Even though it is believed that students need to make life decisions based on their own standards, instead of the procedures and guidelines set for them, and that this is vitally critical for them as they grow into adults. Uniforms are a good idea as it causes students to focus on their academics and learning rather than on latest fashions or what the next student is wearing, also to respect themselves, their instructors and each other. Students are more likely to feel safe in schools with uniforms and they are also more inclined to attend classes and perform better academically. Faculty members in an inquiry believed that uniforms increased the learning climate by reassuring morality amongst students, augmenting the communication between teachers and students and bettering the administration of discipline. Many school officials agree that wearing uniforms helps decrease bullying and student detachment, and many educators are convinced that school uniforms increase students’ ability to thrive in the classroom.
As Huss (2007) states, “School uniforms are tangible; they are seen as a concrete and visible means of restoring order to the classrooms.” Uniforms cause change in appearance and performance while in class. First, students are more likely to feel safe in schools with uniforms and they are also more inclined to attend classes and perform better academically. Students perform better academically when they feel safe and are not threatened in school. There has been a lot of scrutiny concerning school safety, due to the increased activity and violence of gangs in schools. After taking note of these actions (increased violence and gang presence) officials are always considering ways to establish the security of the students and the faculty. King (1998) states, “Those who fear for their safety in school or on the way to school may not learn effectively, and they may turn to truancy as a viable alternative to facing daily threats of violence.” School safety, a more disciplined student and student learning is believed to be the outcome if school uniforms would be enforced.
Wearing school uniforms helps a school limit the wearing of gang colors, theft and school violence. Enforcing school uniforms should be taken seriously considering the ability of them making a student feel secure and safe to learn. When uniforms are required and worn it makes it easy to identify those that are not from the school or that are actually out of uniform by wearing regular street clothes. Students from schools where uniforms were required reported they did feel more safe and compelled to be concerned more about their education and succeeding in the classroom than to have to identify who was a member or which gang from day to day. King (1998) states, “Approximately one in four students reports worrying about becoming a victim of crimes or threats at school, and one in eight reports having been victimized at school.” The wearing of school uniforms should be expected in all schools and not just targeted areas; this would increase the true benefit of wearing uniforms in our education system. Creating a system where uniforms are worn in all schools would limit the thought of a school that actually has a uniform policy in place as being considered a bad school or unsafe to send a child.
Uniforms should not be associated with a schools safety and or truancy problems. The safety of our children should be a priority every day. Additionally, teachers in a study believed uniforms enriched the schooling climate by stimulating morality amidst students, augmenting the interactions between the teachers and students and bettering control. Similarly, of the 5,500 principals surveyed as attendees of the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ annual conference in February 1996, more than 7-% believed that requiring students to wear uniforms to school would reduce violent incidents and discipline problems. Moreover, greater than 80% of Long Beach Telegram readers supported uniforms. (King 1998)
“A school reported the effects of wearing uniforms and in the first year alone crime decreased by 36%, sex offenses by74% and physical fights among students by 51%.” (King 1998) Students have shown to behave at a higher standard when in uniform and it also has been reported to have an effect on the interaction between a teacher and student. When in uniform students mannerisms are different and they carry themselves in a higher regard. It is believed that both the students and teachers operate based on the way they are dressed. A school official has been quoted as saying “Students here understand why they are in school”; “Students work hard to complete their assignments”; and “Students in this school have fun but also work hard on their studies.” (Murray, R. K. 1997) This in no way means that all students will act accordingly and excel academically, but it would assist in creating an environment where both students and teachers were appreciative of their school and more considerate to each other. It is believed that teachers interact differently with students when they are clothed in a more uniformed manner. Students have also been noted as having better mannerism and more care in how they handle each other as well as the faculty.
Finally, the most important reason uniforms are a good idea as it causes students to focus on their academics rather than on the latest fashions because “wearing uniforms helps students to get into “learning mode” and reminds them to respect themselves, their instructors and each other.” (Wade, K. & Stafford, M. 2003) The administrators instantly point out that normally; purchasing school uniforms for a school year can cost between $80 and $90 per child, this cost is lower than what parents would spend when having to buy the designer clothing that a student desires. So, a student and parent would be better off purchasing uniforms financially which is looked at as a bonus in these economic times. Students in a school that requires uniforms are less likely to feel or receive peer pressure because of their lack of the designer clothing that other families may be able to afford. In a climate where uniforms are mandatory your family’s financial situation is not noticeable thus making it a more comfortable learning environment. A parent was quoted saying, “I know I spent less money and needed far fewer items of clothing for my children when they wore school uniforms.” (Walmsley, A. 2011)
This also lessen the occurrence of the morning fights between parents and students as to what to wear for the day the selection is simple and minimal at the same time. At this age youths are at the point of attempt to find their own individuality and ideas of what suits them clothes wise be it baggy or tight jeans, cartooned t-shirts, and political clothing. Getting away from wearing those types of clothing and requiring a uniform causes the student to not focus on what someone is wearing but instead their schooling and academics which is way more important. Fashion should take a backseat when it comes to your education. A youth’s individuality can be expressed in other ways if shown and at the same time there should be limits set on the possibilities of accessories worn with the uniforms. Students have been intensely wounded and or killed for their designer shoes, clothing and accessories. School uniforms are believed to cut down on these occurrences.
Being dressed in a different manner has been shown to cause a different reaction in class and in a student’s day to day life. School climate has been shown to be related to student achievement as well as how students behave and feel about themselves, their school, and other individuals. Furthermore, positive school climate has been identified as a characteristic of an effective school. Given the significant impact of school climate on student achievement, practitioners should consider these new findings when considering implementing a school uniform policy as a means of improving school climate and student behavior. (Murray, R. K. 1997) Requiring uniforms in schools changes the climate and the reaction to learning significantly. Walmsley (2011) states, “Because students dress in uniforms, they’re reminded that their “job” is to be a student.” A uniform causes a different behavior and creates such a reaction in the students that their attitudes change automatically.
On some occasions students have even decided to opt out of the days allowed for “street clothes” after they have experienced a school uniform environment. When dressed in street clothes students tend to behave in a manner of “play” and not take their education as serious. Just as stated before when in uniform “they’re reminded that their job is to be a student,” it’s presenting them with the idea that during these hours you are expected to give your all and not limit yourself in anyway and behave in a more professional or sophisticated manner much like if they were going to an actual 9 – 5 job this behavior is expected from them. Indeed, while wearing a school uniform does not allow for self-expression some think that students should make choices in regards to life based on their own personal values instead of the precedent and governance chosen for them and this is important for their own well-being and development as they continue to grow up. Anderson (2002) states, “four basic reasons for promoting school uniforms: 1) enhanced school safety, 2) improved learning climate, 3) higher self-esteem for students, and 4) less stress on the family.”
Uniforms are a good idea as it causes students to focus on their academics and learning rather than on latest fashions or what the next student is wearing because wearing uniforms helps students get prepared and ready to learn and it reminds them that certain level of respect is required of them towards their instructors, themselves and the other students. The use and purchase of uniforms can also improve Schools should provide a safe environment for learning. Wearing uniforms could be considered a form of good discipline and causing students to learn and adhere to rules. Calling for uniforms in schools can reduce violence and propel our students into a better category academically in the world as a whole. The wearing of a school uniform may not resolve all or any of the problems that occur day to day in our schools now but there are some other benefits to wearing them and those benefits should be taken into account. (Lester 106-12) With classrooms today needing a more respect for teachers and each other wearing school uniforms can help with that. Conformity should be painless with uniforms being incorporated in our education system, as the guidelines are definite and straightforward.
Anderson, W. (2002). School Dress Codes and Uniform Policies. Policy Report. Washington, D.C.: Office of Educational Research and Improvement. ERIC document ED 471 528. Huss, J. A. (2007). The Role of School Uniforms in Creating an Academically Motivating Climate: Do Uniforms Influence Teacher Expectations? Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, 131-39. King, K.A. (1998, January). Should school uniforms be mandated in elementary school? Journal of School Health. p. 32. Murray, R. K. (1997). The Impact of School Uniforms on School Climate. NASSP Bulletin, 81(593), 106-12. Wade, K., & Stafford, M. E. (2003). Public School Uniforms: Effect on Perceptions of Gangs Presence, School Climate, and Student Self-Perceptions. Education and Urban Society, 35 (4), 399-420. Walmsley, A. (2011). What the United Kingdom Can Teach the United States About School Uniforms. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(6), 63-66.