Uniforms In School Essay Example
Uniforms In School Essay Example

Uniforms In School Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (2061 words)
  • Published: December 23, 2018
  • Type: Essay
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Angus Young, a member of the rock band AC/DC, is known for wearing a school uniform that resembles that of an English schoolboy, complete with shorts and a distinctive hat. This image is often associated with a group of fifth-grade students standing in front of a Catholic school, all wearing identical uniforms. Unfortunately, these representations have contributed to stereotypes and negative perceptions towards schools that enforce uniform policies. Students who wear uniforms are often viewed as robotic individuals who lack the ability to freely express themselves. However, this contradicts society's emphasis on self-expression and individuality.

There are situations where expressing oneself and maintaining individuality can come at a high cost, as exemplified by a tragic incident in Detroit. A 15-year-old boy lost his life over expensive basketball shoes, demonstrating the steep price one may pay for expressing


their individualism (Grantham 5). Personally, I believe that society pays too much for individualism. I would rather face ridicule and teasing for wearing a uniform than risk falling victim to violence simply because someone dislikes the color of my pants.

School uniforms have long been subject to jokes and harassment for those required to wear them. Historically, public schools saw uniforms as outdated fashion statements. However, in recent years many public schools have implemented and enforced uniform policies.Enforcing mandatory school uniforms is crucial for improving the quality of education received by students. The support and opposition towards school uniforms are changing, as more public schools are adopting uniform policies. The San Antonio School district has made it compulsory for all 60,000 students to wear uniforms, and over 60% of elementary schools in Fort Worth also require them (Radcliffe 1999). I

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1995, the Texas legislature granted public school districts the authority to implement uniform policies, although it is not obligatory (Radcliffe 1999). A Dallas attorney named Domingo Garcia has proposed legislation that would make uniforms mandatory for grades K-12 in Texas (Ramos 1997).

Before implementing new policies or laws concerning school uniforms, it is vital for school board officials and lawmakers to consider whether these changes have a positive impact on students' overall performance. This evaluation should encompass academic achievements as well as socially learned behaviors that contribute to students' success in society. However, there are those who argue that requiring students to wear uniforms can improve their social interactions since clothing plays a significant role in how they relate to each other. Caruso suggests that students are unlikely to resort to violence due to fashion differences, such as wearing a newer tie versus an older one (86).Nathan, a fifth-grader at Queen of Angels Catholic School, agrees with Caruso's claim (86) that uniforms promote a better educational atmosphere and school spirit. According to Nathan, uniforms prevent students from being distracted by others' fashionable attire, such as Johnny's Tommy Hilfiger outfit. It is important to thoroughly examine any situation that fails to benefit students in their academic pursuits. Instead of worrying about affording the latest fashion trends, students should focus on academic achievements and successful science projects for greater advantage. The implementation of mandatory uniforms has the potential to decrease crime rates and positively impact students' lives. School administrators and lawmakers have an ethical responsibility to address the question of crime prevention. Research demonstrates that schools with uniform policies consistently experience reductions in crime rates. Notably, the Long

Beach Unified School District was the first urban district in the United States to enforce uniforms, resulting in an impressive 93% reduction in sex offenses (Bell 24). However, careful consideration of cost implications is necessary when implementing a uniform policy. Acknowledging students' varying economic statuses is crucial in addressing this issue. Will students who cannot afford uniforms be excluded from attending school?Is it better for students to use all their funds to buy uniforms so they can attend school? In such cases, will they have enough money left for extracurricular activities or social events? Alternatively, these students might prioritize buying uniforms over having nutritious food, which could affect their health. The current law in Texas offers alternatives for students who cannot afford uniforms (Radcliffe 1999). The Long Beach Unified School District has raised over $160,000 privately to support disadvantaged students without burdening taxpayers. On the other hand, San Antonio's school district has spent around $500,000 on outfits for 90% of their students, resulting in significant costs borne by taxpayers (Radcliffe 1999). One way to reduce taxpayer expenses is by seeking private funding from philanthropic companies. Currently, about 25% of public elementary, middle and junior high schools nationwide have implemented school uniforms (Paliokas 33). The positive results seen in schools with uniform policies provide strong evidence of the benefits associated with wearing them. Most schools that follow uniform policies have noticed a ten to fifteen point increase in test scores (Paliokas 33). Based on the observed positive outcomes, it can be argued that all public schools should enforce uniform policies.The necessity of waiting for extensive research on this matter is unnecessary and could hinder the progress

of current students. The implementation of uniforms aims to enhance overall student performance while respecting their rights and minimizing additional expenses for parents. This raises the question of whether students have rights as members of the American population, and if so, what these rights entail. Is attending school a personal choice or a responsibility shared by parents and society? Currently, there is significant societal concern about protecting individuals' rights and emotions. However, it is debatable whether first graders are capable of making well-informed decisions regarding their best interests or if adults should make these decisions on their behalf. It is the duty of parents to educate and guide children about their rights and how to exercise good judgment and common sense. Any dress restriction that violates a student's First Amendment right must be justified by demonstrating its impact on school operations, others' rights at the school, or interference with the school's educational mission (Grantham 1). While mandating uniforms for students may have minor legal implications if most parents support it, there will likely be strong opposition from some parents who wish to prevent their children from wearing uniforms. The primary legal concern is the protection of free expression under the First AmendmentOpponents contend that schools infringe upon students' autonomy over their personal appearance (Paliokos 33). All parties have vested interests in addressing uniform-related concerns, encompassing children, adults, and the elderly. It is evident that everyone has a stake in this determination. The enforcement of a uniform policy will significantly impact children as they will be obligated to comply with it. Despite lacking offspring of my own, I still hold a vested interest in this matter

since the introduction of uniforms may yield escalated local school taxes to cover their expenses. Notwithstanding potential individual inequity, the provision of school uniforms can ultimately contribute to a more prosperous society for all through enhancing students' fundamental education. Augmenting students' education holds vital importance for both educational institutions and legislators; nevertheless, fiscal constraints must also be taken into account. This implies that compromises and restrictions may be necessary to attain the objective of improving education while adhering to existing legal frameworks established by prior societal decisions. If these laws are no longer pertinent or efficacious, they ought to be revised to address current challenges faced by schools striving to enhance the educational system. This issue encompasses various stakeholders such as students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and society at large.Each stakeholder, including students, schools, parents, and opponents of school uniforms, faces their own unique challenges, threats, opportunities, and responsibilities. These encompass economic considerations, legal obligations, ethical concerns, and philanthropic duties. For students like Gwynith at Queen of Angles Catholic School, one major challenge is deciding what to wear each day. However, uniform policies in schools address this issue by eliminating the need to worry about following fashion trends or being teased based on clothing choices. Gwynith believes that uniforms prevent others from mocking their clothes since everyone wears the same color. Nevertheless, there are concerns that some students may refuse to comply with the uniform policy which could result in disciplinary issues and potential dropouts. Despite these concerns though, uniforms mainly offer positive opportunities for students as they can focus on academics without worrying about fashion. The principal of Queen of Angels Catholic School agrees

that uniforms shift the focus away from clothes and onto subjects like math and reading. Parents also benefit from uniforms as they no longer have to keep up with expensive fashion trends; it reduces the financial burden with an average cost of $130 for three outfits. Moreover ,uniforms solve the ethical dilemma posed by inappropriate clothing choices . On the other hand , opponents argue against the implementation of school uniforms claiming that they violate children's rights and break laws.Despite their differing opinions, parents overwhelmingly support the implementation of uniforms in schools (Bell 27). However, teachers struggle with enforcing the current dress code as it can vary across different schools. For example, issues may arise when students wear see-through skirts that do not meet the requirement for knee-length attire. By implementing a uniform policy, this subjectivity would be eliminated and acceptable clothing choices would be clearly defined. This would make it easier for teachers to determine appropriate attire.

One major advantage of uniforms is that they allow teachers to easily identify students who belong to the school and distinguish them from potential intruders, thus improving campus safety. Furthermore, uniforms simplify student identification during field trips and provide accurate descriptions to authorities in cases of kidnapping incidents.

School administrators face numerous challenges in their pursuit of creating an optimal educational environment for students. One such challenge involves making decisions regarding colors, styles, and materials when implementing uniform requirements. The introduction of uniforms in schools can have both positive and negative effects on students' experiences within the educational system. It is crucial for these decisions to adhere to legal, economic, and ethical parameters (Ramos 1997).Implementing school uniforms presents both

an opportunity and a responsibility to consider short-term and long-term factors. In the short term, it is important to enforce uniform policies for students and parents. However, long-term considerations involve providing uniforms for financially disadvantaged students, possibly with government funding to reduce costs per student. Additionally, distributing expenses more evenly could be achieved by increasing local sales taxes (Radcliffe 1999).

Exceptions to the uniform rule are permitted under the Texas 1995 law for individuals who have valid religious or philosophical objections (Ramos 1997). Before implementing uniforms, schools should take into account public objections. Policy makers should also establish a connection between student attire and disruptive behavior while evaluating the impact of a uniform dress code on student behavior.

Consulting legal advisors is essential in addressing any potential legal issues that may arise from implementing uniforms. Furthermore, methods for enforcing the policy must be determined along with consequences for non-compliance. Seeking feedback from parents and students prior to implementing the policy can help assess opinions and involve them in decision-making processes.

Considering preferences for colors, materials, and options such as allowing two different colors is crucial when implementing school uniforms. Involving students in decision-making can increase their acceptance of the policy and minimize disciplinary issues.Conducting a financial study prior to implementing school uniforms is crucial for understanding the potential impact on the school and determining the number of students who may require financial assistance. The authority to establish uniform rules lies with the board of trustees of the independent school district, who must also designate a funding source for economically disadvantaged students. Parents or guardians have the choice to exempt their child from wearing uniforms if they provide a

written statement expressing a genuine religious or philosophical objection. Finding a solution that satisfies everyone is essential to avoid delays in implementation. Based on my personal experience attending both public and private schools, I firmly believe that uniforms can have a significant impact on the education system.

- Bell, Becky."LISD group focuses on school uniforms." Longview News Journal 22 March 2000: 23-37.
- Caruso, Peter."Individuality vs.Conformity: The Issue Behind School Uniforms." NAASP Bulletin 20 September 2000: 83-88.
- Grantham, Kimberly."Restricting Student Dress In Public Schools" (Paliokas, 1994) discusses implementing dress codes in public schools.
- "Trying Uniforms On For Size" (Paliokas, 1996) explores using uniforms as a solution for student attire concerns and presents various perspectives on the matter.Additionally, according to Jennifer Radcliffe's article "Irving Joins Movement Supporting Required Attire" (Radcliffe, 1999), Irving has recently become part of the movement advocating for compulsory school uniforms.

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