Should School Uniforms be Required?

Have you ever spent hours looking for an outfit in the morning? Schools that require uniforms do not have that problem. There has always been a debate on whether uniforms should be required or banned from schools. Many private schools require the use of uniforms, while the average public schools might consider them or absolutely disregard them.

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However, there are many arguments. Some people believe that school uniforms can save time in the morning, and make the students have more pride for their school. On the other hand, some people believe that having uniforms will limit their freedom of expression. Despite the arguments, school uniforms should be required because they create a safer environment and prevent bullying, they cost less for parents,and they improve the learning environment and grades.

School uniforms came to be worn first in England in 1222. They were required to wear a robe-like outfit, it was not until the sixteenth century that regular school uniforms started being worn (Mellen). Uniforms as a whole have became more prevalent in many different jobs and aspects of life such as in hospitals, business careers, and many more including schools. Depending on the public school they have different views on whether or not to enforce the rules of a school uniform. The first public school to use the uniform was “in Maryland and Washington DC, in the fall of 1987, with Cherry Hill Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland” ( School Uniforms Pro Con). Uniforms have become a controversial subject in many school and many people have attained different beliefs on the subject throughout the years of school uniforms being available to offer to a school.

By requiring school uniforms it will create a more reliable and safer environment at schools and it could prevent bullying. When you wear the same attire as a group of people you will feel like you belong and are part of the same team. If everyone looks the same and dresses the same there will not be any room for discrimination based on looks. Students of a lower class will not feel left out of for not having the latest Nike sweatshirt, or the most expensive Adidas sweatpants. The article “School Uniforms” exclaimed that students only care about their image: “If it means that teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear uniforms” (School Uniforms Gale ). If all students look the same, there will not be any bullying or harassment. If there is not any bullying, school environments will be safer for students.

If school uniforms are required, it will cost less for parents. Clothes are so expensive, especially when they are popular and are name brand. As teenagers and kids enjoy having the latest items in the store, Ingram explained in her statistics that “…77 percent of respondents estimated the cost of school uniforms per child, per year, was $150 or less…. While back-to-school clothing purchases are expected to be more than $235 per child. New shoes add about $150 or less “( Ingram). In her studies she showed the readers how much money they can save by buying school uniforms. Many families also have multiple children, if that is the case the school uniforms can be passed down and the purchase of new uniforms will not be necessary.

While wearing uniforms, children will have a better learning environment and their grades will improve. If schools do not require the use of uniforms children will spend an excessive amount of time looking for a perfect outfit to wear the next day. If uniforms are required, they already have an outfit picked out, despite what they want to wear, they simply can’t — given that they can focus more on studying. Prill explained in his studies that: “…School officials say they witness better student attitudes and fewer discipline problems, and the no doubt relish not having to serve as fashion police on top of other duties, more importantly, teachers and administration say attendance and grades are going up” (Prill). This means that by requiring uniforms, students will wear appropriate clothes, and the teacher can focus more on teaching students rather than addressing if they are wearing non-vulgar clothing.

Some opponents may say that wearing school uniforms will limit freedom of expression, and it also might promote conformity. People believe that children and adolescents show their personality by the way they dress and what shoes they own. They use clothing as an expression of who they are, and they also use that as a way to express themselves. Many people also believe that if everyone looks the same than that means they will all think the same; however, the message students have always been taught is that it is okay to be different. Carole stated that “Your clothes allow your freedom of expression. You make choices based on what you like”( Carole). She explains that individuals do make choices based on what they like, but someone’s uniqueness should be shown through their personality, behavior, and daily actions. Although that is true, the pros of school uniforms outweigh the cons.

When considering both sides of the argument, required school uniforms is the best choice for students. It eliminates bullying, reduces distractions in the classroom, and they are more affordable for low income families. In the end, the benefits of having school uniforms outweigh the disadvantages. Students will have a happier and more focused environment when everyone is dressed the same. With less interruptions in the classroom, students will be overall more successful. We see that the effects of not forcing school uniforms in our communities distinguishes problems we suffer from today.

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