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Do I Want My Kid In A School Uniform?

Dec 27, 2007
Wearing school uniforms is sometimes met with wholehearted joy or passionate hate. If it were up to the students, there would be roughly 50% who would wear the uniform and another 50% who would not. This is why it isn't up to the student. Schools and governing boards will either mandate the school uniform rule or not be concerned about what students wear (within reason of course)

The reasons for selecting school uniforms are, for the most part, pure. Enforcing an equality among students, fostering a sense of belonging to an educational institute, easing the financial burden on parents to keep their kids in the latest fashion trends and enforcing of a serious attitude towards education on the whole. Most elementary and high schools all over the world enforce the wearing of uniforms for practically similar reasons. Education is, after all, universal.

In the United States, public schools do not have strict uniform mandates, but rely on "dress codes" which dictate what cannot be worn, like revealing clothes or clothes with rude slogans or promotion of alcoholic and tobacco brands. Most private schools do, however, enforce the compulsory wearing of uniforms. There is a rise in public schools requiring school uniforms and a study done in 2002 published in the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) stated that the figures were up to 22% for the sale of school uniforms in 2000. According to the study, the most students in uniform reside in the states of California, Florida, Texas, Illinois and New York. The study also went on to publish a list of the top 10 cities with students in uniform.

Studies have also been done to look at the connections between the lack of a compulsory school uniform and school violence. The results have proven that there is a greater inclination towards school violence in students who choose to dress in clothes mimicking gang-related clothing. Other studies have shown that some students who wear expensive clothes can also be the targets for violence and in some cases, murder. Students who go to schools which have a higher violence level are shown to be less inclined to go to school and even resort to truancy to avoid being victimized.

The studies show that enforcing school uniforms have done a lot to bring the levels of school violence down. School uniforms have directly contributed to student discipline and learning. Enforcing a school uniform demonstrates the schools commitment towards discipline. There are a similar number of reasons of people fighting to abolish or prevent the enforcement of school uniforms in schools. Some even stating that school uniforms violate the freedom of expression of the students. The decision is largely subjective and more parent involvement is indeed required in such large decisions.

If you feel strongly about decisions and policies such as the mandating of school uniforms, then the best place to begin is to get involved in the parent associations of your children's schools.
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