Advantages and disadvantages of school uniform policies

Updated November 21, 2016

In recent years, both public and private high schools have been implementing school uniform policies. Not only are school uniforms becoming a popular trend in many schools, but the idea of these uniform policies has also been sparking great debate in recent years. Many parents and students are adamantly for or against school uniforms. Amid these debates, many major advantages and disadvantages of school uniform policies have surfaced.

Harmony Among Students

Adding a school uniform policy can help promote a more peaceful school environment. Many schools have encountered issues with students wearing inappropriate clothing or clothing with gang-related insignia. School uniforms help eliminate those issues. Many educators also believe school uniforms decrease bullying and judgment between students based on clothing choices because everyone is wearing the same thing. Also, there is a sense of equality among students no matter what financial or social class they come from. An article states that dress code policies are designed to reduce bullying and violence in school because "style differences" are no longer an issue. Dress code policies that require uniforms also prevent school administrators from having to crack down on students wearing inappropriate or revealing clothing, leaving the educators more time to focus on their work and preventing kids from having to miss school if they are punished or sent home to change.

Promoting Good Behavior

Many supporters of school uniform policies believe that uniforms keep students more focused on their education because they spend less time focused on who is wearing what outfit and what trends they and other students are wearing. Students who may normally wear inappropriate clothing to school will be prohibited from wearing provocative or revealing clothing, and can instead give attention to other aspects of their lives and education while at school. Uniforms can also create a sense of school spirit in students. Some advocates also feel that school uniforms create a sense of pride and commitment to students' schools and fellow classmates, and these feelings can reinforce more dedication and better behaviour while students are in school.

Lack of Individual Expression

Many of those against school uniform policies argue that school uniforms suppress students' right to self-expression. Students and parents alike sometimes resist school uniform policies, and many students use their clothing and accessory choices to develop their identity while in school. Students who belong to certain teams or clubs cannot, with school uniform policies, wear clothing that expresses their association with said organisation. Some even go as far as to say that school uniform policies prohibit students' freedom of speech. Some detractors of school uniform policies also feel that uniforms are ineffective and that while they squander individual expression, they fail to provide any positive effect and simply leave students upset with the school administration.

Cost and Discomfort

Schools that require families to purchase school uniforms for their children can sometimes receive backlash from parents. School uniforms can be costly investments, and many parents with children have to purchase uniforms every year to accommodate growing children. Additionally, since school uniforms are only worn during school hours, two separate wardrobes will need to be purchased for children. This can be especially frustrating for parents who have children who don't like their uniforms. Some children find the generally restricting nature of the skirts, blazers and ties associated with most school uniforms uncomfortable when compared to the clothing they would normally pick out themselves.

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