We've often heard of clothing being a medium of expression for young children; a means to promote individuality in them. Detractors of school uniforms often use this line of thought to bolster their argument against school uniforms.
It may seem valid on the surface, but its inherent flaws can be noticed only on closer inspection. A school may be termed as a second home, where children are thoroughly disciplined through their formative years, as they come out being bright and responsible individuals. Regardless of this fact, scientific studies tell us that schools requiring students to wear uniforms display low levels of indiscipline, negative influence by peers, violence among children, and instead shape them to be creditworthy and concentrate entirely on studies.
Positive Attributes of School Uniforms
A school uniform makes it easier for the school authorities to recognize students belonging to their school. Authorities find it easy to spot any outsiders present on the school campus. It also saves the school administrators from having to 'police' what the students wear. There are no daily battles to separate the appropriate from the otherwise.
It can be said that a school uniform also saves students from putting their fashion tastes before their learning obligations. When they don't have to spend time wondering what to wear and how to make a fashion statement, they can devote more time to learning. By wearing a uniform dress code, students can find other means to showcase their creativity.
Wearing the same type of clothing reduces social snobbery and peer pressure in educational institutions. It is also supposed to reduce incidents of bullying and theft. How do you pick on someone for wearing the same dress as yourself? Why would you steal a pair of shoes you both have and can afford? Thus there are fewer arguments, and following a dress code plays more of a balancing act.
Wearing a uniform also cramps the style of gang members. They have to recognize each other by names and faces instead of flaunting aggressively painted jackets, T-shirts with obscene messages, clunky jewelry, and the likes.
A school uniform can instill a sense of discipline and community. This naturally reduces incidents of violence. Students can come to school without worrying about personal safety. Teachers don't have to double as guards, and can concentrate on teaching. At a very young age, school uniforms instill the spirit of teamwork and one feels proud to be a part of a school, if he/she represents the school for any occasion.
On the Flip Side, Parents have Expressed Concerns About:
- School uniforms taking away students' freedom of expression and encroaching on their personal rights.
- Having religious dress codes foisted on children following a different religion.
- Not having their religious dress codes followed or respected enough.
- Trying to get their children to make a political or moral statement.
- Expenses involved in purchasing the required uniform and accessories.
All said and done, the advantages of having students don uniforms clearly exceed the disadvantages. So, to sum it up, by wearing uniforms, students appear to belong to a single community, they require less time to spend on deciding what to wear and it prevents wrong conduct, thus inculcating a sense of discipline in them.