The popularity of uniforms in public schools continues to rise in the United States, as parents and school administrators exert efforts to keep our schools safe environments. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 20% of all public schools have adopted uniform requirements. Approximately 22% of elementary schools, 19% of all middle schools, and 10% of high schools currently require uniforms, and the school uniforms continues to accelerate from school to school.
School uniforms have been a controversial issue in schools all around the world. Many educators and parents believe that it will minimize the distractions in the school environment, such as, violence, bullying, discrimination, and etc. Students however, believe they should be feel to dress however they please and they think it does not affect the academic side in the school environment.
One of the primary reasons for students being against uniforms is the feeling of to be losing individuality. In many interviews, students believe they should have the freedom of self-expression and that a school uniform dress code would take this freedom away. Students believe this imposed their right granted by the First Amendment.
Another reason people do not agree with the school uniform idea, is because of the extra expense for families. Especially with the homeless and poverty increase in school, this can become a major problems for some families if the school or state is unable to fund.
Parents and schools believe that school uniforms would make the learning environment more effective with the use of school uniforms as the dress code. Teachers and administrators are not distracted by the look of the students and are able to have more time for learning. The socioeconomic differences among students are reduced when all students wear the same school uniforms. There is no longer feeling the pressure to “fit in” with the right clothing choices, because everyone is wearing the same thing and spending the same amount of money on the uniform.
Some more benefits of the school uniforms are backed up by statistics. According to school-reported statistics and the School Administrator, the requirement of uniforms in schools has reduced tardiness, skipped classes, suspensions, and discipline referrals among students. This statistic makes a school look a lot better. Also, school uniforms have been proven to reduce the prevalence of violence, which is a major concern for many public schools. Outsiders who do not belong on campus are easily identified, and with the increase of school threats and school shootings, this can be a life saver. The school uniforms also decreased the cliques and gangs inside of a school.
I can see the positives and negatives of school uniforms, but I think the students should have the right to self-expression because that is their right, as stated in the First Amendment. With every issue there are pros and cons. I think that there are other ways to eliminate some of the issues such as the violence and improving the learning environment rather than just implementing a school uniform dress code. I think their could be more school structure with the faculty that could help the concerning areas for our students.