School uniforms are a common trend in the modern school system. Students, teachers, and parents all have their own thoughts and opinions on school uniforms. While each side of the debate has their strong reason I am against school uniforms.
Many people believe students should not have to wear school uniforms (like me). I support this argument with the reasons that school uniforms do not improve attendance, academic preparedness, or grades. David L. Brunsma, PhD, Professor of Sociology at Virginia Tech), took part in a study that scrutinized a national sample of 10th graders and found “no effects of uniforms on absenteeism, behavioral problems (fights, suspensions, etc.), or substance use on campus” and “no effects” on “pro-school attitudes, academic preparedness, and peer attitudes toward school.” Instead Brunsma actually found a negative effect of school uniforms in academic achievement and found that they were equally inadequate on eight graders and elementary school students. Another reason is that school uniforms promote conformity over individuality. Schools always motivate us to respect diversity. Chicago high school student Kyler Sumter wrote in the Huffington Post: “They decide to teach us about people like Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony and Booker T. Washington… We learn about how these people expressed themselves and conquered and we can’t even express ourselves in the hallways. Troy Shuman, a senior in Harford County, MD, said the introduction of an obligatory uniform policy to his school would be “teaching conformity and squelching individual thought. Just think prisons and gangs. The ultimate socializer to crush rebellion is conformity in appearance. If a school system starts at clothes, where does it end? In schools where uniforms are specifically gendered (girls must wear skirts and boys must wear pants), transgendered, gender-fluid, and gender-nonconforming students can feel shunned. Seamus, a 16-year-old transgendered boy, said, “Sitting in a blouse and skirt all day made me feel insanely anxious. I wasn’t taken seriously. This is atrocious and damaging to a young person’s mental health; that uniform nearly destroyed me. George Carlin questioned, “Don’t these schools do enough damage, making all these children think alike? Now they’re gonna get them to look alike, too?” And finally School uniforms don’t stop bullying and may increase violent attacks. Tony Volk, PhD, Associate Professor at Brock University, state reported, “Overall, there is no evidence in bullying literature that supports a reduction in violence due to school uniforms.” A peer-reviewed study found that “school uniforms increased the average number of assaults by about 14 [per year] in the most violent schools.” A Texas Southern University study inaugurates that school discipline incidents increased by about 12% after the introduction of uniforms.
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According to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Office of Education Evaluation and Management, quarrels in middle schools nearly doubled within one year of introducing mandatory uniforms. In spite of the cons of school uniforms there are many pros to school uniforms. One argument used to defend school uniforms is that school uniforms create a level playing field among students, reducing peer pressure and bullying. When all students are dressed indistinguishable, rivalry between students over clothing and the teasing of those who are dressed in less expensive or less fashionable outfits can be eliminated. Research by the School Wear Association found that 83% of teachers thought “a good school uniform… could prevent bullying based on appearance or economic background.” Another reason is that school wearing school uniforms enhances school pride, unity, and community spirit. An investigation from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom found that uniforms “often directly contributed to a feeling of school pride. Christopher P. Clouet, Superintendent of the New London, CT school district, said that “the wearing of uniforms contributes to school pride.” And the last school uniform policies save valuable class time because they are easier to enforce than a standard dress code. Doris Jo Murphy, EdD, former Director of Field Experiences at the University of North Texas College of Education, reported: “As an elementary assistant principal in two suburban districts, I can tell you that the dress code took up a great deal of my time in the area of discipline… I wished many times that we had uniforms because the issue of skirts or shorts being too short, and baggy jeans and pants on the boys not being pulled up as they needed to be, would have been a non-issue.”
While each side of the debate has their strong reason I think I am still against uniforms. Both sides gave there factual information, but I think preference is the final reason.
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