This paper is bent on analyzing the pros and cons of having school uniforms and whether it has impact on the development of student in general. We will discuss each side and get the various views on the importance of each-having school uniforms and free dressing.
Schools have over the past few years developed an increasingly liberal take on the issue of school uniforms. Many have come out to defend their actions stating it is for the greater good that schools decide on which dress code to adopt. Some researchers have conducted surveys to understand the implications of having school uniforms in schools and also the opposite.
In her article for NOLA.com, Danielle Dreilinger (2013) tackles the different reactions that different parties take on the issue of school uniforms. She highlights the different takes of different parties involved in the school uniform issue; the parents, the school administration and the school uniform vendors.
However, the weight of discussion against the use of school uniforms carried greater weight for me. The cons for use of uniforms carried the day. In this paper, we are going to consider the reasons why schools should not use school uniform and the implications of this as well. These reasons will be based on other implicative factors that will be considered in detail. The details are vast and differential by all means.
Two different researches were conducted that led to two similar conclusions. The two studies aimed at showing the importance of not having school uniforms. The first study carried out to answer this question was conducted by comparing the attitudes, the school suspension rates before and after the introduction of school uniforms. In the first study, twenty eight schools in Boston were incorporated in the study to give the results. The schools were mainly middle schools and all elementary schools were excluded.
The research relied on observation, questionnaires designed for students, teachers and parents as well. The study also relied on previous observations that had been done and used the information to compare to theirs and form a conclusion. Because of difference in the time when uniform policies were adopted, the suspension rates per year were calculated in consideration to the year of adoption of the policy. Adoption was dependent.
The second study in question was carried out by Danielle Dreilinger who writes for NOLA.com. She took into the account the perspective of parents and the uniform vendors. Her study was to establish their views on the prices and availability of the uniforms. Danielle concentrates on schools in New Orleans both public and private schools, including the Catholic schools.
Danielle interviews some parents who send their schools to private school on their perspective. Seven parents are interviewed on the impact of school uniforms and offer some useful information that is shown in the results.
The research was conducted by interview thus there were recorded audio tapes that were used in the collection of data. Also, the researchers were allowed to access data on the in-school and out-of-school suspension rates prior to and after the introduction of school uniforms.
The research also relied on observation of school students before the uniforms were introduced and after they were introduced. The second study also relied on catalogues from different vendors for comparing prices of uniforms in different stores and also identifies the materials used in making the uniforms.
Different results were obtained for each study. The results are listed according to the study and will be discussed below. The following were the findings of the study.
- The rate of in-school suspension had decreased from 40% in two years to 30% before the introduction of the school uniform policy.
- The rate of in-school suspensions increased to a staggering average of 49% the year after the introduction of the policy.
- The rate of out-of-school suspensions before the introduction of the policy lay around 30% in previous years but shot up to 40% the following year and 43% the year after that.
Study 2- Danielle’s study
- The prices of uniforms were as high as $87 for a single blazer that students wore during a function.
- Many parents who did not buy uniforms before only bought one to survive their kid since they could not afford more than that.
- Uniform vendors knew the plight of parents because they know that plaid was not cheap and that most schools were in over their head on classy sophisticated looks.
- Many parents rely on uniform vouchers to buy the uniforms that schools recommend to buy.
- Uniform sizes are different from normal clothes sizes and this is a problem for parents who buy uniform in the absence of their children.
Discussion of the findings
Another possible reason for the results would be the initial cost of buying school uniforms. In her study, Danielle (2013) noted that some of the uniforms were very costly some costing much more than ordinary clothes. Schools in Algiers such as Oxford school have uniform shirts costing as much as $40. That compared to a shirt for Landry-Walker High that costs $27 in the same store proves that they are expensive compared to polo shirts that could go for $15 in the same store. This shows why parents may be against use of uniforms in schools.
Comfort is another possible cause to the above results. Kids are very choosy when it comes to the kind of clothes they wear. In many cases, students are very particular to details such as clothing style, zippers and buttons among others. Some students are also sensitive to the materials they use for uniforms thus it is hard to come up with uniforms that suit all students fully.
The second study is more focused on the parent. They are the ones who will be forced to buy the uniforms. Many feel that school uniforms are too costly especially for private schools. However they cannot afford not to buy them since they want their kids to have the best education so they have to dig deeper into their pockets to afford this. This would mean sacrificing too much, something that would not happen if they wore ordinary clothes which cost less.
Another possible solution is by setting a code of dressing based on non-uniform clothes. Many who support use of uniforms say that it enhances proper moral since the lengths of clothes are already pre-determined. I would say that it could also apply to the non-uniform clothing. By describing what type of clothes to wear and the desired lengths, students will be allowed to wear casual clothes that do not scream immoral and they will be comfortable at the same time.
Another possible solution is to come up with cost-friendly uniform if they have to wear it. The main goal of studying is to get the best grades to get you into the best colleges and universities around. What you wear should not be a distraction to attaining this goal. So it is necessary for parents to be considered since uniforms are not the only things to be considered when reporting to schools. Books are also expensive and so is transport and food. Schools should put the parents into consideration as well. Schools have a task at hand in that all their various considerations affect the relationship as well as educational and the students well-being as a wholesome person.
It is also clear that the goal for school is being ignored. School should not be interrupted because students refused to wear the uniform that he or she did not feel comfortable in. students should be comfortable enough and should not be distracted by what they wear since it is only focused students who get the best results at the end of the day. If wearing uniforms will lead to distraction, then it should be scraped and a better and decent code of dressing be adopted.
Dreilinger D., (2013). School uniforms: the good, the bad and the plaid. The Times-Picayune. http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2013/08/school_uniforms_the_good_the_b.htm l
Santos A., (2013). Dressing down Houston's school uniform policies.