Essay/Term paper: School uniforms

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Education

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School Uniforms


Currently in America an on going debate continues regarding a uniform
policy suggested to public and private schools. This develops into a
controversial issue because valid argument exist on both sides. Giving this
issue much thought has lead me to believe that making school uniforms mandatory
would help the school systems. School uniforms would help unruly classrooms,
also students would not have to buy expensive clothes and students would not get
killed over tennis shoes.
Schools that have adopted uniforms have reported several advantages.
Some school systems including ones in Miami, Detroit, and Los Angeles have
adopted a voluntary uniform policy. Under this plan schools do not require
students to wear their uniform, but most students cooperate. In the fall of
1994, the Long Beach Unified School District became the first in the nation to
require uniforms, hoping to improve the overall conduct and scholastic records
of their students. This school system feels that dressing students the same
would eliminate the pressure of fitting in, build up students self-esteem, and
augment student moral. Parents, teachers, and students agree that wearing
uniforms would decrease arguments that begin over expensive clothing and
sneakers. School systems hope uniforms will help to eliminate gang violence
caused by students wearing rival gang colors. Uniforms would also prevent the
wealthier students from picking on their less fortunate classmates because they
can not afford to dress the same. Although no evidence confirms that the
uniform policy will improve academic achievement, the Long Beach Unified School
District reported a 50% decline in the number of disturbances at school and bus
stops in their district. Overall, the Long Beach Unified School District has
set an example for other schools planning to adopt the uniform policy by showing
noticeable improvements in specific areas of its educational environment.
Opponents of the uniform policy say it comes with disadvantages. Not
all students want to fit in. Instead, they value their freedom and
individuality. Students feel that making school uniforms mandatory takes away
their right to self-expression. Opponents feel that uniforms are just a new
gimmick that will have little effect on education. Also, school uniforms would
prove costly for the students.
On the other hand some people argue that uniforms are cheaper than
buying children street clothing. However, opponents still feel that uniforms
should not become a requirement. Most of the schools adopting uniforms are
choosing so many other reforms that they will have difficulty proving that
uniforms deserve praise. Skepticism, economics, and students reluctance to wear
uniforms will continue to further decrease the popularity of uniforms in our
schools system.
In conclusion, making uniforms mandatory in schools definitaly has its
pros and cons, which makes the issue very difficult to agree on. Uniforms might
improve the overall behavior of students by lifting school spirit and decreasing
altercations caused over expensive articles of clothing, but no evidence exists
that links uniforms to any aspect of education. Furthermore wearing school
uniforms takes away a students right to self-expression and will cost parents a
fortune. But as President Bill Clinton stated in his State of the Union
Address, maybe schools should be allowed to require uniforms if it would mean
teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets.

 

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