Although wearing school uniforms is common within private schools, it has been a controversial issue for state schools. Parents, educators and students have their own views on whether uniforms are conducive to a more productive learning environment. Each school in the United States designates its own specific dress code, states EducationBug.org. Strict codes have led to court cases involving students being sent to detention or expelled because of their dress.
School administrators may see uniforms as a way to standardise the dress code and to eliminate a blurred line between acceptable and unacceptable clothing, according to EducationBug.org.
Opponents believe uniforms are just a way for school administrators to overly exert their authority over students, reports EducationBug. School officials, the argument goes, want to avoid the responsibility of enforcing a proper dress code.
School uniforms place all students on the same level. You can't differentiate between the richer and poorer students by their clothing. This also eliminates the need for parents to buy their kids the coolest, brand-name clothes to fit in and avoids bullying of students who are judged by what they wear.
On the flip side, students lose their individual identity by not being allowed to express themselves through their appearance. This could lead students to express themselves in other inappropriate ways, such as through behaviour, to create their own identities.
Making all students dress the same avoids the issue of cliques and gang members who may dress the same or wear certain colours to make a statement and show unity.
Some believe uniforms create a more unified, harmonious group of students with a common purpose and identity. Uniforms enhance school spirit, states an article on GreatSchools.org.
Others believe uniforms force students to avoid dealing with the fact that people express themselves differently. Uniforms stifle the existence of diversity within schools and don't teach children that people can be different and get along.
Trespassers and visitors on campuses are much easier to spot and keep an eye on when all students are dressed the same. Students are also much easier to keep track of and supervise on field trips, according to EducationBug.
Buying school uniforms may create an added burden on families who are already struggling with finances. Torn or lost uniforms must be replaced.