As students head back to school, many will be required to adhere to a dress code or wear a school uniform. While dress codes have been around for centuries, their use in schools is relatively new.
The first recorded instance of a school dress code was in England in 1222. At that time, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a decree stating that all students attending his cathedral school must wear the same type of clothing. This was done in an effort to prevent students from wearing expensive clothes that would give them an unfair advantage over their classmates.
Dress codes continued to be used sporadically over the next few centuries, but it wasn’t until the late 1800s that they began to be used more regularly in schools. One of the first notable instances of a dress code being enforced in schools was in 1898, when the Board of Education in New York City issued a set of rules that included a dress code.
The use of dress codes and uniforms in schools has been controversial since their inception. Proponents of dress codes argue that they promote discipline and order in schools. They also claim that dress codes help to prevent students from wearing inappropriate or distracting clothing.
Opponents of dress codes argue that they are a form of discrimination, as they often require girls to wear dresses or skirts while allowing boys to wear pants. They also argue that dress codes are an unnecessary expense for families.
The debate over dress codes is likely to continue for many years to come. In the meantime, schools that do have dress codes or uniforms will continue to enforce them.
Supporters disagree about why dress codes and uniforms should be enforced more at every school. First, they debate whether they should be encouraged. According to the book “School Uniforms” from Opposing Viewpoints in Context, supporters argue that “They aid educators in identifying students on field trips as well as strangers who enter the building.”
This is a valid point, as it would be helpful for adults to quickly identify students in order to keep them safe. It is also easier to enforce rules when everyone is wearing the same thing and looks similar. Furthermore, uniforms can promote a sense of community in a school.
According to “School Uniforms” from Opposing Viewpoints in Context, supporters claim that “uniforms help reduce economic and social barriers between students.” This is important because it can help all students feel equal and part of the same community, regardless of their background or income level.
However, there are also several arguments against dress codes and uniforms in schools. First, some argue that they are a form of censorship. According to “Dress Codes and School Uniforms” from Opposing Viewpoints in Context, opponents claim that “Dress codes and uniforms limit self-expression.” This is a valid point, as students should be able to express themselves through their clothing.
Additionally, dress codes and uniforms can be expensive, which can put a financial burden on families. According to “Dress Codes and School Uniforms” from Opposing Viewpoints in Context, opponents claim that “Some schools require students to purchase uniforms from specific stores or vendors, which can be costly.” This is an important point to consider, as not all families can afford to purchase uniforms for their children.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to enforce dress codes and uniforms in schools is a complex one. There are valid arguments for and against the practice. However, it is important to consider all of the potential implications before making a decision.
The second argument is that uniforms and dress codes protect students by allowing them to identify their heritage. Supporters next claim that uniforms and dress codes help to reduce bullying. According to the article in “School Uniforms” from Opposing and Viewpoints in Context, “They prevent rich kids from flaunting their wealth.”
So, this is how uniforms and dress codes are said to be helpful from the supporters’ side. Although there are many benefits that come from having uniforms or a dress code in schools, there are also some negative points that arise from it.
The first point against uniforms and dress codes is the fact that it takes away the student’s individuality and creativity. In the article, “Dress Code Violations: Should Schools Punish Students Who Break The Rules?” by Mary Beth Barber she states, “Some students feel they cannot express themselves through their clothing choices because of school dress codes and uniforms.
They believe their individuality is suppressed when they are not allowed to choose what to wear to school. In addition, some students feel they are not able to express their unique personality when they are forced to wear the same clothes as everyone else in their school.” So, this is one way in which uniforms and dress codes can be seen as negative by some students.
Another point against uniforms and dress codes is that they can be costly for some families. In the article, “Dress Code Violations: Should Schools Punish Students Who Break The Rules?” by Mary Beth Barber she states, “Uniforms and dress codes can also be costly for families. For example, a family with several children in a school that requires uniforms may have to spend a lot of money on clothing.
In addition, some schools require students to purchase specific items, such as a particular type of shoe or jacket. These requirements can add to the cost of uniforms and dress codes for families.” So, this is another way in which uniforms and dress codes can have a negative impact on some students and their families.
Back in the early to mid-nineties, Will Smith starred in a hit television comedy called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as the lead character. His mother compelled him to move from the projects in Philadelphia to live with his very successful aunt and uncle in Los Angeles’ “high toned” suburb of Bel-Air, despite his reputation as a “good kid” on TV. He and his cousin Carleton attended a highly tauted private school that demanded uniforms.
Every day they would wake up and put on their little navy blue blazers with a gold emblem on the pocket, a white button down shirt, a red or blue tie and gray slacks. Then they would go downstairs to breakfast whereupon Aunt Vivian would inspect them to make sure their clothes were clean and pressed and that they looked “presentable”. The boys thought the whole process was ridiculous. They couldn’t understand why they had to wear uniforms when none of the other kids in Los Angeles did.
As it turns out, there are reasons for dress codes and school uniforms beyond making children look “presentable”. A study done in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Education found that there were some benefits to students wearing uniforms to school.