The debate over school uniforms can lead to a cloud of conflicting ideas. Let’s take a look at the facts:
“School uniforms deter crime.”
False. There is absolutely no concrete evidence to suggest that a reduction of crime rates is directly correlated with school uniform policies. This is often a band-aid “solution” to a much more detrimental issue: violence in schools. More permanent actions should be taken to improve this situation, both at the local level and on a national scale.
“School uniforms take away individuality.”
False. Even with the most restrictive uniform policies,there is always room to accessorize. Students are able to add jewelry and other items to let their distinct personalities shine through. So, be sure you keep that One Direction bracelet to let everyone know how much you enjoy the new album without having to break dress code.
“School uniforms break cultural and socioeconomic barriers.”
False. Uniform policies are often used as leverage to force cultural and racial minorities to conform to a specific standard, set by those who aren’t affected by them. So, instead of leveling the playing field, dress codes carry much more weight for some students than for others. Jewelry, electronics, and a number of other factors still point out the differences in income.
“School uniforms solve discipline problems.”
False. Regardless of what they are wearing, students who are looking for ways to get into trouble will inevitably find them. In fact, placing standards on something as trivial as dress code give more rules for students to break. There is a lot of energy required to enforce a uniform policy, and this can often distract teachers and administrators from more important tasks that are more directly related to education.
“School uniforms help students focus more on schoolwork.”
True. Worrying about what to wear in the morning gives students an excuse to come to school late. Without the added stress of having to shop for expensive, new outfits, students have one less thing blocking them from focusing on bettering themselves through education. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
“School uniforms create a sense of school pride.”
False. If anything, it creates a divide between the students who don’t conform to the dress code and the faculty members who are trying to enforce it. School spirit can’t be manufactured by having everyone wear the same thing. A true sense of community would be created by respecting everyone’s differences, rather than trying to force them to have superficial similarities.