Critics complain that uniforms will lessen children’s individualism and creativity, infringing students’ rights and hint of racism. While proponents believe, uniforms will put the students emphasis on schoolwork instead of dressing coolly, and they will help to lower school violence. The idea comes from a Californian elementary school in Long Beach. “In 1994, Long Beach became the country’s first public school district to institute a mandatory uniform policy”(Atkins 42). The results were so promising that they lead to the President’s endorsement. The school saw a fifty-one percent drop in physical fights, a thirty-four percent drop in assaults and batteries, a fifty percent drop in weapons offenses, and a thirty-two percent drop in school suspensions(Mancini 65).
All this in a time span of only one year. Proving that a child’s clothes does make a difference in school violence. In a time when school children are getting killed for designer jackets and shoes, uniforms are exactly what our children need(Mancini 63). Critics say that school uniform inhibit self expression. If you take away a child’s self expression through clothing, you force that child to express his or herself in other ways. This might even force a child to resort to even more violent forms of expression, like through writing and art.
In today’s society, students are fighting each other in schools, because of other students that wear rival gangs colors and clothing. I went to school in a town with a population of about only ten-thousand residents. In our relatively small school, classes were disrupted several times, because one student was wearing another student’s rival gang’s colors causing outbursts and fights. This problem is one that occurrences daily in big city schools, but a problem uniforms can help remedy. Uniforms eliminate gang clothing like baggy pants, belts with initials on the buckles, halter tops, or certain gang colored clothing items. The uniforms can also help to identify outsiders within a school.
Drug dealers would have wear uniforms in order to be able to roam the school yard without being spotted. The uniforms can also help parents save money. A parent can pay anywhere from sixty to a hundred dollars for a pair of pants, forty to sixty dollars on a single shirt, and eighty to one hundred-fifty dollars for a pair of shoes. A student would need to have at least five to six different outfits to wear to school. Where as a child wearing a uniform only would need two sets of clothes for class. The uniforms may vary, but most uniforms consist of basic colored slacks and a basic colored collared shirt.
They can be purchased for as little as forty dollars at discount stores and the most expensive being around a hundred dollar. Besides saving parents hundreds of dollars, school uniforms also help to erase lines between the social classes. Since all students will be dressed alike, it will be impossible to tell the difference from a students from low income family and one from a high income family. I went to a public school for nine years, before transferring to a private school. At the public school my enthusiasm was minimal at best. My parent are not rich, and I had to wear clothes that were not consider cool.
This automatically put me out of the cool group. I felt unhappy and left out. I did not go to school functions, because I felt I was not cool enough and would not fit in. Going to a private school and having to wear uniforms remedied that. I longer was not cool, just because I did not wear the right clothes. Students did not judge me by my apparel, instead I was judged .