Bayley wakes up at 5:50 A. M. every morning to make sure she has plenty of time to pick out the perfect outfit for school. Brandon, on the other hand, woke up at 6:00 A. M. and came to realize he didn’t do his laundry this week. Now he has nothing to wear. Wouldn’t you love being able to get that extra 10, 20, maybe even 30 minutes of sleep in the morning? Although school uniforms may not let kids express themselves as much as choosing their own outfits does, schools (public or private) should be required to wear uniforms. Uniforms are proven to save families money and reduce bullying and violence in school environments.
School uniforms reduce violence, bullying, and prevent gangs from forming on campus. In a 2013 survey by the National Association of Elementary school Principals and Uniforms Manufacture Lands’ End, it was proven that 86% of school leaders have said “School Uniforms make a significant impact on peer pressure” (ProCon Headlines). Another 64% said “uniforms reduce bullying” (ProCon Headlines). Another case is the school district in Long Beach, California they were the first school to enforce a uniform policy. Five years after the policy was enforced, the overall crime rate dropped by a large 86%.
Following that, incidents of assault and battery dropped from a large number of 319 cases to 82 cases. Lastly vandalism also decreased from 1409 to 106 incidents (Frontiers Academy). With such large numbers in these cases most families are taking a better look at the benefits of school uniforms. Having all students dressed alike or the same makes competition issues decrease and fall. Uniforms put kids on the same playing field in terms of their appearance (ProCon Headlines). In a 2013 U. S. department of Justice report, 50% of high school students say that there are gangs present in their school (ProCon Headlines).
Clothing is internal to gang culture. If all students are required to wear the same thing, it is much harder to dress in gang affiliated clothing. Bullying is a major problem in schools. Some bullying is obviously due to the fact that some kids can’t afford name brand or in-style clothes. Kids shouldn’t have to be punished for that. Uniforms can prevent that, making students feel accepted. School Uniforms save families money and help students focus more on their education rather than their clothing. Saving money is a hot topic in the 21st century, families are trying everyday to find new ways to save that extra dollar.
A survey in 2013 surveyed 517 school leaders. 94% of those school leaders believe a large benefit of uniforms are that they are cheaper and more cost efficient and effective than buying new clothes (ProCon Headlines). Imagine buying 3 uniforms for one whole year rather than having to get new clothes every month because something new is in style and something has just became out of style. “University of Houston found that elementary schools girls language test scores increased by about 3 percentage points when school uniforms were introduced” (ProCon Headlines).
If test scores are increasing due to school uniforms, why wouldn’t we want to enforce a uniform policy!? A study in Nevada over 3 schools about uniform policy showed that 54% of students agreed they still had their true identity and 50% or so said it saves their family money. On top of that 77% estimated the cost of school uniforms to be $150 or less (Wilde, Manan). Uniforms reduce the financial burden when the child wears the same outfit each day. Students tend to focus more on their education when everyone is wearing the same thing. They focus less on how they look to their peers.
A dress code may be in place but students still tend to wear inappropriate clothing leading to a disruption in class (ProCon Headlines). Uniforms will make sure each student is presented as equal, that way focusing on their education is easier. It may seem as if school uniforms restrict students from expressing themselves. Most people assume that as soon as they hear about school uniform policies. That is not all true, students rights are not being violated in school uniform policies and they may also express themselves in other ways.
The amount of benefits on school uniforms triumphs over the disclaimers to the policies. The type of clothing choice kids wear is not their “pure speech”. Requiring uniforms to reduce bullying and increase test scores, is no way related to the idea of student speech, which is stated by the 5th circuit court (ProCon Headlines). When a uniform policy is put in place, most of the intentions are to create a safer learning environment. Mostly in plans of reducing bullying, increasing test scores, reducing violence, and preventing the formation of gangs on campus. Not to limit one’s freedom.
In 1995 Judge Michael D. Jones of Maricopa County Superior Court (Arizona) ruled that mandatory uniform policies do not violate students free speech rights. ” (ProCon Headlines). Students may still express themselves as well, maybe just in other known ways. Such as adding personal style to their uniform, maybe being jewelry, hair styles, or even buttons (ProCon Headlines). A 2012 peerreviewed study was said to have found that 54% of 8th graders claimed that they could still express their individuality through other items or things while wearing their school uniforms.
Students can still wear what they please out of school hours and express themselves in other ways throughout the school day. As you can see school uniforms produce more pros rather than they do cons. Although school uniforms may not let kids express themselves as much as choosing their own outfits does, schools (public or private) should be required to wear uniforms. Uniforms are proven to save families money and reduce bullying and violence in school environments. So now you have it, I am hoping by now you realize the beneficial side to this large scale debate and that you can now see school uniform policies are much needed.