Dress To Express Essay

Submitted By hannaj1123
Words: 2988
Pages: 12

Dressing to Express For years, administrators, teachers, parents, and students have debated whether or not students should be required to wear school uniforms. This controversial issue is yet to be solved. Although proponents of school uniforms claim that they are useful in preventing gangs and cliques from forming in school, opponents believe that uniforms interfere with students’ right to freedom of speech. Should parents be troubled with the cost of uniforms on top of all other expenses for their children? How can students be expected to grow as individuals if they are conditioned daily to be exactly like their peers? Public school administrators should not require their students to wear school uniforms because they restrict the natural development of the student, create a financial burden for the student/parents, and infringe on First Amendment rights. School uniforms are a financial burden to students and their parents. The “Glossary of Education” at education.com defines school uniforms as “…standardized clothing for regular school attendance worn in conformity with school policy.” A 1998 article titled “Those Disgusting School Uniforms” published in Optionality Magazine states,
Some parents argue that because of school uniforms, they do not have to buy many clothes for their children, which saves them time and money. But most children will have plain clothes next to their school uniform. The idea of a school uniform is that students will wear the uniform at school, but do not wear the uniform, say, at the disco or other events outside school. This effectively means that children will need a double set of clothing.
In the article “Back-to-School Spending Strains Family Budgets: More Schools Requiring Uniforms, Spending on Electronics Soars”published in Consumer Affairs, Lewis Truman writes, “Since the majority of schools do not include the cost of school uniforms in tuition and fees, many parents are forced to pay for the child's uniforms independently. NPD (formerly the National Purchase Diary) found moms and dads spend an average of $162 on school uniforms per year, per child.” Add in the cost of clothing for the kids to wear on weekends, and to events outside of the school and parents are spending a lot more than necessary. This can have negative effects on the student as well. Peter Caruso, author of “Individuality vs. Conformity: The Issue Behind School Uniforms,” published in Sage Journals in September of 1996, argues that “School uniforms cause an economic hardship for students and parents who cannot afford them. A student who normally would not wear the imposed uniform may decide it is easier not to attend school than to buy a new wardrobe to conform to the policy” (87). Also, parents of students attending public schools already pay taxes for their kids to go to school, and uniforms add extra expenses. This infringes on the idea that public education should be free. Along the lines of financially burdening parents of students who are required to wear uniforms, is the issue of laundry. First of all, unless the student has a separate uniform for all five days of the school week, laundry may need to be done daily. Imagine a parent of four or five children, each needing their uniforms washed every night; that is a lot of laundry! In order to do laundry, laundry detergent, fabric softener, a washer, and a dryer are needed. Many of the schools implementing school uniforms are those in the inner cities, where most families live in apartments. Apartments in the city often do not have a place for washer and dryer, so parents living here must use a Laundromat, which would get very expensive. Even if the family has their own washer and dryer, costs of electricity and laundry detergent will soar because of needing to wash school uniforms. If students were not required to wear uniforms, they would be more likely to have enough outfits to make it through the week without having to worry about