21, April 2009
Uniforms Become Mandatory for All Students
I was at Hollister the other day watching two girls fight over which top they thought their friends at school would like better, and which one would attract the most attention. Neither girl could decide between the lacy white tank with a low v-neck or a pink frilly tub top, both of which expose too much skin and break dress code. Already in their hands to be purchased were some of the shortest shorts that looked like they had been put through a shredder. What is wrong with this picture? All I can say is that teenagers spend too much time on their appearance, and not enough time on academics. I hope that their school is going to send them straight home to change when they show up in those outfits. Schools need to be much stricter in setting their dress codes, mandating school uniforms is one option that has many positive sides.
In most schools across the United States, the dress code is very casual, giving students freedom to wear a variety of clothes. For these schools, students focus less on their academic success and more on their social acceptance. The select private and public that do enforce a set uniform are above average in academics and less likely to have students who exhibit behavioral problems. Teachers look for the mandate of uniforms in their schools to reduce violence and make the schools safer.
In the past century, many schools have been faced with issues of violence regarding the wardrobes of select students. During the Vietnam War, there was a court case Tinker vs. Des Moines. At school to protest the war, students wore black armbands to signify they did not support the war. Teachers were outraged and ordered the students expulsions. When each student showed up at the school, they were politely asked to remove the band and if refused then they were expelled. Even certain colors are thought to bring violence into schools. Specific colors are affiliated with gangs. Each color represents a group of gang members and causes problems. If one group sees someone wearing the color of their rival, that person’s life may be in danger. By eliminating the freedom to wear whatever students want, schools decrease the risk of gang related violence occurring within the school.
Uniforms put everyone on the same level, thus it is less likely for anyone to feel ‘left out’ or feel like an ‘outcast’ in school. At schools where students have no uniforms, and can express themselves freely, popularity based on style and status becomes and problem. More attention is focused on social standards, which weakens the teacher’s hope of keeping students focused. Many schools in the United States are faced with this problem. By setting the standard of style –wearing uniforms in all schools- students are more likely focus on academics and less on their appearance. More schools need to consider uniforms as the answer to these problems. They are a crucial factor in raising the academic success of all students.
Students are less likely to be made fun of and ignored for not wearing the ‘latest trends.’ At schools where uniforms do not exist, students set new trends and other students, their parents, and teachers. Wearing uniforms reduces the pressure put on many students to dress expensively, helps parents