Uniforms in Schools
Uniforms have been the primal subjects of de-bate in schools for many years now. But why are they debated? What are the costs associated with them? And do they really help the education sys-tem? Over the past decade the issue on whether schools should have uni-forms has come up many times. In fact, President Bill Clinton weighed in on this issue during his State of the Union speech in 1996. According to Clin-ton, “If it means that teen-ag¬ers will stop killing each other over designer jack-ets, then our public schools should require their students to wear school uniforms,” (Wilde).
Imagine walking to class in a crowded hall, not when you’re going to be attacked or who is go-ing to attack you. Day after day you’re harassed, beaten, and taunted be-cause of what they where. This isn’t exception but the rule in many schools around the country. Clin-ton, like many others, be-lieves that uniforms are an im¬portant part of the school culture In 1999, a case study was conducted that look at “the effects of adopt¬ing school uniforms in Long Beach, CA,” (“Pub¬lic School Uniform Statis-tics”). Four years after the “switch to uniforms”, “the crime rate dropped by 91%” (“Public.
..”). In ad-dition, school suspensions went down and sexual offenses were reduced. Not only did uniforms unite students at these schools, they had incom-prehensible effects that strengthen Long Beach as a whole.
The benefits of uniforms aren’t just seen in Long Beach. Today, “schools in 21 states and the District of Columbia have some sort of uniform requirements” (“Pub-lic…”).
One of the biggest misconceptions about school uniforms is that they will cost individuals a lot of money. There are many poorer individuals that cannot afford food yet alone spend money on uniforms. It’s unethical for them to have to spend their few dollars on uni-forms then they already own clothing. That’s why, in Elizabeth, New Jersey “the Elizabeth school dis-trict…
has outfitted more than 9,000 students — nearly half its enrollment” with uniforms (Hu). The district “serves mostly poor and minority fami-lies”, and chose to absorb the costs so they won’t cause a financial burden to families. As a result, students can benefit from uniforms regardless of their income or social sta-tus. All of these issues boil down to a simple ques-tion: “Do uniforms make schools better?” (Wilde). And based on the evi-dence, they do. It’s only logical that uniforms be utilized in schools because former Presidents support uniform usage, crime rates decrease, and stu-dents are united.
In addi-tion, they can cost fami-lies and individuals little to no money, “diminish economic and social bar-riers between students”, and prevent the formation of gangs on school cam-pus (Wide). Uniform us-age continues to grow over the years, and should continue to grow in the upcoming future. Works Cited “Debate: School Uniform.” Debatepedia. International Debate Education Association, 29 May 2011. Web.
6 Apr. 2013. Hu, Winnie. “School District Has Dress Code, And Is Buying the Uniforms, Too.” The New York Times.
The New York Times Company, 04 Sept. 2007. Web. 07 Apr. 2013.
McDermott, Michelle. “The Pros and Cons of School Uniforms.” SheKnows. SheKnows, LLC., 8 Aug.
2009. Web. 06 Apr. 2013. “Public School Uniform Statistics.” Education Bug.
Education Bug, 29 Dec. 2006. Web. 07 Apr. 2013.
Wilde, Marian. “Do Uniforms Make Schools Better?” GreatSchools. GreatSchools, Inc., 4 May 2012. Web.
07 Apr. 2013.