Persuasive Speech Final Outline
Attention-getter: Have you ever questioned how much the clothing you wear affects your life at school? I’m sure we have all heard of the argument between wearing a school uniform versus not having one. Today, I will be explaining to you why wearing school uniforms are more beneficial for students than having none. Relevance to audience: This matters to us all because it is important for a society to know the kinds of effects that certain aspects have on our educational system.
Wearing uniforms can ease social pressure. When all students are dressed in an identical way, it is logical to assume that bullying based on how students dress is naturally reduced. According to a study by the Schoolwear Association, 83% of teachers surveyed claimed that school uniforms reduced the social pressure at school, as well as potentially stopped bullying founded on the victims’ “appearance or economic background” (“Schoolwear Association research”). This means that the content of their characters will matter more in the social hierarchy.
Not having to worry about the social pressure from others allows students to spend more time focusing on their education. According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, “When all students are wearing the same outfit, they are less concerned about how they look and how they fit in with their peers; thus, they can concentrate on their schoolwork” (Caruso). This gives the students more opportunity to succeed at school.
When dressed similarly, students can feel a sense of unity as a group. This leads to the students feeling like they belong. A study by John Huss for the Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, found that after uniforms were introduced, “Teachers perceived an increase in the level of respect, caring, and trust… throughout the school” and said “students are made to feel ‘important’ and as if they are a part of a team by wearing a uniform” (Huss). This feeling of belonging allows for stronger social solidarity.
Uniforms can lead to better behavior among students. Having uniform policies have been shown to help lessen student crime. For instance, a study by Seunghee Han for the International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership found that schools with uniform policies had 12% fewer firearm-related incidents and 15% fewer drug-related incidents than schools without uniforms (Han). This better conduct may be attributed to the symbolism of obedience that uniforms offer.
A school uniform will block gang-related symbols from spreading around the school. The US Department of Education’s Manual on School Uniforms states that uniform policies can “prevent gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia at school” in order to “encourage a safe environment” (“Creating Safe and Drug-Free Schools”). This helps prevent the spread of current crime, as well as protects others who are susceptible to falling in line with it.
With uniform policies, students simply seem to be more obedient all around. Researchers at Macquarie University found in a study that in schools throughout the world with enforced uniform policies, students “are more disciplined” and “listen significantly better, there are lower noise levels, and lower teaching waiting times with classes starting on time” (Baumann). This showcases a positive direction for students and educators alike.
Wearing uniforms helps with student attendance. With the stress of choosing what to wear for school, students often spend awhile picking the “perfect” clothes, with some opting to not attend school at all. Having an assigned uniform prevents cases like this from occurring. For instance, researchers at the University of Houston conducted a study and observed that the average absence rate for girls in middle and high school had a decrease by 7% after a uniform policy was established (Gentile). If we eliminate this stress factor, more students are likely to attend classes.
Those that do decide to go to school may be disciplined for not adhering to the dress code rules, which aren’t as straightforward as a simple uniform. Consequently, the student is punished, ultimately missing valuable class time. With a dress code simply being a question of “are they wearing the uniform or not”, it helps keep the process simple and keeps more students in classes.
Wearing uniforms can better help keep students safe at school. With every student wearing the same attire, it would become much easier to identify intruders into the school. With many high schools having fairly lax security, you could imagine a situation where a stranger walking in with ill intent has an outfit that fits with the dress code, therefore not being immediately identified as a threat.
Uniforms can also prevent dangerous objects from being hidden in the student’s choice of clothing, such as a knife concealed under baggy clothes. To understand how serious of a problem this is, the National School Board Association has estimated that approximately 135,000 guns are brought to America’s 85,000 public schools every day (Wilder). Of course, there are other means to hide these items, but it can aid in narrowing these numbers down.
Summary statement: Dressing in mandatory uniforms are a greater way to dress for students at school than without. Today, we looked at the benefits of wearing uniforms, including that they ease social pressure, they lead to better overall behavior, more attendance, and greater safety. Audience response statement: Now I want you to visit a website named debate.org, to a debate titled, “Should kids have to wear school uniforms?” and take part in the debate. WOW statement: Always remember the saying; you should “dress to impress”.”