Why Public Schools Should Have Uniforms
There are many reasons for having uniforms in public schools. School uniforms have been shown to improve test scores, raise school pride, increase attendance, reduce violence, helps students express themselves in ways other than the donning of attire, and teaches them to dress neatly. Many studies have shown that school uniforms improve test scores.
School uniforms cause students to spend less time thinking about clothing, and more time thinking about their schoolwork. Another reason that school uniforms raise test scores is that when students wear “smart clothes”, id est school uniforms, they feel smarter, and when students feel smarter, they do better on tests. Uniforms also cause students to have more school pride. When students feel proud of their school they are more likely to behave themselves, perform well on tests, and focus on their lessons. School uniforms can cause a reduction in school violence. A uniform averts the wearing of gang colors, wards off teasing because of clothing, and prevents students' stealing of designer clothing.
One of the main concerns that are brought up when the topic of school uniforms is discussed is freedom of expression. Many people worry that not allowing children to wear certain clothing will stifle their creativity or restrict their First Amendment rights. These things are not a problem when a school uniform policy is reasonable and accommodating. For example, most uniform codes allow Muslim students to wear scarves, and permit students to don campaign buttons to show their support of a certain candidate. Moreover, there are numerous ways to express oneself besides clothing; school uniforms encourage students to communicate in other ways.
An added benefit of uniforms is that they teach children to dress professionally. It is not only minimum wage jobs that have uniforms or dress codes; most jobs in an office environment require that employees wear suits or similar attire. School uniforms tend to look more like the clothing that one would wear at a high paying job, and therefore teach students to dress to prepare for those jobs, especially if students are given choices as to what to wear within certain boundaries instead of just wearing a specific, prescribed outfit, such as being able to wear ones choice of suit, shirt, shoes, and tie as long as they are within a specific range of colors.
I must conclude that having uniforms in public schools is beneficial to all involved, and does not in any way violate students' right to free expression when properly implemented.
Copyright Nef 2007
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