The Effects of School Uniforms Jeanell Greene Eng121: English composition Instructor Katie Surber April 8, 2012 There are issues that probe our schools on a daily basis. Many are very important such as student behavior and performance, lack of funding, and highly qualified staff, and some are just minor such as use of technology and extra-curricular activities. There are many that are debatable and require extensive dialogue and research. However, there are those educational issues that just need simple discussions to formulate manageable and workable solutions.
One of the major and current issues is whether school age children should wear school uniforms or wear regular clothing. There are many parents and school officials who want our children to wear uniforms and there are also many parents who don’t want our children to wear them. Many people feel that the uniform issue plays a vital role in the educational development of children. They feel school uniforms have a major impact on the educational process of how children learn. It really does not matter whether the children wear uniforms or regular clothes.
Children will not learn any differently with or without the school uniforms. The debates over school uniforms are very complicated and have many points of view coming from all directions including teachers, parents, and even students. In reality, school uniforms are becoming quite popular with society, but of course very unpopular with teens and younger children. However, that is to be expected. There are many pros to the use of school uniforms. A plus to school uniforms is that it makes students visible to school personnel, students, and members of the public.
School officials will know, by the uniforms, who belong on campus and who do not. Moreover, when students are adorned in school uniforms it makes it easier to identify and recognize children in public in case of an emergency. Wearing school uniforms can give students a sense of belonging. Usually, students will feel a sense of acceptance because all of the students are wearing the same thing. Therefore, it reduces the chances of being taunted and/or being bullied. This also helps to build self-esteem and self-assurance. When children wear chool uniforms, parents do not have to worry about being able to purchase designer clothing or expensive brands. There are more advantages of wearing school uniforms. Many people consider that a child in uniform is likely to take school more serious and not play around as much. Many also think that wearing a uniform helps to maintain discipline in schools; it also decreases the amount of discipline problems. It is said that the lack of discipline comes from home because the parents refuse to take on the discipline aspect of parenting. Students fighting at school are another challenge for educators.
Some of these fights have a lot to do with fashionable clothing. Students who wear the prescribed dress code will tend to fight less because there is no longer the pressure of wanting or desiring the fashionable clothing that everyone else is wearing. There is also the struggle that some schools have with gangs who are identified by certain clothing, colors, and paraphernalia. If school uniforms are worn, this will probably ease some of the tensions related to gang violence. Distractions are another argument in the school uniform issue.
By wearing school uniforms, the staff in schools will know that the appropriate clothing is being worn to school daily instead of fads that are considered outrageous, too revealing or displaying the wrong and/or inappropriate messages. Some students have turned school into an everyday fashion show. Therefore, taking the real and main focus off of learning and putting more attention and emphasis on what is being worn to school. School uniforms look nicer and make students look very professional. The woes of finding appropriate dress for school can be alleviated by wearing school uniforms.
This will afford them more time and resources to concentrate on their school work. It also gives the students a chance to express their individuality in another more constructive and productive way. Although school uniforms are a good idea to some people, there are others who oppose it. One of the most common reasons why people oppose school uniforms is that it supposedly suppresses individuality. Some educators say that academic progress encourages a student’s pursuit for individual thought which is much more important than what he/she wears. By forcing students to wear school uniforms this inhibits creativity and self-expression.
Some people say that making students conform to the school uniform denies the students the opportunity express them through what they wear. When the students are able to create their wardrobe it makes them feel the part of individual more and not feel forced to be a part of a group. It is also felt that students are going to reject rules regardless, and what would the purpose of making them wear a school uniform serve. Henceforth, by forcing students to wear uniforms will only aggravate their individuality and make them rebel by altering their school uniform.
The students’ defiance of the school uniform will cause the students to choose an inappropriate size, length, and/or add color to try to individualize the uniform. This creates another problem for the teachers and school administrators. It is also believed that cliques, gangs, and groups will still be formed by the altering of the school uniform. Many feel that there is still no proof that the way our children dress for school will increase or decrease their ability to learn or curb violence in the school setting.
Even if the school system does not require students to wear school uniforms, there is still a dress code that must be followed and if it is followed correctly there is no need for school uniforms. Most people feel that the school board should not spend time worrying about school uniforms or dress codes; they should focus on a better education for children and enforce mandates by local school district and state boards of education along with national disciplines. The problem is not what the children are wearing; it is what they are and are not learning in school and at home.
It has been said that some of the best students are bad dressers. Therefore, proving that dressing doesn’t improve learning, only the individual improves learning. Buying school uniforms for most people is considered cheaper than purchasing the latest and hottest trendy items. However, there of others who say it is not because it depends on where and how many school uniforms are purchased. Also, school uniforms can get ruined as well as any other clothing; therefore, the school uniforms will still need replacing just like regular clothing.
With that being said, many ask the question how is it really cheaper? They feel that children will keep the clothes that they want to wear in better condition than a school uniform because in reality they don’t want to wear the school uniform anyway. Therefore, this makes the cost of school uniforms higher than the cost of regular clothes. There are also those that consider the school uniform to be ugly, unflattering, plain and boring. They feel it takes away from the individual’s appearance and makes the students not have a good self-image of themselves. The education f children must always be at the forefront of any discussion of any mandates and laws passed which effect and affect the lives of students entrusted to the care of school districts. The stakeholders must examine every avenue and exhaust all resources to enhance the academic development of these students. The school uniform has been a hot topic of discussion among educators, parents, administrators, politicians, and students for years. There are advantages and disadvantages of wearing the prescribed school uniform dress code. Many people feel differently about the school uniform issue and have voiced their opinion in a myriad of ways.
The discussion must continue as the data continues to reveal the benefits of school uniforms. Some of the benefits have been witnessed in the school setting in which I am employed. I feel that school uniforms should be worn for the comfort of the individual who doesn’t have what others have, so that he/ she won’t feel left out or inadequate. I really think that wearing school uniforms has helped with the self-esteem of some children because many of them are more focused on their learning and spend less time worrying about being picked on or bullied about what they are wearing.
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