The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

High School / Secondary school Students should be required to wear a uniform

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/27/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,392 times Debate No: 20708
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




In almost all government schools in the USA, uniform is not required, whereas there are few schools in the UK, private or government, that allow students to wear anything they like (usually a loose dress code applies).
I will be arguing in favour of all high schools and secondary schools to make uniform compulsory. There are my main arguments.

Having a uniform creates a sense of community
Especially in larger schools, (800+ students) many teens feel left out, or that they don't belong. Having a uniform unites all the students, and shows that even though the school's population may be high, all the students are equal, which brings me on to my next point.

Especially in government schools where there is a wide range of financial status between students, many may feel unhappy or left out if they can't afford more expensive clothes. Imagine how low a teenager's self esteem can be if most the girls or boys in their class show up to school in expensive or branded clothes, and they can maybe only afford clothes from supermarkets? This can cause many problems for the student. As I mentioned, feeling as though they are "poorer" than other students can really lower a student's self esteem, which isn't healthy for a teenager, or anyone for that matter. Secondly, if the student feels under pressure to wear certain brands to school, they may spend all their pocket money (if applicable) and wages (if they have a part time job) on expensive clothes rather than things they need such as stationary or study guides.
Thirdly, as I mentioned; students can be subjected to bullying if they are not wearing "cool clothes" and this can cause psychological problems for the student later in life.

Thirdly and finally, I believe that the media (movies, TV shows etc) really expresses how a student's clothing matches their personality. For example, "goth kids" wear dark clothes and lots of black eyeliner, and "theatrical kids" wear colourful retro clothes, or whatever. Some kids may feel like they don't belong in a certain friendship group or clique, because they can't afford or don't want to wear the kind of clothes the other people in the group wear. I believe that students should join friendship groups based on their personality, and not whether they have the right clothes to join.

Thank you for reading my argument.


Thank you for allowing me to accept this debate. I look forward to an engaging and challenging debate. :)

Rebuttal 1: Having a uniform creates a sense of community.
If we are arguing solely on the premise that uniforms create a sense of community, one would expect to see that prisoners who wear uniforms would cease being violent and dangerous. However, that is definitely not the case. In one prison "men suffered vicious stab and head wounds as prisoners attacked each other with makeshift weapons, including shards of glass and broken water pipes. Fifty-five inmates were rushed to local hospitals. When officers finally took back control, many inmates had been permanently maimed. [1]". Uniform policies certainly do not create a sense of community in prisons, so why should the same be expected in schools?

In my school of over 1,500 students where uniform policies do not exist, I feel a sense of community because other people are friendly to me as opposed to a different high school I would have attended 2 years ago where I was constantly bullied. A sense of community is more achievable with a group of people who are friendly and courteous rather than violent and hateful. Uniforms barely have an effect.

I would also consider the argument my opponent gives of teens not fitting in due to social status differences to be a bit outlandish. My opponent does not cite any sources to back up her statements. My opponent assumes all teens are more concerned about what other people wear and will have their self-esteem lowered due to this. I buy my clothes from Wal-mart and barely think about what other people wear. If students are worrying too much about what other people wear they will truly be in the shock of their life when they leave high school. It also means that the schools are doing a bad job at teaching or the students have bad work eithics. Neither would be improved under compulsory uniform policies.

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for his or her sourced arguments.

You have thoroughly shown how uniforms and bad behavior are connected, but I do not believe that this is the case. When wearing a school uniform, students are less likely to misbehave as they are representing their school. (1) It is proven that students who wear uniforms are less likely to be truant and leave during the school day, as they can be easily spotted in town. (2)

I understand your point that not all teenagers judge others based on clothes, but the majority of teenagers do feel outcast at school at some point, and have low self esteems. 7 in 10 high school girls believe that they do not measure up to other girls in their grade, mostly due to appearance. (3) This shows that uniforms would benefit the majority of female students, therefore making it a beneficial stance for schools to take. Low self esteem in students can lead to more than it may seem. I quote: "75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities such as disordered eating, cutting, bullying, smoking, or drinking when feeling badly about themselves (compared to 25% of girls with high self-esteem)." (3)


In my opponent's 1st paragraph of arguments made in round 2, she makes arguments that school uniforms are correlated with decreased truancy and better behavior. But correlation does not imply causation. This principle in statistics is stated as 'correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other" [2]. Just because a school that wears uniforms has better performance, one cannot immediately jump to conclusions that uniforms are the reason for success and here's why:

By law, public schools including highs schools in the United States must accept all children, regardless of intelligence, and must teach these students [3]. The same type of mandatory education is prevalent in other parts of the world as well. But private schools and catholic schools have the ability to select only the best students, students who are intelligent and focused, and students who don't get into trouble. Private schools also have uniforms policies, compared to only 18% of public schools [4]. So when studies are done to raise up the topic over school uniforms, there is a major flaw in that the studies show a positive correlation between uniform policies and increased performance but can't prove that increased performance is a direct result of wearing uniforms. I have affirmed this in my prison example in round 1.

Also, my opponent brings up social issues again and cites a source that says low self-esteem is a thinking disorder [5]. In this case, it would be much more beneficial for those students affected to receive psychological treatment rather than to cover up the problem by making school uniforms compulsory.

Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for your rebuttal.
I'd like to point out that having a school uniform contributes to keeping kids focused on what is really important at school, the academics. With marks slipping in the UK and USA, [1] it is crucial to keep as much focus on academics as possible. As the famous quote goes, "In 30 years from now, it won't matter what clothes you wore, what jeans you bough or how your hair looked. What will matter is what you learnt and how you used it."
This just goes to show that putting the emphasis on learning at school, really can benefit kids later in life. [2]
I'd just like to let you know that I believe that tutoring and attention is the best way to increase marks obviously, but school uniform could just be a contributing factor.

In connection with the last point, school uniforms will encourage students to take school more seriously, and make a distinguished difference between fun time and school time. As I mentioned, kids will be less likely to leave school during the day as they may be in fear of being recognized and having their school called (this has happened multiple times at my school).




My opponent has not provided a single compelling argument for instituting a compulsory, required by law uniform policy in all high schools and secondary schools. What my opponent does do is say that a uniform policy MIGHT enhance the quality of education. But as I pointed out, there is no study done in a controlled setting that says that uniforms will actually increase quality of education. Which means that the evidence supporting uniform policies are bogus. My opponent did not deny this claim, therefore my arguments are sustained.

My opponent kept bringing up claims that uniform policies would do 'this' or do 'that', would provide 'this' kind of benefit, but NONE of the information my opponent cited actually had anything to do with supporting a uniform policy. My opponent brings up sources that say that greater focus needs to be placed on academics and then uses that as leverage for a uniform policy. But how the heck does a uniform policy have anything to do with increasing academic focus? My opponent makes no such argument.

The most obvious way to improve academics is to improve the quality of education, not to enforce silly uniform policies. Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by wmpeebles 6 years ago
Bullying happens in prisons. Prisoners wear uniforms. Uniforms don't stop bullying nor do regular clothes promote it.
Posted by owen99999 6 years ago
I'm in a high school in the uk where school uniform is required though I think sometimes the rules are WAAAYYYY to strict like not being able to have your chosen hairstyle or dye your hair and having to wear exactly the right length stuff but uniform if put in place loosely is a good idea as it can counteract bullying.
Posted by wittetye 6 years ago
As a highschool student i feel that it would take away a students sence of expresion.
Posted by syrjasam 6 years ago
Im a high school student and even though i dont like the idea of uniforms I beleive that it would create less bullying in our schools
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by flash7221 6 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: close., indeed.