Abstract The decision for school district to enforce school uniforms has been in existence since the 16th century. School uniforms were originally created for poor children; however, over time, schools saw uniforms as a way to bring students together. There has been debate whether uniforms improve academic success while reducing affiliation of violence. There is opinion and study that indicate no correlation between school uniforms and academic achievement; however, there were come correlation between school uniforms and student behavior.
Among many concerns is the cost of uniforms, especially for a multiple child household. Pros and Cons of School Uniforms History of School Uniforms Uniforms were first instituted in 16th Century England at the charity schools for poor children. It was not until the 19th Century that the great English public schools began instituting uniforms and even later for them to be widely accepted at state schools–especially state elementary schools. There is a lot of debate whether the acceptance of school uniforms is good or bad.
Historically, the concept of school uniforms is familiar to many European schools and private schools within the United States. However, much more attention to the controversy over school uniforms arose when a significant movement began in the 1980’s to introduce dress codes within public schools in the United States. . “In 1996, approximately three percent of all schools in the United States had a school uniform policy (Gentile & Imberman, 2009). ” How Society Views Uniforms During the 1996 State of the Union Address, President Clinton discussed school uniforms as one solution to gang-related behavioral problems in the metropolitan areas.
“That discussion led us to scour the existing literature to determine whether his assertion was supported by empirical evidence. We found a body of literature (largely journalistic and anecdotal) that discussed not only reduction of gang violence in schools but also a host of other possible outcomes of school uniform policies that included decreased behavioral problems, increased learning, and enhanced school climate, self-esteem, school spirit, and academic achievement (Brunsma & Rockquemore, 2003). How students view school uniforms Many students in grade school to third grade don’t really render any judgment either way favorable or not for the school uniform policy.
Students that are more conscious of their appearance and want to be viewed for their individuality are the ones that speak more openly about having the choice to be a non-uniform school. For example, “as children we always seem to be told “love who you are and be yourself. ” For instance, as a child how many of you were so excited to pick what to wear for the day, to feel that sense of control and to know you could show up to school and say “this is me and I love who I am!
(2012, 10). ” “In the Long Beach Unified School District study, 4th and 5th grade elementary and all middle school students were surveyed for their opinions of the school uniform policy. Students felt uniforms did not lessen the occurrence of fights (80. 9%) and a majority of students did not feel safer at school (Stanley, 1996). Cost of School Uniforms FrenchToast. com, a website that sells school uniforms, listed specific prices on their website. For boys? uniform tops and bottoms in sizes 8-14, prices ranged between $9 and $20 (http://www. frenchtoast. com/).
Young Men sizes ranged between $8 and $41. For girls?uniform tops and bottoms in sizes 7-14, prices ranged between $7. 50 and $29. Young Women sizes ranged between $13 and $21. Sweaters were generally the most expensive type of item, and short sleeve tops were generally the cheapest. Pros of School Uniforms Surprisingly, there have been several incidents of violent acts simply over clothing and accessories.
A student from Detroit was shot for his shoes, and another student in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was robbed for his jewelry. With these shocking revelations, many schools converted to requiring school uniforms in hopes of preventing any such violent acts (2013, 04).
” Many people view the school uniform policy as a way to uniform the schools. By having each student dress the same, the ability to distinguish between the different social classes is obsolete. “Clothes breed jealously because people will want what another has. If everyone is dressed alike, they will feel equal, and it will help children focus on their studies better (2013, 04). ” In today’s schools, there are many issues that may take a child’s focus off education. These problems include social outcast, violence, fashion, cliques, and economic class.
School uniforms can eliminate these problems that arise in school and enable to students to focus on their education. Cost of clothing students the same as their peers can be costly for those not in the same economic class as others. School uniforms eliminate this stress since the attire is mostly khaki’s and a plain shirt. In some cases, schools offer the outfits at a low cost to the parent; however, in most cases, schools inform students of certain colors that are appropriate for each school district. By instructing certain colors, this can alleviate any gang affiliation.
“Proponents of school uniforms often cite many reasons for improved academic achievement (Knechtle & Mitchell, 2003). ” “Though there are many arguments for school uniforms, the issue of academic achievement is most pertinent in a society focused on test scores. Arguments abound in the discussion of school uniforms and their relation to academic achievement. Academic achievement, when used in various studies, is the combined subject scores on standardized tests (Bodine, 2003). ” Cons of School Uniforms “The issue of uniforms becoming mandatory in public schools is an outrage.
Not only does it infringe on the rights of students to express themselves, but it is unconstitutional. The first amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; of abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (Jacobs 19). ” As parents and society, we encourage people to embrace their own diversity and individuality. By enforcing school uniforms, the identity of children is erased.
Also, if a parent of more than one child in a uniform school, the cost tends to increase the cost with having to purchase multiple outfits. Additional disadvantages in a school uniform is that many students do not like wearing them. The chosen style of uniform may not suit some students need to express their individuality, which many students thrive on and in some cases lower their self-esteem.. “While a statistically significant correlation was shown, further analysis of this correlation showed that an increase in academic achievement disappeared in subsequent years.
Students who were forced to wear uniforms after the initial year of the study had a three-point decrease in standardized test scores. In addition, students who never wore a uniform during the study had little change in test scores (Brunsma & Rockquemore, 1998). ” Conclusion Overall, the debate continues still whether the effect of school uniforms on children is good or bad. In one study, school uniforms had a direct relation to a student’s self-esteem, behavior problems and low academic success. On the other hand, school uniforms seemed beneficial for elementary kids providing less distraction and uniformity.
Teachers have also concluded that uniforms bring a distraction to teaching, as some school systems have gotten bogged down in what a child is wearing instead of their academic performance and study. The debate of school uniforms has been ongoing since as far back as 18th Century and more recently the 1980’s. References (2012, 10). Pros and Cons of School Uniforms. StudyMode. com. Retrieved 10, 2012, from http://www. studymode. com/essays/Pros-And-Cons-Of-School-Uniforms-1132387. html (2013, 04). Pros and Cons of School Uniforms Final Draft Paper. StudyMode. com. Retrieved 04, 2013, from http://www. studymode.
com/essays/Pros-And-Cons-Of-School-Uniforms-1598816. html Bodine, A. (2003). School uniforms, academic achievement, and uses of research. The Journal of Educational Research, 97(2), 67-71. Retrieved from www. proquest. com/ Brunsma, D. L. , & Rockquemore, K. A. (2003). Statistics, sound bites, and school uniforms: A reply to bodine. The Journal of Educational Research, 97(2), 72-77. doi: 10. 2307/27548013 Brunsma, D. L. , & Rockquemore, K. A. (1998). Effects of student uniforms on attendance, behavior problems, substance use, and academic achievement. The Journal of Educational Research, 92(1), 53-63.
Retrieved from http://www. proquest. com/ Gentile, E. , & Imberman, S. (2009). Dressed for success: Do school uniforms improve student behavior, attendance, and achievement? (No 2009-03, Working Papers, University of Houston). Retrieved from http://www. uh. edu Knechtle, J. C. , & Mitchell, H. W. (2003). Uniforms in public schools and the first amendment: A constitutional analysis. The Journal of Negro Education, 72, 487-494. Retrieved from http:// www. journalnegroed. org Stanley, M. S. (1996). School uniforms and safety. Education and Urban Society, 23, 424-435. doi:10. 1177/0013124596028004003.
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