Afflicted to private and parochial schools uniforms are now getting adopted by US school districts in growing amounts. According to a report for 2020 the percentage in public school that require uniforms for students increased from 12% in 1999-2000 school term to 20 percent for the year of 2017-2018. Uniforms for school were most often required in elementary schools (23 percent) followed by middle (18 percent) in addition to high schools (10 10%).
The argument is that uniforms for school help make schools more secure for students and provide an “level playing field” that decreases social and economic disparities and helps children concentrate on their studies more than their clothing.
School uniforms are a violation on students’ rights to express themselves in their own way They also have no effect on academic performance or behavior and highlight the disparities in socioeconomic status they seek to conceal.
Pro & Con Arguments
School uniforms can help deter crime and increase security.
The study was conducted in Long Beach, CA, after two years of a districtwide K-8 mandatory uniform policy, incidents of battery and assault within the school district dropped by 34%. In addition, assaults using an deadly weapon decreased 50 percent, incidents of fighting decreased in 51%. sexual violations were reduced in 74%. robberies was reduced by 65%, the possession of weapons (or weapons (or “look-alikes”) decreased by 52%, the possession of drugs was reduced to 69% while vandalism was reduced by 18 percent.
A one year following the time that Sparks Middle School in Nevada adopted a uniform-wearing policy, police reports from the school revealed the drop of 63% in the police logs Also, decreases were observed in gang activity and graffiti, fights between students and property damage as well as battery. A peer-reviewed research study revealed that schools with uniforms had 12% less incidents involving firearms and 15% less drug-related incidents as compared to schools with no uniforms.
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The uniforms of school also prevent students from hiding weapons in clothes that are too loose, making it easier to monitor students who are on field trips and makes intruders more obvious. Frank Quatrone, superintendent in the Lodi district in New Jersey, stated that “When you have students who dress similar, you make them more secure. If someone did decide to break into an establishment, the person who was intruder would be easily identified.”
School uniforms help students focus on their studies and not their clothing.
According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals declared that “When all students are wearing the same outfit, they are less concerned about how they look and how they fit in with their peers; thus, they can concentrate on their schoolwork.” A study conducted by at the University of Houston found that elementary school girls’ English test scores grew by around three percentile points when the introduction of uniforms.
A former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton advocated school uniforms as a way of helping students concentrate on their studies: “Take that [clothing choices] off the table and put the focus on school, not on what you’re wearing.” Chris Hammons who is the principal of Woodland Middle School in Coeur d’Alene, ID, stated that uniforms “provide for less distraction, less drama, and more of a focus on learning.”
School uniforms provide an even playing field between students, which reduces bullying and pressure from peers.
If all students dress the same, competition among students over their clothing choices along with the humiliation of students who dress in more expensive or less stylish clothes can be reduced. Studies conducted done by the Schoolwear Association found that 83 percent of teachers believed that “a good school uniform… could prevent bullying based on appearance or economic background.” Arminta Jacobson is the Founder and Director of the Center for Parent Education at the University of North Texas, declared that uniforms put “all students on the same level with regard to their appearance. I believe it gives them a sense that they are part of the community and the feeling of being accepted by society.”
Uniforms are a great way to show pride in school as well as unity and community spirit.
Christopher P. Clouet, former Director of the New London Public Schools in Connecticut said it was “the wearing of uniforms contributes to school pride.” A study of more than 1,000 Texas Middle school pupils showed that students wearing uniforms “reported significantly more positive perceptions of belonging in their school community than reported by students in the standard dress group.”
Arnold Goldstein, PhD, director of the Center for Research on Aggression at Syracuse University, stated that uniforms make troubled students feel they are supported by an entire society: “There is a sense of belonging.” A peer-reviewed study showed that, after the introduction of uniforms, “Teachers perceived an increase in the level of respect, caring, and trust… throughout the school” and added that “students are made to feel ‘important’ and as if they are a part of a team by wearing a uniform.”
School uniforms could help with attendance and discipline.
A study conducted by researchers of The University of Houston found that the absence rate for girls in high and middle school dropped by 7 percent following the introduction of uniforms and that behavioral issues diminished in the severity. An Youngstown State University study of secondary schools across Ohio’s largest school districts discovered that uniforms for school students increase attendance rates as well as graduation and suspension.
In the first week of a uniform-required program in John Adams Middle School in Albuquerque, NM, discipline referrals decreased from 1,565 in the first quarter of the year before to 405, which is a 74% reduction. Macquarie University (Australia) researchers discovered that in schools around the globe where uniform rules are in place pupils “are more disciplined” and “listen significantly better, there are lower noise levels, and lower teaching waiting times with classes starting on time.”
Uniform dress codes save classes time as they are simpler to apply than a dress code.
Doris Jo Murphy, EdD the former director of Field Experiences at the University of North Texas College of Education she said: “As an elementary assistant principal in two suburban districts, I can tell you that the dress code took up a great deal of my time in the area of discipline… I wished many times that we had uniforms because the issue of skirts or shorts being too short, and baggy jeans and pants on the boys not being pulled up as they needed to be, would have been a non-issue.” Lyndhurst, NJ school district superintendent Tracey Marinelli was in the same incident prior to when a uniform policy was implemented: “Kids were spending time in the office because they were not fulfilling the dress code… That was time away from class.”
School uniforms prohibit the wearing of gang colors or insignia.
The Department of Education’s manual on School Uniforms stated that uniforms policies could “prevent gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia at school” for them to “encourage a safe environment.” Teachers in Long Beach Unified School District have speculated that Long Beach Unified School District have speculated that the dramatic decrease in crime after the introduction of uniforms for school resulted from fighting between gangs being quelled. Osceola County, FL School Board member Jay Wheeler reported that the schools of the county had an increase of 46% in the number of gang members after their first full year of the mandatory uniform policy for K-12 schools. Wheeler said that “clothing is a key element of the gang the culture… Think of the U.S. Armed Forces recruiter in uniform, trying to find new soldiers. The rates of success are lower. Similar is the case with recruiting gang members.”
School uniforms can make getting ready for school a breeze which improves punctuality.
If uniforms are required for students and parents, they do not have to think about the appropriate clothes for the school day. In a nationwide survey that found over 90 percent of US school administrators believe that uniforms or formal dress code guidelines “eliminate wardrobe battles with kids,” help make it “easier to get kids ready in the morning,” and provide a “time saving in the morning.” Tracey Marinelli, Director of the Lyndhurst School District in New Jersey, credited the district’s uniform policy with cutting down on the number of students that are late. Lyndhurst students Mike Morreale agreed, stating that “it’s so much easier to dress than having to search for clothes and find out that something doesn’t match.”
School uniforms could help parents save money.
Parents can ease the financial burden they bear by limiting their children to wearing a single uniform every day. A study on the cost of uniforms within the United Kingdom found that uniforms cost parents PS88.05 ($128.79) per outfit, whereas out-of-school clothes were on average PS113.00 ($165.79).
A survey conducted across the country from 517 US school officials found that 94% respondents believe that “one of the main benefits to parents is that school uniforms are more cost-effective than regular apparel,” and 77% of respondents estimated the cost per year of school uniforms per student to be between $150 and $150. If school uniforms are not in place parents could be pressured to compete with other families and purchase trendy clothes for their kids.
The majority of parents and teachers support the requirement of uniforms at school.
A poll conducted by The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the manufacturer of uniforms Lands’ End discovered that the majority of school administrators believe that their school’s uniforms or formal dress code rules have had an impact on discipline in the classroom (85 percent) as well as the school’s image in the local community (83 percent) and students’ safety (79 percent) and school pride (77 percent) and academic achievement (64 percent). A survey conducted in Harford County, MD school system. Harford County, MD school system revealed it was found that “teachers and administrators were overwhelmingly in favor” for the introduction of uniforms for school. The poll also revealed that 58% parents would like an enforced uniform policy.