Back in the early to mid 90’s a hit television sit-com, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air featured Will Smith as the main character. His mother forced him to move from the projects in Philadelphia to live with his very successful aunt and uncle in the “high toned” suburb of Los Angeles, Bel-Air. Although he was in general a “good kid” in the show, he was definitely a bit of a rebel. He and his cousin, Carleton, went to a highly tauted private school that required uniforms. Boys had to wear a school issued sport coat which was blue.
However, Will commonly wore his sport coat inside out, flaunting the very colorful liner on the inside. The key point, is he had his uniform on, just wore it differently from the other boys. From this writers perspective, I am not a fan of many of the current fashions for both boys and girls. Girls show too much skin and boys wear their pants to low, to a point where it seems uncomfortable. One should not have to hold on to their pants to keep them from falling down. Designer clothes are expensive and certain colors could lead to gang related violence.
Hence, how do school uniforms affect the community and culture in a school building? Fashion, as it always has, clearly makes a statement. Many kids these days feel that it is a necessity to be “dressed to the nines” or to wear what everybody else is wearing. For example, high school aged girls today, in my opinion need to have at least one pair of UGGS. To me, it doesn’t make sense to wear a pair of wool lined leather boots when it is 85 degrees outside, but “everybody else is doing it, so I should to.
” Boys seem to think that they need to have their pants as baggy as possible to a point where their underwear is exposed for everybody to see and they need to hold on to their pants as they are walking through the halls. Perhaps I am old fashioned but I believe that instituting specific dress codes in schools, and perhaps uniforms will help to increase the overall environment, community and education among today’s youth. What are the key vantage points of school uniforms? One, economics.
By wearing school uniforms parents will typically pay much less on clothing for their children than they would on designer clothing. Two, enhanced educational performance. “Students who feel safe secure and free from threats of violence perform getter academically. Enhancing academic performance is another argument in favor of adopting dress codes or uniform policies. ” (Anderson, 2002). Three, peer pressure. “ Middle school students can sometimes be cruel. If a child does not have the right brand or style of clothing, students can make life very difficult for that student” (Anderson, 2002).
Four, family values. “When dress codes or uniform policies are instituted, many families realize an immediate benefit: not having to by so many expensive clothes for their fashion-conscious children. Some comparisons show that the cost of uniforms is significantly less than the cost of the latest fashions. ” (Anderson, 2002). Contrarians to dress codes and uniforms frequently state the common disclaimer to uniforms is that it violates the first amendment of free speech.