An Argument Against School Uniforms | Teen Ink

An Argument Against School Uniforms

November 12, 2008
By Anonymous

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.


School Uniforms: Pros and Cons. Ann Svensen.

A Mixed Bag of Uniform Research. American associations of School Administrator.

Scientific School Uniform Research. http:/

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This article has 129 comments.

stone kid said...
on Dec. 3 2013 at 10:09 am
i dont like uniforms there stupid

stone kid said...
on Dec. 3 2013 at 10:08 am
i feel like he didnt have to put in that remark in the 5th paragrah about gang colors and stuff

on Nov. 21 2013 at 11:24 am
You guys both have the same name; first and last...

on Nov. 18 2013 at 8:31 pm

cecewashere said...
on Nov. 6 2013 at 9:34 am
i dont want any uniforms

lolnope said...
on Sep. 21 2013 at 4:07 pm
where is the call 2 action?

LalaXForever said...
on Sep. 21 2013 at 2:12 pm
Well my mother works for the school and well your takling about basic problems but in her school because students wanted to express themselves they got half their stuff stolen or they got in fights because someone was making fun of them and some of them even came to school dressed like hookers and pimps now most of you are probably parents and you know you dont want your child walking out of the house like this...but because you think it takes away their individuality which now today the symbol is sex and looking hot and stuff they could go to school and change in the bathroom dress like a hooker or whatever all day you dont know it and then come home and fool youand when something happens to them you will want to blame to the school about why you let my child get away with that and this is what happened well you voted for that to happen because you voted for them to "express" themsevles. 

lola25hugs said...
on May. 22 2013 at 12:11 pm
yea like i so agree

anonymous said...
on Apr. 25 2013 at 10:42 pm
its true that uniforms can stop bullying by wearing the same clothes as other kids so they cant  judge them but students must express their styles.

uniform101 said...
on Apr. 17 2013 at 5:41 pm
Uniforms cannot possibly benefit a child academically. The students in specialized high schools do not wear uniforms and they are excelling. Townsend Harris one of the top public high school's does not have a uniform policy in place and their students are doing outstanding. It is the TEACHER we should blame for students who are failing classes. However, parents also have their faults. Parents should be more involved in their child's life to figure out what is going on with them in school. A student who is failing simply needs to be motivated and inspired by someone who will make them want to improve and do better. People say that uniforms will not take away from one's individuality, but that's not true. As a teenager, how am I supposed to express myself only by speech and my behavior? The sheer purpose of uniforms is to conform, and conformity isn't always a good thing. Why would I want to dress the same way everyone else is dressing? Some may argue that name brands are more expensive than the uniforms and the teenagers today only wear name brands, so you might as well have uniforms. I do not wear name brands. I can find a shirt for $5 whereas a uniform shirt may cost $10. It's the parent who buys a child the name brand clothing, so blame the parent for what the child has on. Another thing people may argue is that teenagers wear racy or provacative clothing to school and the uniforms will put an end to that. If schools were to enforce dress code policies, we wouldn't have students coming to school showing too much skin. If a student is being forced to wear a uniform, the teacher should too, because many teachers argue that wearing a uniform will increase school spirit. Therefore, to help increase the school spirit even more, teachers should have to wear the uniform too. Once again, I do not believe that students should have to wear uniforms.

scarscar said...
on Apr. 17 2013 at 11:47 am
That is true, but you can still get judged by the shoes you wear and by your hairstyle and if you wear glasses etc. I mean I'm diagnosed with paranoia now from so much bullying that has happened, uniforms don't make much of a difference

on Apr. 11 2013 at 11:54 am
I think school uniforms are good and bad at the same time. Yes it don't really lets u express yourself but think about bullying. If you don't have the matching shoes to go with ur outfit students make sure that u feel some sort of shame! You don't know if that students' parents can afford new clothes when a new trend is out! :)

kylismili said...
on Mar. 20 2013 at 3:33 pm
i agree unforms take away individuality

amnashine said...
on Jan. 23 2013 at 8:34 am
people should have the right to choose what they want but uniforms dont allow this,

on Jan. 18 2013 at 4:26 pm
When was this article originally posted?

ESPBOI said...
on Jan. 7 2013 at 12:05 pm
ESPBOI, Awenda, South Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
say wrd

SCHOOL UNIForm is  a waste of time bump school  

O hai der said...
on Dec. 12 2012 at 3:39 pm
Against uniforms

Dana said...
on Nov. 24 2012 at 3:33 pm
I had to wear uniforms from K-8th grade. Bullying still happened, so that reason is out. In middle school, girls were late to school because they were curling or straightening their hair. We would get unnecessary demerits because of not following the unifom (we hated tucking our shirts in.) We were allowed only 9 demerits a year, so that was a big waste. Uniforms do not cut down on behavior and bullying  and rule-following problems; it makes them worse. I would also like to point out that there is an entire SEXUAL FETISH based around girls in school uniforms. It's bad enough that society is oversexualizing our next generation through the media, and on top of that, girls are going to go to school wearing sex symbols. Uniforms are also really uncomfortable. They're  rough and itchy and let's not forget, UGLY. I don't care about parents thinking that kids in uniforms look adorable, or so proffessional and smart, they're frigging ugly.

alepinklover said...
on Oct. 11 2012 at 2:21 pm
I agree that uniforms don't let you express yourself and about the gangs i dont believe its going to help because either way i think your are going to have problems so why not let students wear whatever they want.

on Sep. 16 2012 at 5:43 pm
So true . I have to wear uniform at my schoool . Blehh . And it take my individuality away from me because i absolutely love colorful stuff and i have to wear uniforms instead .