private school wearing JROTC uniforms. He gets up in the morning knowing what he needs to put on every day without a hassle other than trying to locate where he put his tie! The morning gets hassle free without struggling to scavenge for an outfit in the morning. However, the boy transfers 1 year later to a public school with both girls and a place where you can wear whatever you want at least if it's "school appropriate". He wakes up and decides what to wear. He always wants to look good to put on the act for his peers. He enjoys the fact that he has the freedom to show what he likes in public to his friends. Many people compliment him on the way he looks which gives him a good feeling inside. He feels like he succeeded with how he wants people to view him as a kid who cares about the way he looks and wants people to notice that. These paragraphs are based on a child who has experienced what it is like to be in school with, and without uniforms. There can be both pros and cons to both sides of the argument which can be found all over the Internet whether or not students should wear school uniforms. Students shouldn't have to wear uniforms because it takes away the ability to express yourself with your clothing choices, as school uniforms are expensive, dull, and lack individuality. High school is typically a time when kids begin to distinguish themselves from one another. Students begin to develop their own sense of personal style, desperately trying to both fit in and stand out simultaneously. Being self-conscious and often lacking the confidence needed to assert them, teens are forced to use clothing and outward appearance as the means to manifest this individuality. Thus, students should not be forced to wear uniforms at school. For kids who go to schools that require uniforms, there is no style present. Everyone looks the same. In a normal school where kids can where whatever they want, sometimes you can tell if someone is having a good day or not. You can learn things about people just by looking at how they dress themselves. Someone’s personality is represented by their outward appearance. Many school uniforms are designed to be affordable, but even so they become a significant cost when you have to buy them for two or more children. There's also the problem that children are growing rapidly, so a new uniform will probably be required every year or even more often. They don't even save wear on normal clothes, because those clothes will probably be outgrown before they wear out anyway, even if they're also worn for school. Uniforms often exclude items that may be important to a student's religion. There have been many cases of girls being suspended for wearing veils or jewelry that violate a uniform policy but are required by their religion. Schools shouldn't have school uniforms because it does everything that a child doesn't want to do by expressing who they really are and who they want to be viewed as. That is all that school uniforms takes away from a child life. They uniforms show that they are just like everybody else, it doesn't allow the child to stand out and be what he wants to be which is what really matters in the child's school career.

on Nov. 18 2014 at 11:38 am
 My opinion aboiut this is that we should not wear uniform because we feel more comterble on our choles and our things. So i think  that we should not wear school unifrom at all.               BY;NATHALIE ACEVEDO HANKK 

on Oct. 28 2014 at 2:54 pm
If our school gets uniforms i will dieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee i love the way i dress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! schools should have no right to tell you what to wear

on Oct. 23 2014 at 12:06 pm
Although private schools customarily require their students to wear school uniforms, more public schools are instructing their students to wear school uniforms as well. School uniforms may neglect the students’ individual rights; however, they allow students to better focus on their studies while in school and do not elude to the socioeconomic status of any student. Therefore, school uniforms create a more equal and studious environment which students are more likely to thrive in.
  According to a recent US Department of Education survey, 81% of teachers agreed with the statement “school uniforms have improved the learning environment.”  The majority of the teachers believe that school uniforms “promote a sense of security,” and also “create a sense of community.” Even though there are concerns on whether everyone can afford school uniforms, almost half of the parents who were questioned reported school uniforms to “[be] financially beneficial [to their] household.” Along with the problem of cost, some argue that school uniforms present a dilemma in which students’ individual rights are taken from them.
I have worn a uniform to school since I was four years old. Not once have I felt as though my self-expression or creativity was hindered by wearing a school uniform. Just because you are required to wear certain clothes, that does not mean that you are unable to express yourself through other outlets such as hair style, accessories, etc. Waking up and knowing what I am going to wear in the morning saves time which can be devoted to more studious or enjoyable things. Most importantly, school uniforms deny the scrutiny of bullies based on clothing. Upon arriving at school each morning, I do not have to worry about the judgment of others because we are all wearing the same thing.
Providing security, order, and community, school uniforms improve students’ scholastic environment without reducing their individual rights or economic status.

tanyausman said...
on Oct. 19 2014 at 12:06 pm
mee too i am so scared just because i am fat usman calls me fattie and i no i am not thin.  

on Oct. 3 2014 at 12:07 pm
we need not to have dress code i love my way of fashion not schools

3904cai said...
on Sep. 12 2014 at 4:14 pm
School uniforms do not strip a students individuality but instead prompt them in the direction of learning and improving their mind to be able to cope in the 'real world'. I believe that a school without a dress code/uniforms can increase bullying because 'Jill isn't wearing the latest fashion' or 'Johnny has got all of his stuff from a charity shop because his parents can't afford any high street clothing'. It also allows students to become accustomed to the fact that as an adult in a high role in a business everyday you will wear sutis; it gives you a look of professionalism as though you know what you mean. In addition to this pupil uniforms distinguish the line between pupils and teachers and ensure that teachers recieve respect when necessary. 

on Jul. 15 2014 at 12:10 pm
no one likes uniforms jajajajajaajajajajaj

crysbear said...
on Jun. 18 2014 at 4:02 pm
Uniforms are better, because, honestly, I'm tired of having to pick something "cool", individualistic and matching every morning. In the end, all I wear is jeans and a plain shirt. I would rather pull on something that was made to look good together and be done. And uniform doesn't limit creativity. Instead, it makes kids think outside the box and make up new ways to stand out. By developing a personality, for example.

on 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. 

on May. 28 2014 at 1:09 pm
i still get bulled and picked on i disagree

man said...
on May. 28 2014 at 1:06 pm
i hate uniforms i still get bullyed at my shcool


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