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The idea of uniforms

Categories School, Social Problems In Our Society, Students Life, Students Problems

Essay, Pages 5 (1043 words)



Essay, Pages 5 (1043 words)


In millions of homes across the country, an alarm clock buzzing at six in the morning signals more than just an obnoxious melody. It signals the onslaught of a ritual-like ballet, where parents and children are sent scrambling around the house. Socks are searched for, coffee is spilled, and the entire kitchen is transformed into a frenzy of hungry, half-dressed people. In one corner, there is a father calmly reading the morning paper.

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In the other corner, a teenage girl blow dries her hair, paints her nails and, while bouncing on one foot, puts on one of the socks she just found.

Like every other kid on her block, she is getting ready for school. But unlike many kids, she has the freedom of choosing what she will wear to school. The introduction of school uniforms causes more than just debates, and many parents are opposed to the idea because there are many disadvantages involved in requiring school uniforms.

School officials propose uniforms in an effort to reduce negative behaviour, while increasing academic achievements. They believe that by wearing uniforms, young students will not be inclined to form groups based on appearance.

The discrimination amongst stereotyped groups

Common in many schools is the tension between the “skaters,” those who wear baggy pants and rock-band T-shirts, and the Abercrombie and Fitch-wearing “preps” or “jocks. ” This tension caused by discrimination amongst stereotyped groups like these is exactly what those in favor of uniforms wish to target.

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By wearing uniforms, students lose their freedom of expression and therefore do not have the option to wear something that is offensive to somebody else. Students who are required to wear uniforms do not get to choose anything about it.

Perhaps a student may like to wear the colour blue, but if the uniforms are green, the student is going to feel negatively towards the uniform. Some students also like to dress in certain styles. It is common for many students to wear such things as sweaters, and skirts, and maybe a pair of their favourite jeans received as a Christmas present. By requiring uniforms students are left without that opportunity. Also, uniforms create a sense of unity. Students wearing uniforms all look the same, and the intentions of this synchronized appearance is to create a more group-like behaviour.

However, as idealistic as this idea may be, it is hard to make it a reality. For one, it is difficult to initiate the usage of uniforms. A school that previously did not require uniforms will run into a lot of problems when putting the idea into action. It is a well-known fact that all things cost money, and this is certainly true in school uniforms. According to David L. Brunsma and Kerry A. Rockquemore, uniforms for a school “… can cost a school $160,000… ” (1). Aside from the mint, this money has to come from somewhere, and they may even mean parents’ pockets.

Uniforms cause financial stress on families

Uniforms are very expensive, and cause undue financial stress on many families. A family that once enjoyed a family dinner at a nice restaurant every Saturday may be forced to save that extra money to put towards a child’s uniform. Another method of gathering such money could include fund raisers, or even cutting back on sports programs or other groups that otherwise would not have to suffer. By cutting back on sports programs a school risks the opportunity of less student participation.

If students do not participate in a sport the school may have to withdraw from the league respecting that certain activity. This would result in the school not having home games, which bring in two to four dollars per spectator. In short, requiring uniforms does nothing more than attract unnecessary attention? While this may aid in the publicity of a school, it does very little to change academic success; this may strike many individuals as odd seeming how they were lead to believe academic success was the goal.

While attempting to create a positive group atmosphere, uniforms can very well do just the opposite. In an effort to begin the use of required uniforms, officials at a school in Camden, New Jersey, proposed the idea that uniform requirements would only concern new freshmen. In her article, Lavinia DeCastro quotes Annette Knox, superintendent of the school, “… “Next (school) year, we can have the ninth-graders and 10th-graders in uniform,” Knox says. “Who knows? Maybe in three years all children in Camden will be in uniform. ” (1).

If the goal is to eliminate group outsiders, this approach definitely fails. Incoming freshmen in a school already feel singled out and different; the last thing they need is a uniform to make them stand out and feel even more insecure. DeCastro also notes, that in a school where only certain students wore uniforms, a girl, “… was picked on one day for being among the few students wearing the optional uniform. “(1). Requiring only certain students to wear uniforms while the others are free to wear what they would like is entirely unfair.

The idea of uniforms is to create unity.

This type of idea would only separate the freshmen from the rest of the classes, when in fact the idea of uniforms is to create unity. While some favour the use of uniforms, it is obvious that the uniforms have no effect on the very aspects of education that they were intended to. By being required to wear uniforms students lose their own group identities only to be forced to conform to another group. The uniforms also cause no change in academics, even though they were intended to do so. Along with having numerous downsides concerning purpose and logic, school uniforms cost a lot of money.

By having to by extra money to afford uniforms, many parents will not be able to afford putting their children into sports programs or other extracurricular activities – the kind of activities that actually affect a student’s education. The many downsides of uniforms make it an absolutely preposterous idea. Some students argue that they would feel “ridiculous” in the uniform. Then again, who wouldn’t look ridiculous by spending money and altering an entire educational institution only to get nothing in return?

Cite this essay

The idea of uniforms. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/room-101-speech-new-essay

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