At present time in many countries school uniform is mandatory. A good example of such countries is South Korea and Japan. In other countries, including the United States of America, the situation is quite different and school uniform is mandatory mainly in private schools. However, the question about necessity of school uniform is often raised by the leading policymakers. It is remarkable that this is one of the most disputable questions related to school system.
In general, members of society are divided into two groups: proponents and opponents of school uniform. While the first group of people believes that school uniform is an inevitable component of education, which can help to improve school attendance and students’ achievements, the others suggest that there is no necessity in introduction of school uniform.
In terms of this paper, we would like to examine various opinions concerning school uniform policies. We will take into consideration opinions of prominent teachers, parents and analyze all arguments in favor and against adoption of school uniform policies.
In our days the problem of school uniform and its necessity was touched by President Clinton. His interest in this question was caused by his anxiety about school safety. He suggested that school uniform may help to make students equal and eradicate violence. Thus, he said: “If it means that teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear uniforms” (qtd. in Kraft, p.2).
At present time there are a lot of studies, which analyze the necessity of school uniform and its role in education. Among researchers, who are interested in this issue, first of all, it is crucial to mention such names as N. Joseph, S. B. Kaiser and M. S. Stanley (Yeung). These people expressed their positive opinions about school uniform. Among their arguments it is worth mentioning safety, improvement of school discipline, decrease of social and economic differences between students.
It is also worth saying that there are many opponents of school uniform policies, who also base their opinions on the results of various surveys and researches. For instance, there is a suggestion that with the help of school uniform, policymakers are trying to hide their unwillingness to make more serious educational reforms. In order to support their ideas, many opponents of school uniform refer to a variety of constitutional arguments. An interesting view against uniform is also expressed by A. Kohn, who suggests that uniform deprives students of an opportunity to make their own decisions.
Without any doubts, the most furious haters of school uniform are students. Quite often their discussions against school dress code are closely related to the First Amendment. Thus, the majority of young people suggest that together with introduction of school uniform, they will be deprived of their right to express themselves freely. However, quite often such desire becomes uncontrolled and students cross the lines of appropriate dress code at schools. Breach of dress code often leads to distraction of academic environment and other undesirable consequences both for students and their teachers.
It is important to discuss positive sides of school dress code as well. Thus, when speaking about benefits of school uniform, first of all it is necessary to say that it gives a feeling of unity and equity. School is an institution, where students are gathered in order to be educated. To wear mandatory school uniform means to be equal with other students. Thus, students will be judged only according to their knowledge and performance in class. In my opinion, it is one of the weightiest arguments. Quite often at this age students have a feeling of rivalry and wearing uniform may help to forget students about their appearance and concentrate on their studies.
Another interesting argument in favor of school uniform is an opportunity to save time. Without a necessity to choose appropriate outfit for an hour in the morning, students will have a chance to save time and do other more important things.
In conclusion, it should be said that a strong desire of students to wear what they want can be easily understood. At this age all people have a natural desire to be creative, find themselves, their style and individuality. However, students should also understand that school is a place, where one can show his creativity in many ways and compliance with dress code cannot stand on their way. Moreover, an attempt to single out through fashion is one of the worst choices. Students should be encouraged to show themselves with the help of their talents, hobbies, interaction with other students, active participation is school life.
School uniform has indeed a lot of advantages. First of all, it helps to unite students and create an appropriate learning environment. Secondly, to wear school uniform means remembering your goals and responsibilities. There are many other places, where students can show off. It is important for school to remain a place, where student can study. Among other potential benefits of school uniform it is worth mentioning decrease of violence among students, improvement of achievements and discipline, guarantee of safety and help in recognizing intruders.
Finally, it should be said that school uniform can be beautiful. In my opinion, one of the ways to make students enjoy mandatory school dress code is to ask their opinion about style of school uniform. Luckily, today there are many opportunities and student can choose from a wide range of materials and colors. Such approach to adoption of school uniform policies may be rather helpful and change attitude of students to mandatory dress code.
Brunsma, D. L. The School Uniform Movement and What It Tells Us About American
Education: A Symbolic Crusade. R & L Education, 2004. Web. 2 Apr, 2011.
Kraft, A. J. Society’s Perception and Attitudes Toward School Uniforms. Diss. The Graduate
School University of Wisconsin-Stout, 2003. Print.
Yeung, R. Are School Uniforms a Good Fit? Results From The ECLS-K and NELS. Maxwell
School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Syracuse University, 2009. Web. 1 Apr,