The Instigator
Katelyn6913
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
bmichael
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

School Uniforms are a good idea

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Katelyn6913
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 45,472 times Debate No: 22718
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

Katelyn6913

Pro

This debate is going to be about School Uniforms. I will take the Pro side and argue that Uniforms are a good idea. This is a 5 round debate with max amount of characters. This first round is NOT for acceptance, lets just jump into the argument.

My arguments:
1.School Uniforms give children a sense of unity with other students because they all are wearing the same clothes and representing the same school.
2.School uniforms may lower the cases of bullying within schools. In many cases kids are picked on because of the clothes they wear, how they look, or in some cases the materialistic belongings they may or may not have. If all students wear the same thing it would be very hard almost impossible to make fun of someone who is wearing the same thing as you.
3.In lower income communities uniforms could be a good idea because parents wouldn't have to worry about buying brand name clothing for their children and children wouldn't feel pressured to have brand name items to fit in because everyone would have the same clothing as they did.
4. It would diminish peer pressure in regards to having certain brands and would encourage unity.
5. It would allow students to get ready for school faster in the morning because they don't have to worry about what they have to wear.
6. Puts more focus on school work, kids don't have to worry about being trendy, or fashionable or envy the child next to them that has the new popular sneaker they can focus in class on school work and not other distractions such as peers clothing or belongings.
Sources:PBS
http://www.pbs.org...

In advance I'd like to thank whomever my opponent may be for accepting my debate:)
bmichael

Con

I, for one, do not think that school uniforms are a good idea for the follwing reasons:
1) Uniforms cost money. Obviously, school uniforms, like any other type of clothing, can be very costly. Where will the money come from? The taxpayers (some of which won't even benefit from the uniforms)? State funding? Either way you go with this, someone is going to have to pay for something that they probably don't even want.

2) Students come in all shapes and sizes. It's quite noticable that today's students are all very different in size. When buying uniforms for the school, you cannot assume that one size fits all. You'd have to size the students, order the uniforms, and then return them if they don't fit right. It's a continious, costly, cycle. Also, what if a student is irregular in size? What if they are super tall and really skinny? Then they would have to be taylored to the needs of that one student.

3) Students need to be unique. Having every student in a school dress the same way is like saying 'hey, you're not allowed to be different. You have to dress like everyone else because it's easier that way.' There's a certain thrill that teenagers get when they buy new outfit and where it to school for the first time. That thrill could potentially be threatened by instating a school uniform policy in schools. Having these uniforms is pretty much censoring the real world from them. Students need to understand and accept the fact that some people are different, and they have no chance of learning that when everyone in their school dresses the same.
That concludes my opening statment.
Debate Round No. 1
Katelyn6913

Pro

I would first like to thank Con for accepting and would like to say I look forward to this debate.

Rebuttals:
1.In your argument you say "When buying uniforms for the school, you cannot assume that one size fits all." I understand that students come in all shapes and sizes and I don't think schools purchase one size of a uniform and expect everyone to fit in them. Most schools may go with sizing each individual student and buying a specific uniform for each child but in some schools they just have the children wear khaki pants and a specific color polo or cardigan. If schools enforced uniforms and had kids wear khaki pants and a specific color polo it shouldn't be too hard to find their size. Students wear clothes like t-shirts and jeans outside of school and can find sizes, so sizes for such uniforms would be similar. It would actually be better if schools required students to wear a specific uniform of their choosing and have the students measured and given uniforms because the clothes would fit properly. In most schools there are the students with too short of skirts or too tight of shirts, pants etc.. if they were measured at school, they would be given clothing that would fit them properly. Schools also don't necessarily pay for uniforms, in most cases parents buy the uniform for their child and this is no more of a cost than it would be if the parent was buying clothes for their student in a department store, i would probably even be cheaper because they could buy less uniforms than they would buy outfits and just wash them more frequently and a uniform is probably less expensive than brand name clothing that children think they "have to have"

2. Students can still be unique, they can express themselves through the activities they do like sports, music, art, other hobbies or they can accessorize with jewelry in some cases. Just because a student wears a uniform doesn't make them the same as everyone else. Hair styles can be different and personality of every student is different, so by wearing the same shirt it isn't going to stifle a child's opinion or personality. Also students can wear what they choose on the weekends it isn't like they are never able to wear an outfit of their choosing.

3. "Having these uniforms is pretty much censoring the real world from them" What is it censoring the children from? Uniforms would decrease the amount of bullying cases. Yes, bullying is a part of the real world but it is something that doesn't need to be. With uniforms students will learn to not judge others on appearance and to make friends based on personality and character instead. The uniforms aren't censoring the students from the news or real world issues.

Arguments:
Uniforms will put more focus on school and less focus on the what other students have and what they don't
Uniforms will diminish peer pressure in regards to having certain brands
Uniforms will allow students to get ready for school faster
bmichael

Con

In one of your rebuttals, you stated the following: "...in some schools they just have the children wear khaki pants and a specific color polo or cardigan." In your opening statement, however, you stated this: "In lower income communities uniforms could be a good idea because parents wouldn't have to worry about buying brand name clothing for their children and children wouldn't feel pressured to have brand name items to fit in because everyone would have the same clothing as they did." First you stated that there should not be competition of clothing styles in areas of education to prevent bullying. Then you said that a uniform does not have to be school-supplied; that you could just wear a certain color polo and khakis. It seems to me to be a contradiction when you say that one's clothes should be provided to him/her in attempt to avoid teasing and jealousy but likewise to that, you stated that students could provide their own uniform clothing. There are several different brands and styles of khakis, no? Couldn't someone get picked on for having a less-expensive, worn-out, pair of pants, and a moth-eaten polo from the 90's? There is no way to put an end to bullying. Bullies look at people under a microscope to pick these very small diversities that make make them the least bit different. If they can't make fun of a person's clothes, then they will make fun of their hair. If they can't make fun of their hair then they will make fun of their glasses. It's a continuous cycle and their is no way to stop it - and forcing students to wear uniforms, regardless of how generic they are, certainly isn't going to help either.
In your second rebuttal, you stated that students could still be unique while having on a uniform. While I do think that that is partially true, I find it how much your clothes speak for your personality. You are familiar with Lady Gaga's meat dress, correct? What does that say about her? It says that she's a very whimsical character and tends to live on edge. I realize that you can also deduce that information from listening to her music, however, but think about all of the people that didn't even know who she was? Your clothes tend to work a lot of magic in a first impression. Taking away that part of someone can completely alter their personality.
As for your next three arguments: 1) I do not think that clothes are that big of a distraction to begin with. Not once in my career as a student have I witnessed a full-fledged conversation about someone's clothing while class was going on. 2) Peer pressure is yet another thing that is unavoidable. If someone doesn't like a certain type of clothing then they do not have to buy it. Due, I don't think that there is a huge consequence even if they do buy a type of clothing that they normally would not wear. 3) I do not understand how school uniforms could in any way speed up the getting-ready-for-school process. In fact, depending on the uniform, I think that it may even take longer. I think that putting on a simple pair of jeans and a t-shirt is a bit easier than putting on a pair of dress pants, a dress shirt and a tie.
Arguments:
- Uniforms could potentially become hazardous. In the summer time, schools are hot. If a student has one pair of clothes, and they are super hot, people could pass out, whereas if you could choose your clothes, you can dress in accordance with the weather, therefor preventing the risk of passing out an being distracted during school hours.

Debate Round No. 2
Katelyn6913

Pro

First I would like to thank Con for strong rebuttals and I'd like to say this is turning into an interesting debate.

Supporting my arguments:
1. I don't think I am contradicting myself because I never stated that the school had to supply the uniform. When I talk about a uniform I am using the dictionary definition "an identifying outfit or style of dress worn by the members of a given profession, organization, or rank." A uniform has to be consistent whether it be color or style, but some can be identical. Where am i contradicting myself? Children won't feel pressured to have brand names to fit in if all just had to wear khakis and a certain polo. Those khakis may not be identical because they aren't made by the same company or they aren't school supplied but they aren't as distinct or different as one child's Nike sneaker vs another's old tennis shoe. I was explaining two examples of how schools require students to wear uniforms. Some schools supply them, others just give guidelines for them either way the idea of a uniform, the idea of a constant style or color is a good idea and that was the argument I was trying to get at.

2. Yes. clothes may help portray and express your personality but because you put on a uniform does not mean that your personality is sucked out of you. For example in stores employees have to wear uniforms, just because they wear a uniform doesn't mean that they aren't going to be themselves. Same thing in hospitals, nurses have to wear scrubs, just because they have to wear a specific type of clothing(a uniform) doesn't mean they are going to be a different person.

3. When I say distraction, I don't mean that students are having conversations in class I mean that students in their own minds look at others clothes and may judge or feel insecure about what they have compared to others and feelings such as insecurity or the pressure put on by peers to have certain brands or items could be a distraction to work, or a distraction from school. We go to school to learn and to socialize but other factors like bullying, like feeling we don't have the finances to buy things others have can weigh on a child's mind in class and distract them from the real reason they are going to school.

4. School uniforms certainly speed up the getting ready process, students would have to pick out what they had to wear if they did not wear a uniform. With uniforms you know what you have to wear and you don't have to spend time in the morning or the night before to pick out what to wear or look for something to wear.

Rebuttal:
In schools that have uniforms, they don't just have one uniform for cold weather. In schools they normally have a summer uniform and a winter uniform. For example for girls they may have the option to wear pants in the winter or tights with their skirts but in the summer they could just wear the skirt. Im positive no school makes their students suffer by wearing sweaters in the summer. Also not all places are hot in the summer some schools may only have one uniform because it is always hot there or always cold there and those uniforms are modified for that weather. Schools are also regulated on what conditions the students can go to school in. I know here in the U.S. if the temperature is over 90 degrees or something like that and there is no air conditioning in the school the students by law can not be in school. To conclude this point students have more than one uniform for temperature differences, the uniform will have the same style and color but they may be short sleeve for summer and long sleeve for winter.

My argument:
Uniforms encourage unity in school. When we see a sports team, they work together and are unified. There is just a feeling of unity you get when you put on a uniform, it makes you feel like you fit in or belong. If an entire school wears similar clothing or clothing consistent in color and style(uniforms) than they won't feel as ostracized or feel like they don't belong because they look like the other students, they might feel like they are a part of a team.

Sources:
http://dictionary.reference.com...
bmichael

Con

I would like to start out by saying that I'm very happy with where the debate is going as well.

Supporting Previous Rebuttals:
1. Whether the school supplies the uniform or not, there could still be much competition between articles of clothing. Once again, I would like to bring up the point that there are several different types of khakis and polos. You are contradicting yourself when you say that students would not be pressured to buy brand-name clothes, yet the market would not run through the school, therefore resulting in a decision that the students would have to make on their own. This allows room for students to get picked on for what they wear.

2. I realize that your sense of clothing does not say everything about your personality, however I would like to bring up the point that not everyone looks good in the same color and style of clothing. For example, I have light green eyes and blond hair. I do not look good in royal blue. I find it unfair to force students to wear articles of clothing that: A) Gainsay their usual style of clothing, ultimately going against there personality, and: B) They may not look the best in; possibly belittling their sense of style.

4. I don't know about you, but all I do in the morning is grab a pair of pants, a shirt, and get dressed. That takes me about thirty seconds total. I don't think that it takes a ridiculous amount of time to choose what you wear and get dressed. Even if you do take a lot of time to get dressed in the morning, I think that could easily be changed: just wake up a little earlier.

Rebuttal:
You say that uniforms encourage unity in a school. While I understand where you are coming from, I have to share that uniforms only show unity through appearance, but it is nearly impossible to unite a group of kids together, especially with so many different types of people. (There is no way to get your typical, popular, cheerleader, to befriend a stereotypical band geek, regardless of what they wear. No offense to cheerleaders or band geeks.)
Debate Round No. 3
Katelyn6913

Pro

Thank you Con for another great argument
Supporting my arguments:
1. "Whether the school supplies the uniform or not, there could still be much competition between articles of clothing. Once again, I would like to bring up the point that there are several different types of khakis and polos." I don't think there is going to be competition at all, I understand that different companies make khakis and polos but there isn't much difference between them ex. Target brand
http://www.target.com...
kohls brand
http://www.kohls.com...

Khaki is Khaki there aren't many distinct differences between them, no matter what brand is purchased. If schools don't supply the uniform they often times suggest where to purchase ones that follow their guidelines or specify what color or style they want students wearing. There isn't going to be competition because the whole point of the uniform is to look unified, consistent, or identical.

2. Yes, some people don't look as good as others in certain colors but the point of the uniform is to take focus off of appearance and what looks good or not good on others, if you wore the same uniform as everyone else I'm sure you wouldn't be the only one to not look good in that color and others wouldn't judge you because they would be wearing the same thing and would understand that you have to wear it. Wearing a uniform wouldn't belittle their style either because on the weekends and their free time students can wear whatever they choose, explore different styles and express themselves with clothes in any way they choose.

3. Uniforms save time in the morning for students, some like you take thirty seconds to pick out an outfit but others take longer wither way that time can be saved. Uniforms are also better for parent's routines, in an interview one mother says that she likes the idea that her daughter wears a uniform because she just washes them all over the weekend and doesn't have to worry about her not having something to wear during the week. You are also probably older than 5yrs old, younger students struggle with parents on what they are going to wear, they want to wear crazy outfits or they can't decide what they want to wear, but with a uniform there is no struggle or questioning because they have something already picked.

4. Uniforms can unite students, maybe the cheerleader won't befriend a band geek but uniforms do break economic barriers for students and they can make students feel like they belong or are a part of a community.

My argument:
School is a child's job in a sense, wearing the uniform gives them the sense that they are going to school to work as if it were their job. In 1994 in a California school uniforms were required, as a result attendance increased, and test scores increased. Researchers tie those increases to the fact that the uniforms make the children take school more seriously, and put more of a focus on education.

In schools today there are also cases where weapons are brought to school, and certain pieces of clothing represent gang affiliation. By enforcing uniforms both of those issues would be eliminated or decreased within schools. Students wouldn't be able to conceal weapons under baggy clothing and specific clothing would be mandatory for all students.

Sources: www.target.com www.kohls.com
http://voices.yahoo.com...
bmichael

Con


Supporting Rebuttals:
1. There might not be a huge difference to whether the uniforms are school-supplied or not, but there can still be much competition. Like I said before, you have to take into consideration where some of these kids come from. There are many kids with unemployed parents, rendering them incapable of tending to their clothes. Other kids can afford to take two showers a day, have countless pairs of clothes, and two washing machines. Example:
http://gb.dockers.com...
^ Dirty, worn, version of khakis

http://farm1.static.flickr.com...

^Nice, clean, pair of khakis.

Do you see the difference? Like I said in my earlier arguments, there is no way to stop this competition and bullying by making students wear identical pieces of clothing.

4. I must make clear that some students cannot stand school. Perhaps they are bullied, and made fun of. Chances are that they hate that uniform. Perhaps to them, it symbolises the hard times that they went through during adolescence. I stand by what I said when I stated: There is no way to get someone to like school, or there peers, or even get them to feel united, with such diverse communities of people in one building.

Rebuttals:
While the statistics that you have brought up are very convincing, I must add that those tests/surveys haven't been conducted since 1994. Times have certainly changed. Perhaps people have become more responsible since then, or the kids that did wear uniforms participated in acts of rebellion. Also, I find it probable that these studies were most-likely conducted in a private school, where most students wear uniforms. It's safe to say that most private school don't have such a diverse population of students as public schools. Seeing as you need to pay for private schools, the student's probably come from more stable home-environments, ultimately resulting in better attendance and grades, regardless of if they wear uniforms or not.

Arguments:
Many kids in today's society have commitment and respect issues. They cannot stand the thought of someone telling them what to do, much less what they wear. This is what causes rebellion. In 2009, a group of students at John A. Ferguson Senior High School rebelled against their school uniforms. Instead of wearing what they had been told to wear, they wore to school what they thought would make a better school uniform.
The following link is to the article describing the rebellion. I certainly think that this could happen to schools all around the country if they are forced to wear a school uniform.
http://my.hsj.org...
Debate Round No. 4
Katelyn6913

Pro

Supporting my arguments:

1.I don't think there are too many cases where kids are coming in with clothes as dirty as your first example. I do not doubt that students have dirty clothes like the example you give but I know that if a student were to come into school everyday in pants that looked like those that their home life would be investigated because allowing your child to live like that is a form of neglect, and if that was the case than that child would be helped out. Your argument does not view school uniforms as a whole, you are focusing only on a specific economical group of people.

2. A lot of students don't like school, just like some adults don't like their job, but the uniform encourages discipline and responsibility. The uniform may not make the child enjoy school but it will teach them to take school seriously and focus on their education while they are there, to make them feel like school is their job.

3. The California school mentioned in the article I presented was not a private school, though you have a point with the private schools the article I presented and the information I gave was based on a public school in California. That school was one of the first to enforce uniforms in a public school and they tie good attendance and good grades to some extent due to the uniforms. Also that school adopted that policy in 1994 but the article and the mother voicing her opinion in the article is from 2006 which is a little bit more current.

Rebuttal:
The article you provide about uniform rebellion does not seem like a very large rebellion, I the article it says "If administration would be more lenient with the uniform, students would not rebel. Junior, Stephanie Pi´┐Ża said, "If they let us wear t-shirts, or any type of pants that we want as long as it is out uniform color, it'll be so much better." Since that is not the case, it is easier to follow the rules than to deal with the consequences."

It says that it is easier to follow the rules than deal with the consequences which means the girls mentioned in the article that were rebelling eventually succumbed to the uniform rules. Also in the article it seems like the Assistant principal had the rebellion under control by giving detentions to those that did violate and those that didn't go to detention had to pay for that the next year. This rebellion did not get out of control and according to the article it seems like most students learned to follow the uniform policy in the end. Every school whether they have uniforms or not has a dress code and in schools with NO uniforms I am sure there are more violations than in schools with uniforms. Kids wear baggy pants everyday and I know especially in the summer skinny strapped shirts, too short of shorts, and flip flops are worn which violate many schools dress codes. With uniforms a large amount of dress code violations are eliminated.

My conclusions:
School Uniforms are a good idea for both private and public schools.
1.They diminish distinctions of economic status of students families which would encourage unity in schools and would encourage students to make friends based on personality and character rather than appearance or material belongings.
2.they spare kids and their parents the ordeal of picking out clothes each morning and washing them
3. they prevent students from getting picked on based on the clothes they wear
4.Save money because they are not as highly priced as certain brand name clothes, children's regular clothes don't get as worn so they don't have to keep buying them clothes, You don't necessarily have to buy 5 uniforms you could buy less and just wash them
5.Uniforms prepare children for working life, they make them focus more on learning and the real reason they attend school. They encourage discipline and responsibility and teach kids to follow certain guidelines.
6. Administrators don't need to worry as heavily about students following dress code. Uniforms eliminate the issue of some students who often violate the dress code. Most students will wear the uniform appropriately diminishing the massive amounts of ties teachers and administrators have to address students about taking off a hat or pulling up their pants or sending them to the office because of their outfit.

I have supported my arguments in each round and I believe I have produced a very convincing argument against Con. I would like to thank Con for a great argument and I can't wait to read his conclusions.
bmichael

Con

1. The sad truth-of-the matter is that where you live can influence how you live. There are many regions filled with people that have been rendered poor by the downfall of our economy and that simply cannot afford to be as hygienic as others. As an aside, If such cases were 'investigated', as you stated in your past arguments, some detectives would have extremely busy schedules. I don't find it hard to believe that many families are in such a predicament, given the circumstances. I do not think that I am 'focusing on only a specific economical group of people' at all. In fact, I am focusing on how those people fit in with the rest of the school's population.

2. You say that a uniform encourages discipline and responsibility, and likewise to that, it will teach them to focus on their education. Not once in your fifth argument do you say how a uniform can do such things. I, for one, do not understand how something as simple as clothing can make one do better or worse in school. Of course it will make the school look more professional, but I find it doubtful that clothing styles can influence one's learning ability.

3. The California school that you mentioned was neither a public or private school. In the article that you posted, the author stated the following: "My 8-year old daughter attends a wonderful charter school and has since she began kindergarten." The following statement is a Wikipedia definition of the term 'charter school'.
- "Charter Schools are primary or secondary schools that receive public money (and like other schools, may also receive private donations) but are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school's charter."
As seen in the underlined text, a charter school has a higher expectation for greater achievements than public schools. The students at charter schools are held at a higher standard - what they wear has anything to do with their accomplishments.

Supporting My Argument:
Regardless of the scale of this 'rebellion', the fact of the matter is that students do not like having to make a commitment to a single uniform - that is the one and only point that I was trying to get across. The consequences of these kids' actions are completely insignificant to the matter at hand. Whether they got a detention, got expelled, got fined, or whatever - it has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not school uniforms are a good idea. Furthermore, the only thing that that fact suggests is that some dress code are simply way too strict.

Conclusions:
School uniforms are not in the best interest of schools around the country for the following reasons:
1. Uniforms rob students of their individuality.
2. Uniform Fittings can be costly and time-consuming.
3. Uniforms, depending on the style, may cost the school or the parents more money than regular clothing.
4. Uniforms cannot possibly unite a school of such manifold people.
5. There are several different types of khakis and polos. There would still be competition to who looks the best.
6. There is no way to put an end to bullying - this includes making uniforms mandatory.
7. Students could possibly rebel against their dress code / uniform policy.
8. Clothing styles cannot influence the academic performance of students.

Throughout these five rounds, I believe I have supported and proved each of my arguments to the fullest extent of my ability. I would like to thank Pro for giving me such convincing arguments that I could work with. I hope that I can have the chance to debate with her again.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by lovedebate11 1 year ago
lovedebate11
this is a really interesting debate..
Posted by lovedebate11 1 year ago
lovedebate11
this is a really interesting debate..
Posted by bmichael 2 years ago
bmichael
We need more votes! :DDD
Posted by owen99999 2 years ago
owen99999
I had an interesting debate on this. Have a look on my page and read it; I think it's quite interesting.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
Katelyn6913bmichaelTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: A well argued debate from new debaters, with points made clearly and followed up diligently my both sides. I think it comes down to whether students need to focus on school more than have another means to express their individuality. Pro made the case that they do. Con's argument that uniforms might lead to students fainting from heat is ridiculous. Uniforms are cheaper; Pro should have found the data from the Baltimore school system where that was established. Nonetheless the argument works.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 2 years ago
1dustpelt
Katelyn6913bmichaelTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Both debated mediocre. Con only refuted guments, leaving some of Pro's arguments standing.