Every year, more and more schools are opting for school uniforms. Many state schools are adopting uniform policies. There are several reasons why school administrators encourage school uniforms. These include reductions in bullying and group cohesiveness. There are those on the other side of the fence with convincing reasons for not wearing school uniforms.
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Children Lose Individuality
Growing up entails being able to make appropriate choices, even about clothing. Some argue that requiring uniforms take away a child's ability to decide what they will wear. According to a recent article in the Clearinghouse on Education Policy and Management written by Linda Lumsden and Gabriel Miller, many opponents of school uniforms argue that requiring school uniforms denies a student their Constitutional right to freedom, including freedom of expression.
Lack of Proper School Uniforms Increase Bullying Risks
School uniforms cost parent additional money for clothing costs. Schools often state that uniforms decrease bullying as all students are dressed alike. However a recent report by the BBC news state that for some, mandatory uniform requirements do just the opposite. Families that cannot afford the correct uniforms increase the chance of their children being seen as poor and being the victim of bullying.
School Uniforms are Expensive
Some argue that school uniforms save money. According to the Cookville Times, others argue that school uniforms require parents to purchase 2 sets of clothing; one for school and another for everyday use. Parents on a fixed income might find this financially taxing. The Case Against School Uniforms by Alicia Thomas argues that some schools encourage parents to buy uniforms from the same store to eliminate different styles.These stores often include higher priced stores like JCPenney's and Lands Ends. Buying multiple outfits, especially for larger families, can be a financial burden.
Idea That Uniforms Will Change Behavior or Improve Academics Not Supported
Others state that wearing school uniforms can increase academic success and decrease behaviour problems. The premise is that students will concentrate less on what they are wearing and will focus more on learning. A longitudinal study was conducted correlating school uniforms with improved school attendance, improvement in grades, a reduction in substance abuse use and a decrease in behaviour problems. Students were followed for six years by researchers with the University of Notre Dame. Researchers did not find a direct correlation between wearing uniforms and improvement on any of the four factors. The study suggested further discussion and debate on school uniforms.
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- PennLive.com: The Case Against High School Uniforms
- Uniform: The Effects of Student Uniforms on Attendance, Behavior Problems, Substance Use, and Academic Achievement
- Cookville Times.com: Are School Uniforms Good or Bad
- www.eric.eoregan.edu: Research Roundup; Dress Codes and Uniformsseaerc
- BBC News: School Uniform ' Bullying Risk'