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The Contender
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Do the pros of school uniforms outweigh the cons?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/1/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,291 times Debate No: 85759
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (2)




1st round acceptance only
2nd round arguments
3rd round rebuttals
4th round open
5th round conclusion - no new arguments

No semantics

I look forward to an interesting debate.


I accept and I hope the school uniform curse doesn't destroy my opponent again....
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting. In this debate, I will be specifically focusing on school uniforms in the USA, though my points apply to all countries.

Argument #1: Uniforms limit freedom of expression.
The first amendment to the Constitution United States guarantees all individuals the right to freedom of expression. Uniforms very clearly limit freedom of expression by clothing. In the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District case, the US supreme court stated, "...It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

Uniforms also, therefore, limit diversity and individuality, placing conformity as a higher priority. As young children are impressionable, this can cause children to value conformity over individuality.

Argument #2: School uniforms increase violence in schools, and there is little evidence that it assists with learning.
A 2007 peer-reviewed study found that "school uniforms increased the average number of assaults by about 14 [per year] in the most violent schools." Also, another study in 1999 by Texas Southern University found that school discipline incidents rose by 14% after school uniforms were introduced.

David L. Brunsma, PhD, Professor of Sociology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) co-authored a study that found school uniforms had no effect on "pro-school attitudes, academic preparedness, and peer attitudes toward school." on a national sample of 10th graders. Instead, he found that it instead had a negative effect on academic achievement.

Argument #3: Students don't like uniforms.
In multiple studies, it has been shown that between 81-90% of students dislike school uniforms. This can lead to students resenting the school, and a decrease in performance. And when students are more satisfied with a school, they are more likely to obey rules. Though, the simple fact that students dislike uniforms should be enough, as they are the ones wearing the uniforms.

Argument #4: It emphasizes socioeconomic differences.
According to a survey done by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2013, 47% of schools with a high poverty rate required school uniforms, compared to 6% of low poverty schools. Despite claims, school uniforms, even in one school, do not hide economic differences, as poorer families will buy only one uniform for their child, and that uniform will sustain wear and tear, becoming more faded and dirty than richer families' uniforms. Also, uniforms, as they detract difference in clothing, emphasize other physical differences, such as race, weight, and appearance.

In conclusion, school uniforms limit freedom, emphasize differences, create resent towards the school, and do not help prevent violence or foster learning.


1. Uniforms' deterrence to violence and crime
"A recent study by the U.S. Department of Education suggests that school uniforms can help reduce theft, violence, and the negative effects of peer pressure caused when some students come to school wearing designer clothing and expensive sneakers. A uniform code also prevents gang members from wearing colors and insignia that could cause trouble and helps school officials recognize intruders who do not belong on campus."
It seems that uniforms can deter violence and gangs (and inevitably, drug abuse). They have these positive effects due to an easy representation and identification of a school member.

2. Entire clothing needs of children; Uniforms better than clothing
Buying uniforms are cheaper overall than just buying clothing. Study finds that "the average American family is encountering a figure approaching, and in some cases surpassing, $300 per child for back-to-school clothing. Contrast that figure with the cost of a year's worth of school uniforms. The cost of a year's worth (Five tops and five bottoms) of school uniform or standardized dress code clothing is $150 ("--

2.1 Uniforms also better at educating
This is logical because many students may worry about their clothing. The National Association of Secondary School Principals published a bulletin which said: "When all students are wearing the same outfit, they are less concerned about how they look and how they fit in with their peers; thus, they can concentrate on their schoolwork." []
In addition to school work, bullying is also reduced. A study by the NAESP organization highlighted that 86% of school leaders said uniforms make "a significant, positive impact on peer pressure," and 64% said uniforms reduce bullying.

2.2 Uniforms better at schooling
This is slightly different but also a subcategory of how school uniforms help the students become motivated, especially for their school. Oxford Brookes University discovered in 2007 that uniforms "often directly contributed to a feeling of school pride." [] Over 1,000 Texas middle school students were studied in 2002 and uniformed students "reported significantly more positive perceptions of belonging in their school community ..." compared to non-uniformed students. [] A 2007 peer-reviewed study found that after uniforms were introduced, "students are made to feel 'important' and as if they are a part of a team by wearing a uniform.", and also "Teachers perceived an increase in the level of respect, caring, and trust... throughout the school. []

3. Educators support it
The NAESP organization mentioned before found that a majority of school leaders believe their school uniform or formal dress code policies have had a positive impact on classroom discipline (85%), school pride (77%), student safety (79%), the school's image in the community (83%), and student achievement (64%). As can be seen the experienced people within the field of education clearly know what is best for the people, especially supported by my points from above.
Along with its other positive benefit already stated above, school uniforms are definitely worth it.

Back to you.
Debate Round No. 2


Korkin forfeited this round.


The school uniform Forfeit Curse has striked again! I shall only slightly refute my opponent's arguments within round two.

1. My opponent says uniform limit the freedom of expression, however note that it does not completely get rid of it.
Merely wearing school uniforms does not mean students will NOT be able to wear extra jewelry or armbands, or any other type of way to express yourself. In fact, the following website--, displays that experts not only agree that uniforms get rid of distractions (as previously stated), they also aren't really limiting expression since uniforms are required to be as culturally neutral as possible. To add upon this point, note that within the work force people often have to wear formal clothing as well, and despite having a choice, most formal suits are actually quite similar, with the button-up wise shirts and belt-up pants. "Miller said last week high-schoolers need to learn now how to dress for the workforce, noting those who show up wearing denim to a job interview likely won't get the job." Notes the website previously mentioned. As you can see the strict regimen, not only allows students to prepare for future work, but also actually has some little loopholes in it that still allow students to thoroughly represent themselves.

2. My opponent states that violence was caused by uniforms, and learning assistance wasn't helped by uniforms.
However, my opponent fails to list these sources. Analyzing the 2007 study found here:, the researchers clearly stated that "Our analysis was based on the use of four different measures of school violence as well as four different school policies that have been linked in the school violence literature as curtailing school violence." Their research could have been effected by the other three policies in addition to school uniforms. My opponent also surely failed to read the source, because while assaults increased, the SAME SOURCE says that "the utility of school uniforms ...curb[s] sexual attacks and may have some limited impact on weapons possessions as well." Assault versus sexual attacks. It's difficult to say which is better, but my opponent's source is two-sided and not as biased as he found. In fact, even in David Brunsma's study, [] the expert admits "Uniform policies may indirectly affect school enviroment and student outcomes by provoding a visible and public symbol of commitment to school improvement and reform". No matter what website my opponent comes up with, no matter how negative, even THOSE sites admit the positive effects caused by uniforms. This doesn't necessarily help my case, but it doesn't help my opponent's either.

3. My opponent says students don't like uniforms.
But who is more trustworthy, students or teachers? I already stated in round 2 that teachers, with much more educational experience and knowledge than the students, support uniforms. Are students really the trustworthy source?
My opponent also fails to link to a source here, so we can't be sure if he's right or not.

4. Socioeconomic differences
Wouldn't this also apply to normal clothing, which is MORE expensive as I already stated in round two so the difference would be EVEN MORE OBVIOUS.

All previous arguments extended. I hope the School Uniform FF curse doesn't get to my opponent again. Thanks and back to you.
Debate Round No. 3


I forfeit this debate to my opponent, as I simply do not have time to argue in a debate. I thought I would, but I didn't. Sorry for wasting your time.


It's a shame. My opponent could rechallenge me if he wants. The School Uniform Forfeit Curse is truly a hinderance!
Debate Round No. 4


Korkin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeited turns.
Vote Placed by mc9 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Ff